Frequencies, probabilities, and association measures in usage-/exemplar-based linguistics
Some necessary clarifications
In the last few years, a particular quantitative approach to the syntax-lexis interface has been developed: collostructional analysis (CA). This approach is an application of association measures to co-occurrence data from corpora, from a usage-based/cognitive-linguistic perspective. In spite of some popularity, this approach has come under criticism in Bybee (2010), who criticizes the method for several perceived shortcomings and advocates the use of raw frequencies/percentages instead. This paper has two main objectives. The first is to refute Bybee’s criticism on theoretical and empirical grounds; the second and further-reaching one is to outline, on the basis of what frequency data really look like, a cline of analytical approaches and, ultimately, a new perspective on the notion of construction based on this cline.