Parsing and Grammar Description, Corpus-Based

D. Biber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


English teachers and textbook authors often rely on their intuitions to choose the most important words and grammatical structures to focus on. For example, many English-language professionals believe that progressive aspect verbs (or 'the present continuous,' e.g., is working) are much more common in conversation than simple aspect verbs (e.g., works). As a result, the teaching of progressive aspect has often been emphasized at the expense of simple aspect. However, empirical corpus studies show that such intuitions about language use are often incorrect. This article introduces corpus analyses of grammar, illustrating the surprising research findings that result from this approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Language & Linguistics
PublisherElsevier Ltd
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9780080448541
StatePublished - 2006


  • Conversation
  • Corpus linguistics
  • English grammar
  • Lexical verbs
  • Lexico-grammar
  • Linguistic variation
  • Newspaper language
  • Part-of-speech tagging
  • Register
  • Verb aspect
  • Verb valencies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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