Corpora, i.e. large-scale digital collections of language data, have become increasingly important in linguistic research, as they provide insights into how language is used in ‘real life’. Corpus Linguistics is the study of language based on information gained from corpora. This encompasses research on written and spoken language, comparison of different varieties and genres, as well as the study of language change. As a research paradigm, Corpus Linguistics is typically associated with ‘usage-based’ linguistics, which holds that grammar is shaped by usage patterns rather than inflexible rules.
In this course we will review how language corpora inform the description and analysis of English grammar, and discuss the theoretical insights gained from corpus studies. We will learn how to work with some current corpora of English. Participants will carry out a small-scale corpus research project as part of the course work.
!!! NOTE: Possible modes of examination in this course are ONLY ‘Wissenschaftliche Hausarbeit’ (term paper) or ‘Leistungsreferat’ (oral presentation) !!!