Edited by Anna Čermáková and Michaela Mahlberg
[Studies in Corpus Linguistics 87] 2018
► pp. 35–75
Throughout history, the study of language has involved looking for units, their patterns of combination, the functions they serve, and the processes involved; and construing the relationships between these features and the meanings which arise from them. Developments in technology inevitably revolutionise ideas, innovate methods, and transform the fields in which they are implemented. So, just as the invention and development of writing systems, and the advent of printing, did in the distant past, computers have had a similarly revolutionary effect on linguistics in recent decades. This paper looks at some of the ways in which corpus linguistics has used the latest technologies to embark on a substantial re-investigation and re-appraisal of the elements of language, their roles within the language system, and their relationships within the wider social context of human beings, their environments, and their activities. The structuring of the paper owes much to recent retrospection, but the pieces of research consist mainly of my early explorations of corpus linguistics, hence ‘auto (self) + ergo (work) + graphy (description)’ in the title.