Lexical dispersion and corpus design
Lexical dispersion is typically measured across arbitrary corpus parts of equal size. In this study, we apply DA – a new dispersion index designed for unequal-sized corpus parts – to the British National Corpus (BNC) in a series of cases studies to show that the dispersion of a word is strongly influenced by the corpus units or parts it is measured across. Our results show that dispersion should be measured and interpreted based on corpus units that are linguistically meaningful for a particular research goal. We conclude with recommendations to help researchers select meaningful corpus units for measuring and interpreting lexical dispersion.
- 2.Measuring dispersion
- 2.1Arbitrary corpus parts
- 2.2Linguistically meaningful corpus parts
- 3.Indices of dispersion
- 4.Case studies – Dispersion in the BNC
- 4.1.1Corpus parts
- 4.1.2Words used in the analysis
- 4.2Dispersion across arbitrary, equal-sized corpus parts
- 4.3Dispersion across linguistically meaningful corpus parts
- 5.Discussion and conclusion
Published online: 16 April 2020
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