Investigating language use through corpusbased analyses of association patterns

Douglas E Biber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The present paper argues that analyses of language use provide an important complementary perspective to traditional linguistic descriptions, and that empirical approaches are required for such investigations. Corpus-based techniques are particularly well suited to these research purposes, enabling investigation of research questions that were previously disregarded. Specifically, the paper discusses the use of corpus-based techniques to identify and analyze complex “association patterns”: the systematic ways in which linguistic features are used in association with other linguistic and non-linguistic features. Several illustrative analyses are discussed, investigating the use of lexical features, grammatical features, and the overall patterns of variability among texts and registers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-197
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Corpus Linguistics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996


  • Association patterns
  • Collocations
  • Grammatical analysis
  • Language use
  • Lexical analysis
  • Register variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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