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Diachrony and Synchrony in English Corpus Linguistics

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Edited By Alejandro Alcaraz Sintes and Salvador Valera Hernández

The volume brings together a selection of invited articles and papers presented at the 4 th International CILC Conference held in Jaén, Spain, in March 2012. The chapters describe English using a range of corpora and other resources. There are two parts, one dealing with diachronic research and the other with synchronic research. Both parts investigate several aspects of the English language from various perspectives and illustrate the use of corpora in current research. The structure of the volume allows for the same linguistic aspect to be discussed both from the diachronic and the synchronic point of view. The chapters are also useful examples of corpus use as well as of use of other resources as corpus, specifically dictionaries. They investigate a broad array of issues, mainly using corpora of English as a native language, with a focus on corpus tools and corpus description.
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On the automatic analysis of learner corpora. Native Language Identification as experimental testbed of language modeling between surface features and linguistic abstraction: Detmar Meurers / Julia Krivanek / Serhiy Bykh

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DETMAR MEURERS / JULIA KRIVANEK / SERHIY BYKH

On the automatic analysis of learner corpora. Native Language Identification as experimental testbed of language modeling between surface features and linguistic abstraction1

Abstract

Learner corpora as collections of language produced by language learners have been systematically collected since the 90’s, and with readily available collections such as the International Corpus of Learner English (ICLE) (Granger et al. 2009) for English and Falko (Lernerkorpus des Deutschen als Fremdsprache) (Lüdeling et al. 2008) for German there is a growing empirical basis on which theories about second language acquisition and the linguistic system can be informed and applications can be tested.

While most research on learner corpora has analyzed the (co)occurrence of (sequences of) words or manual error annotation, tools for automatically analyzing large corpora in terms of linguistic abstractions such as parts-of-speech, syntactic constituency, or dependency are increasingly available. Similar to the discussion about the role of exemplars vs. prototypes in language, this situation raises the question when to consider surface forms as such and when linguistic categories abstracting and generalizing over surface forms are useful in a corpus-based analysis of learner language.

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