Edited by Alexandra U. Esimaje, Ulrike Gut and Bassey E. Antia
[Studies in Corpus Linguistics 88] 2019
► pp. 166–182
Chapter 1.7. Practical corpus linguistics
Designing and exploiting a written corpus for research with special reference to Cameroon English
One major contribution of the corpus-based approach to language study is the facility with which linguists can access large amounts of data and search for regularities across text types and varieties of English on the basis of observed frequencies. Such regularities of features, if based on well-designed and/or specialised corpora, can be useful for classroom activities and material design. This chapter describes the basic steps involved in corpus design and corpus exploitation. Section 1 defines the corpus and briefly states the relevance of investigating English second language (ESL) varieties via a corpus. Section 2 describes key steps involved in simple corpus compilation and how students can compile their own corpora for research. Section 3 presents results of two studies on the frequency and use of modals in the corpus of Cameroonian English. These results are intended to illustrate the point that the corpus approach is indispensable if certain types of linguistic information are investigated in a particular variety.
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