1. Introduction


Research Methods: Home

The material collected on this website supplements Chapters 10 and 11, both of which are included in the section devoted to corpus analysis in the book Research Methods in Language Variation and Change.

The articles deal with the analysis of grammatical constructions in part-of-speech tagged corpora, focusing respectively on the procedure of retrieving (cf. Hoffmann, Chapter 10) and categorizing (cf. Smith and Seoane, Chapter 11) a target syntactic structure. Chapter 10 offers an extensive description of how to construct a tag-based search pattern for retrieving a linguistic variable by means of an example, in which the author aims to retrieve (maximal) noun phrases from the BNC. The case study in Chapter 11 presents an analysis of the English long passive based on a sample from the F-LOB corpus, with primary focus on the categorization of target structures.

The materials presented in the following sections are assumed to be helpful for a further introduction to corpus-based grammar studies. The first part includes additional information on the corpora and software quoted in the chapters, a glossary of main terms and a procedure sketch for retrieving and annotating a grammatical structure using combinations of part-of-speech tags. Further sections contain a comparative overview of three editions of the British National Corpus, sets of simple exercises on creating a corpus query based on a combination of part-of-speech tags, a collection of links to useful Internet resources and recommendations for further reading.

As this companion website is devoted to the research method, no annotation of the grammar terms used in the chapters or commentaries on the topics of the case studies (maximal noun phrases and long passives) are provided.

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