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6 - The Influence of Domain and Distribution Considerations on Corpus Representativeness

Bringing It All Together

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 emphasize that the ability for a corpus to provide accurate estimates of a linguistic parameter depends on the combined influence of domain considerations (coverage bias and selection bias) and distribution considerations (corpus size). By using a series of experimental corpora on the domain of Wikipedia articles, we can demonstrate the impact of corpus size, coverage bias, selection bias, and stratification on representativeness. Empirical results show that robust sampling methods and large sample sizes can only give you a better representation of the operational domain (i.e. overcome selection bias). However, by themselves, these factors cannot help you achieve accurate quantitative-linguistic analyses for the actual domain (i.e. overcome coverage bias) Uncontrolled domain considerations can lead to unpredictable results with respect to accuracy.

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Chapter
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Designing and Evaluating Language Corpora
A Practical Framework for Corpus Representativeness
, pp. 156 - 176
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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