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Specialisation and Variation in Language Corpora

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Edited By Ana Diaz-Negrillo and Francisco Javier Diaz-Pérez

Corpus linguistics was initiated with the compilation and exploitation of native English reference corpora. Over the past years, corpus linguistics has experienced such a great expansion and specialisation that a variety of languages, registers, text types and speakers are now represented in language corpora. This volume intends to give evidence of the extraordinary expansion that corpus linguistics and language corpora have undergone. It focuses on emerging types of corpora and corpus techniques, and also presents corpus-based studies in areas which have benefited from the recent developments in corpus linguistics methods and techniques, including foreign language teaching, language acquisition, translation and terminology dialectology, lexicography and language variation. The volume comprises 11 papers on technical aspects of corpus data processing, on corpus-based linguistic research, and on emerging corpora. It is structured in three main sections, one for each of the three latter aspects.
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Trends in corpus specialisation: Ana Díaz-Negrillo, Francisco Javier Díaz-Pérez

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ANA DÍAZ-NEGRILLO / FRANCISCO JAVIER DÍAZ-PÉREZ

Trends in corpus specialisation

1.Introduction

Computerised corpus linguistics set off around the 1960s with the compilation and exploitation of the first reference corpus of the English language. Over 50 years later, reference corpora are probably the largest in size and most consolidated corpus types. They are also perhaps the corpus type that reaches the largest number of users, as they are used by both specialists and non-specialists in linguistics. This is so much so that they are increasingly regarded as another reference tool of language use.

While English reference corpora have become consolidated, corpus linguistics and language corpora have also acquired a remarkable degree of expansion and specialisation. The continuous growth of corpus linguistics has been fostered by the interest of users in language-related areas, who have realized the powerful tool corpora can be in their disciplines. Nowadays, a large number of language corpora of an extensive variety of languages exist. Indeed, national corpora of major languages are available, as well as corpora of languages spoken by smaller communities. Corpora currently also cover a range of registers, text types and subject fields. Actually, the increasing specialisation in corpus linguistics has made it possible to investigate a variety of linguistic aspects for a range of applications in a variety of linguistic areas, for example, language teaching, second language acquisition, translation, terminology, stylistics, discourse analysis, etc.

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