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  1. #1
    dr_linguista's Avatar
    dr_linguista is offline Junior Member
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    Default Language Corpora?

    What I understood it is a body of text utilized for teaching and learning purposes..

    But what is it exactly?

    Can you explain briefly how can it help in teaching and learning?

    Thanks...

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Language Corpora?

    A language corpus is, as you described, basically a collection (a really huge one, that is) of texts/speech transcripts of this language. The Collins WordbanksOnline English corpus, for example, is composed of 56 million words.

    The greatest value of a Corpus, is that it offers you a chance to see whether a sentence is grammatical, whether something is more often used than something else (e.g. "all of the above" vs "everything of the above"), or to see in which semantic context a sentence is usually found.

    The great difference between a Corpus and, for example, Google, is that a Corpus is combined exclusively from texts (books, journals, newspaper articles, etc.) or speech transcripts. This excludes (in most, but not all cases) texts written by non-native speakers and, generally speaking, non grammatical texts. Google is used by millions of non-native speakers, and as a result it can't be considered 100% accurate.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Language Corpora?

    The British National Corpus is over one hundred millions words and you can search it here: [DAVIES] Variation in English Words and Phrases (VIEW)

  4. #4
    dr_linguista's Avatar
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    Default Re: Language Corpora?

    I see your point!

    But how can the following corpus be helpful in learning and teaching?

    2\1 La BOS la\Noun[gen=m num=s]|le\Pron[gen=f num=s per=3]|le\Det[gen=f num=s]
    2\5 Commission commission\Noun[gen=f num=s]
    2\9 peut pouvoir\Verb[mode=ind tns=pres num=s per=3]
    2\20 -elle elle\Pron[gen=f num=s per=3]
    2\23 : =\COLON
    2\24 1 =\M
    2\25 ) =\CPARENTH
    2\26 indiquer =\Verb[mode=inf tns=pres]
    2\33 le =\Pron[gen=m num=s per=3]|=\Det[gen=m num=s]
    2\40 nombre =\Noun[gen=m num=s]
    2\42 d' un\Det[gen=m!f num=pl]|de\Prep[form=surface]
    2\44 agents agent\Noun[gen=m num=pl]
    2\50 temporaires temporaire\Adj[gen=m num=pl]|temporaire\Adj[gen=f num=pl]
    2\63 travaillant travailler\Verb[mode=part tns=pres]
    2\73 dans dan\Noun[gen=m num=pl]|=\Prep[form=surface]
    2\78 ses son\Det[gen=m!f num=pl per=3]
    2\81 services EOS service\Noun[gen=m num=pl]


    And can we consider language corpora part of CALL (computer-assisted language learning?

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Language Corpora?

    Here's a very different examp,le and easy to see how it can be used:

    I did a search for involved + preposition:

    1 INVOLVED IN 8872 88.72
    2 INVOLVED WITH 1302 13.02
    3 INVOLVED AT 83 0.83
    4 INVOLVED ON 52 0.52
    5 INVOLVED FOR 42 0.42
    6 INVOLVED AS 41 0.41
    7 INVOLVED FROM 28 0.28
    8 INVOLVED BY 24 0.24
    9 INVOLVED TO 14 0.14
    10 INVOLVED DURING 10 0.10
    11 INVOLVED THROUGH 9 0.09
    12 INVOLVED AFTER 8 0.08
    13 INVOLVED WITHIN 7 0.07
    14 INVOLVED OVER 7 0.07
    15 INVOLVED AS WELL AS 6 0.06
    16 INVOLVED BETWEEN 5 0.05
    17 INVOLVED RATHER THAN 5 0.05
    18 INVOLVED INCLUDING 5 0.05
    19 INVOLVED THROUGHOUT 3 0.03
    20 INVOLVED OF 3 0.03
    21 INVOLVED AGAINST 3 0.03
    22 INVOLVED BEFORE 3 0.03
    23 INVOLVED BECAUSE OF 3 0.03
    24 INVOLVED AS TO 2 0.02
    25 INVOLVED ABOUT 2 0.02
    26 INVOLVED ON BEHALF OF 2 0.02
    27 INVOLVED WITHOUT 2 0.02
    28 INVOLVED UNDER 2 0.02
    29 INVOLVED SINCE 2 0.02
    30 INVOLVED UP TO 1 0.01
    31 INVOLVED UNTIL 1 0.01
    32 INVOLVED UNDERNEATH 1 0.01
    33 INVOLVED SUCH AS 1 0.01
    34 INVOLVED PRIOR TO 1 0.01
    35 INVOLVED PLUS 1 0.01
    36 INVOLVED OUTSIDE OF 1 0.01
    37 INVOLVED OTHER THAN 1 0.01
    38 INVOLVED ON TOP OF 1 0.01
    39 INVOLVED LIKE 1 0.01
    40 INVOLVED IRRESPECTIVE OF 1 0.01
    41 INVOLVED INTO LINE WITH 1 0.01
    42 INVOLVED IN TERMS OF 1 0.01
    43 INVOLVED IN CONTACT WITH 1 0.01
    44 INVOLVED IN CONNECTION WITH 1 0.01
    45 INVOLVED BEYOND 1 0.01
    46 INVOLVED DUE TO 1 0.01
    47 INVOLVED DESPITE 1 0.01
    48 INVOLVED CONSIDERING 1 0.01
    49 INVOLVED AROUND 1 0.01
    50 INVOLVED APART FROM 1 0.01
    It gives me all the preositions it found, there frequency and I can click on any of them to see real examples of usage.

  6. #6
    dr_linguista's Avatar
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    Default Re: Language Corpora?

    Well thank you Tdol...that was clear enough I guess.

    What I understood from this example is that language corpora explain, classify, and maybe parse the words they include, and almost all the possible contexts in which these words may appear.

    But can we consider it part of CALL (computer assisted language learning) or not?

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Language Corpora?

    Yes, we can, though, to be honest, I don't hear the term CALL used so much nowadays. It was widely used in the early days of computer use, but with the rise of the internet, it seems to be less commonly used, possibly because the use of computers is so mainstream. If I email corrections and comments to a student is that CALL? I think the boundaries are getting blurred.

  8. #8
    dr_linguista's Avatar
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    Default Re: Language Corpora?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Yes, we can, though, to be honest, I don't hear the term CALL used so much nowadays.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I think the boundaries are getting blurred.
    I get what you mean!
    Thanks anyway for your help!

  9. #9
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Language Corpora?

    Quote Originally Posted by dr_linguista View Post
    I see your point!
    But how can the following corpus be helpful in learning and teaching?
    [COLOR="Blue"]
    A Corpus can be helpful in learning and teaching in that it can show language in its various functions or as it is spoken and written (pragmatics) in addition to the other advantages already mentioned. It simply provides an overview often lexically more than grammatically. In a way it is a kind of statistics. The frequent occurence of a linguistic item doesn't say much about the frequency of occurence in a certain social context unless the frequency is sub-categorized. The question is what texts whether spoken or written are represenative. Another advantage of Corpora is in the field of lexicography or dictionary making. You can see the difference if you compare English dictionaries that are based on Corpus Linguistics with dictionaries produced in some other countries. OED is simply the most comprehensive and authoritative of its kind.
    Last edited by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim; 26-Dec-2006 at 17:29.

  10. #10
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Language Corpora?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Here's a very different examp,le and easy to see how it can be used:

    I did a search for involved + preposition:

    It gives me all the preositions it found, there frequency and I can click on any of them to see real examples of usage.
    Could you please Richard let me know how you conducted a search for involved. Can everybody access such database for linguistic reasons. Thanks

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