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Corpus Linguistics

Refinements and Reassessments

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Throughout history, linguists and literary scholars have been impelled by curiosity about particular linguistic or literary phenomena to seek to observe them in action in original texts. The fruits of each earlier enquiry in turn nourish the desire to continue to acquire knowledge, through further observation of newer linguistic facts. As time goes by, the corpus linguist operates increasingly in the awareness of what has gone before. Corpus Linguistics, thirty years on, is less an innocent sortie into corpus territory on the basis of a hunch than an informed, critical reassessment of existing analytical orthodoxy, in the light of new data coming on stream. This volume comprises twenty-two articles penned by members of the ICAME (International Computer Archive of Modern and Mediaeval English) association, which together provide a critical and informed reappraisal of the facts, data, methods and tools of Corpus Linguistics which are available today. Authors reconsider the boundaries of the discipline, exploring its areas of commonality with Sociolinguistics, Language Variation, Discourse Linguistics, and Lexical Statistics and showing how that commonality is potentially of immense benefit to practitioners in the fields concerned. The volume culminates in the report of a timely and novel expert panel discussion on the role of Corpus Linguistics in the study of English as a global language. This encompasses issues such as English as an international lingua franca, ‘norms’ for global English, and the question of ‘ownership’, or who qualifies as a native speaker.

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