Edited by Tanja Säily, Arja Nurmi, Minna Palander-Collin and Anita Auer
[Advances in Historical Sociolinguistics 7] 2017
► pp. 23–52
Exploring part-of-speech frequencies in a sociohistorical corpus of English
We investigate the usefulness of part-of-speech (POS) annotation as a tool in the study of sociolinguistic variation and genre evolution. We analyse how POS ratios change over time in the Parsed Corpus of Early English Correspondence (c.1410–1681), which social groups lead the changes, and whether the changes can be connected to colloquialisation with regard to reduced complexity or an increasingly involved style. While we find gentry-led colloquialisation in terms of noun and verb frequencies as well as evidence for gendered styles, the results on structural complexity are more mixed. We argue that POS annotation can be a useful tool when complemented by a thorough textual analysis, but that more fine-grained categories are needed to reach firmer conclusions.
- 2.1POS ratios in the study of (sociolinguistic) variation
- 2.2Complexity in the genre of personal correspondence
- 3.Material and method
- 3.1PCEEC and ReCEEC
- 4.1Complexity in the Parsed Corpus of Early English Correspondence
- 4.2Colloquialisation and gendered styles
- 5.Discussion and conclusion
Cited by 3 other publications
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