According to CL2011, Corpus linguistics (CL) is the study of language and a method of linguistic analysis which uses a collection of natural or “real word” texts known as corpus. Corpus linguistics is used to analyse and research a number of linguistic questions and offers a unique insight into the dynamic of language which has made it one of the most widely used linguistic methodologies. With recent developments in research integrating Natural Language Processing (NLP) and CL methods such as ‘Collocation analysis’ with other tools such as Geographic Information Systems (see this example produced by SH-Lancaster or this paper), it is now possible to extend the use of CL to explore texts of interest to Humanities-based disciplines (History, Literature and Archaeology) testing and answering very interesting hypotheses.
Talking with Paul Rayson about MOOCs this week, he mentioned the recent development of an open course on Corpus Linguistics for Humanities & Social Sciences at Lancaster University leaded by Tony McEnery. For people that work with texts, either of historical, archaeological or social interest, this course may open your options to a series of theoretical and methodological approaches to analyse them. I decided to add this resource to my own course webpage as I’m sure many of you will find it useful.
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