On the status of statistical reporting versus linguistic description in corpus linguistics: a ten-year perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigates (i) whether there has been a shift towards increased statistical focus in corpus linguistic research articles, and, if so, (ii) whether this has had any repercussions for the attention paid to linguistic description. We investigate this through an analysis of the relative focus on statistical reporting versus linguistic description in the way the results are reported and discussed in research articles published in four major corpus linguistics journals in 2009 and 2019. The results display a marked change: in 2009, a clear majority of the articles exhibit a preference for linguistic description over statistical reporting; in 2019, the exact opposite is true. The number of different statistical techniques employed has also gone up. Whilst the increased statistical focus may reflect increased methodological sophistication, our results show that it has come at a cost: a diminished focus on linguistic description, evident, for example, through fewer text excerpts and linguistic examples, which appears to be symptomatic of increasing distance from the language that is the object of study. We discuss these shifts and suggest some ways of employing sophisticated statistical techniques without sacrificing a focus on language.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-157
Number of pages21
JournalCorpora
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • linguistic description
  • linguistic interpretation
  • statistical reporting
  • statistical techniques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'On the status of statistical reporting versus linguistic description in corpus linguistics: a ten-year perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this