Research Methods in Language & Rhetoric: Corpus Methodologies
563 A Research Methods in Language & Rhetoric: Corpus Methodologies
Tony McEnery and Andrew Hardie, Corpus Linguistics: Method, Theory, and Practice. CUP, 2012.
Anne O'Keefe and Michael McCarthy, The Routledge Handbook of Corpus Linguistics, Routledge, 2010
Over the last decades, interest in Corpus Linguistics has risen sharply as the power of personal computers has burgeoned. It is now possible to build corpora of texts very quickly and to analyze the usage of language in that corpus in a number of sophisticated ways to make patterns apparent that are not otherwise easily seen.
Corpus techniques can also be used to examine usage in various genres/registers including the domains of academic, formal language, or business, news reporting, or fiction of several kinds, or variants by regional or national type. This seminar will concentrate on academic writing (in English) across the disciplines and with emerging national* standards of writing English.
The corpora and tools we will use can all be found on line and are free (including, in the end, corpora you make); one, AntConc, needs to be downloaded and installed on your own computer. You will want to bring your laptop to class every day. No background in statistics is necessary, though it wouild be handy.
Along with the readings and discussion of the concepts and issues they present, there will be a goodly number of exercises to practice using the tools. Seminar paper topics might include very partial and preliminary answers to questions like “how different is EuroEnglish?” or “what are plausible sub-domains of Scientific and Technical writing?” or “what kinds of 'I' are used in different academic disciplines?” (Note that most of these do not require making new corpora.)
*or international, in the case of EuroEnglish.