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7 - Corpus Design and Representativeness in Practice – With Daniel Keller

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 April 2022

Jesse Egbert
Affiliation:
Northern Arizona University
Douglas Biber
Affiliation:
Northern Arizona University
Bethany Gray
Affiliation:
Iowa State University
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Summary

We propose that the representativeness of a corpus directly depends on its suitability for a specific research goal (including the domain and the linguistic feature(s) of interest). Creating a new corpus involves establishing linguistic research question(s), addressing domain considerations, including describing the domain, operationalizing the domain, evaluating the operational domain (relative to the full domain), designing the corpus, and evaluating the corpus (relative to the operational domain), addressing distribution considerations, including defining a linguistic variable and evaluating the required sample size, collecting the corpus, and documenting and reporting corpus design and representativeness. The steps for evaluating an existing corpus are similar: establishing linguistic research question(s), identifying and acquire the corpus and its documentation, addressing domain considerations, including describing the domain and evaluating the operational domain relative to the full domain, and the corpus relative to the operational domain, addressing distribution considerations, including defining a linguistic variable and evaluating the required sample size, and documenting and reporting corpus design and representativeness. We conclude the book by arguing that corpus representativeness is important for both corpus designers/builders, and corpus researchers who need to evaluate whether a corpus is appropriate for their research goals.

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Designing and Evaluating Language Corpora
A Practical Framework for Corpus Representativeness
, pp. 177 - 219
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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