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Approaching Language Variation through Corpora

Yamazaki, Shunji / Sigley, Robert (eds)

Approaching Language Variation through Corpora

A Festschrift in Honour of Toshio Saito

Series: Linguistic Insights - Volume 167

Year of Publication: 2013

Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2013. 421 pp.
ISBN 978-3-0343-1264-6 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.610 kg, 1.345 lbs

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Book synopsis

This book is a collection of papers using samples of real language data (corpora) to explore variation in the use of English. This collection celebrates the achievements of Toshio Saito, a pioneer in corpus linguistics within Japan and founder of the Japan Association for English Corpus Studies (JAECS).
The main aims throughout the collection are to present practical solutions for methodological and interpretational problems common in such research, and to make the research methods and issues as accessible as possible, to educate and inspire future researchers. Together, the papers represent many different dimensions of variation, including: differences in (frequency of) use under different linguistic conditions; differences between styles or registers of use; change over time; differences between regional varieties; differences between social groups; and differences in use by one individual on different occasions. The papers are grouped into four sections: studies considering methodological problems in the use of real language samples; studies describing features of language usage in different linguistic environments in modern English; studies following change over time; and case studies illustrating variation in usage for different purposes, or by different groups or individuals, in society.


Contents: Geoffrey Leech: Foreword – Shunji Yamazaki/Robert Sigley: Preface: Approaching Variation – Stig Johansson: Interpreting Textual Distribution: Social and Situational Factors – Robert Sigley: Assessing Corpus Comparability Using a Formality Index: The Case of the Brown/LOB Clones – Sebastian Hoffmann/Robert Sigley: Approaching a Linguistic Variable: That-Omission in Mandative Sentences – Graeme Kennedy: Semantic Preference of High-Frequency Mental Verbs in the British National Corpus – Teruhiko Fukaya: Functional Variation in Use of Though and When Clauses – Shunji Yamazaki: Comparing Adjective Comparison across Genre and Time in Standard Varieties of Modern English – Matti Rissanen: On the Occurrence and Variation of the Adverbial Subordination Markers Þe and Þœt in Old English texts – Toshio Saito: The Syntactic Development of the Gerund in Early Modern English: A Survey Based on the Penn-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Early Modern English – Yoko Iyeiri: The Verb Pray in Chaucer and Caxton – Satoru Tsukamoto: Defining Periods of Middle English by Measuring Rates of Language Change – Pam Peters: Style and Politeness: The Case of the Personal Pronoun – Masahiro Hori: Approaching Literature as a Corpus: Gender-Based Conversational Styles in Hemingway’s ‘Hills Like White Elephants’ – Maria Stubbe: Active Listening in Conversation: Gender and the Use of Verbal Feedback.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

Shunji Yamazaki has previously investigated collocations as a source of variation; adjective use in New Zealand English; and (with G. Kennedy) the influence of the indigenous language of Maori on New Zealand English. Together with T. Saito and J. Nakamura, he edited English Corpus Linguistics in Japan (2002).
Robert Sigley has previously investigated the effects of regional and institutional standards on spelling variation; the factors influencing relative pronoun choice; statistical modelling of linguistically-conditioned variation; definition and use of stylistic continua to characterize corpus texts; and (with Janet Holmes) use of gendermarking terms in occupational contexts.


Linguistic Insights. Studies in Language and Communication. Vol. 167
Edited by Maurizio Gotti