Lexical dispersion and corpus design

Jesse Egbert, Brent Burch, Douglas Biber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Lexical dispersion is typically measured across arbitrary corpus parts of equal size. In this study, we apply DA - a new dispersion index designed for unequal-sized corpus parts - to the British National Corpus (BNC) in a series of cases studies to show that the dispersion of a word is strongly influenced by the corpus units or parts it is measured across. Our results show that dispersion should be measured and interpreted based on corpus units that are linguistically meaningful for a particular research goal. We conclude with recommendations to help researchers select meaningful corpus units for measuring and interpreting lexical dispersion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-115
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Corpus Linguistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 16 2020


  • Corpus design
  • D
  • Mode
  • Text
  • Word frequency lists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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