Corpus Linguistics

Corpus linguistics is the study of language using large, digitalised collections of naturally occurring spoken and written texts, known as language corpora. Rather than a discipline on a par with morphology, syntax or pragmatics, corpus linguistics is an empirical methodology for exploring language as it is actually used by its speakers. Since its conception in the 1960s, and especially in the 21st century, corpus linguistic methodology has been applied in almost all fields of linguistics, from speech prosody and grammar to semantics, pragmatics and sociolinguistics. Furthermore, the existence of a variety of synchronic and diachronic corpora is an excellent basis for observing language change and variation. Corpus linguistics has numerous practical applications as well, e.g. in translation, forensics, and, crucially for future teachers, in the foreign language classroom.


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