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New ways of analysing ESL on the WWW with WebCorp and WebPhraseCount

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Chapter Summary

This paper shows how software tools can be developed to interface with search engines and help linguists to make use of the world-wide web in their work. Two complementary tools are explained and tested here, WebCorp, developed by the Research and Development Unit for English Studies, now in Birmingham, and WebPhraseCount, developed at Chemnitz. These tools can be used by advanced language learners as well as linguists interested in variation in English world-wide. This paper presents approaches to lexical and grammatical variation, from British to East African English, and discusses possible limitations of these approaches.



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