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Corpus tools and methods, today and tomorrow: Incorporating linguists' manual annotations

Smith, N., Hoffmann, S. and Rayson, P. 2007, 'Corpus tools and methods, today and tomorrow: Incorporating linguists' manual annotations' , Literary and Linguistic Computing, 23 (2) , pp. 163-180.

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Today’s corpus tools offer the user a wide range of features that greatly facilitate the linguistic analysis of large amounts of authentic language data (e.g. frequency distributions, collocations, keywords, etc.). However, these tools typically fail to address the fundamental need of the linguist to add interpretive information to a concordance or query result, by coding individual concordance lines for structural, functional, discoursal, and other features in a flexible way. The ability to add such qualitative data is indispensable to a fuller understanding of the phenomenon under investigation as it allows the linguist to produce more rigorous descriptions—and theories—about language in use. Our article has two aims: first, to assess the merits and drawbacks of existing solutions, by surveying what can be achieved using state-of-the-art corpus tools and generic database software; second, we draw up a set of desiderata and recommendations for the incorporation of flexible encoding features into future corpus tools. We describe an initial step in this direction, with a recent enhancement to the BNCweb corpus analysis software. More generally, we hope our suggestions will lead to linguists and software developers working together more closely to ensure that the needs of the former are provided for by the available technology.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Memory, Text and Place
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for English Literature and Language
Journal or Publication Title: Literary and Linguistic Computing
Publisher: Oxford University Press / Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0268-1145
Depositing User: Users 29196 not found.
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2012 11:11
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 17:20

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