On the Perils of Linguistically Opaque Measures and Methods: Toward Increased Transparency and Linguistic Interpretability

Tove Larsson, Douglas Biber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

In studies whose primary goal is linguistic description of characteristics of features, we have to do our utmost to ensure that we measure and analyze said features in a way that is linguistically interpretable. A measure is considered linguistically interpretable (a) “when its scale and values represent a real-world language phenomenon that can be understood and explained” (Egbert et al., 2020, p. 24) and (b) when all variables have clear operational definitions. The present chapter covers a discussion between Tove Larsson and Douglas Biber at Northern Arizona University, during which they argue in favor of using linguistically interpretable measures and techniques. Specifically, the chapter covers discussion of four potentially problematic issues in this context, along with a conclusion. The subsections start with a brief description of or background to the issue, followed by answers to the questions posed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCorpora for Language Learning
Subtitle of host publicationBridging the Research-Practice Divide
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages131-139
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781040009260
ISBN (Print)9781032537214
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences

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