Corpus-Based and Corpus-driven Analyses of Language Variation and Use

Douglas Biber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

35 Scopus citations


Corpus linguistics is a research approach that has developed over the past few decades to support empirical investigations of language variation and use, resulting in research findings which have much greater generalizability and validity than would otherwise be feasible. Corpus studies have used two major research approaches: 'corpus-based' and 'corpus-driven'. Corpus-based research assumes the validity of linguistic forms and structures derived from linguistic theory. The primary goal of research is to analyse the systematic patterns of variation and use for those pre-defined linguistic features. Corpus-driven research is more inductive, so that the linguistic constructs themselves emerge from analysis of a corpus. This chapter illustrates the kinds of analyses and perspectives on language use possible from both corpus-based and corpus-driven approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Analysis
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191743849
ISBN (Print)9780199544004
StatePublished - Sep 18 2012


  • Corpus linguistics
  • Language use
  • Language variation
  • Linguistic theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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