Chapter published in:Corpora and the Changing Society: Studies in the evolution of English
Edited by Paula Rautionaho, Arja Nurmi and Juhani Klemola
[Studies in Corpus Linguistics 96] 2020
► pp. 79–111
Challenges in matching corpus-based semantic change to real-world change
This study deals with contemporary real-world social change and its linguistic expression by means of neosemes, with the help of the WebCorpLSE automated collocation analysis software. The study briefly outlines the history and pattern of diffusion of each of the five user-defined neosemes, noting where possible the tipping point of popularization. We examine these modern neosemes in a series of case studies, focussing on the challenges faced in this task, for instance in the form of rarity of occurrence, as emergent or ephemeral formations. The functionality of the software is examined in each case, in order to demonstrate various measures which can be undertaken to allow or enhance its performance in teasing out collocational profiles from sparse data.
Published online: 08 April 2020