Dr. Thomas Biermeier
Corpus Research Applied to Lexis: Benefits and Insights
In this workshop presentation, I will introduce the benefits of research in electronic corpora. These days corpus linguistics is indispensable as linguists across the globe widely agree that representative conclusions on lexical studies, for instance, can only be drawn from mega-word corpora. Of course, technological progress has been conducive to the creation of ever-growing corpora in the past twenty years. First, I will give an overview of existing corpora available to researchers and students of morphology and word-formation. In that respect, I will point out the advantages of doing research using corpus linguistics, mainly investigating large-size corpora such as the iWeb (The intelligent Web-based Corpus), NOW (News on the web), GloWbE (Global web-based English), or COCA (Corpus of Contemporary American English). However, I will also take a closer look at smaller corpora, such as ICE (International Corpus of English), which was the first corpus to mirror varieties of English around the world. In order to make researchers familiar with corpus work, I will then present a guided demonstration on how to search a corpus and give hands-on tips on how to interpret results obtained from corpus investigations. Although my primary goal is to emphasize the benefits corpora have, I will also go to the bottom of potential gaps in research using corpus linguistics. In this context, I will show that conventional word-formation processes such as affixation are more suited for systematic corpus research than non-morphemic types, such as clippings or abbreviations. Further, I will address gaps in the area of register analysis. Finally, I would like participants to engage in a lively discussion on their outputs once they have carried out their own practical tasks. Thus, this workshop aims at providing both hands-on methods and insights to anyone who is interested in learning more about corpus research.