Corpus linguistics

A corpus is a collection of texts or part of texts that help us to analyse them.  Using a corpus we obtained the presented list of english words , in which  we have a reference to the spoken language as well as a reference to the written language. We can notice some differences between the most frecuent words in the spoken and in the written language.

The most used word in both spoken and written is the english article “the”. However, the second more used is not the same, in the spoken list we have “I”, which shows us that the spoken language is much more personal than the written one, since in the written language the second word is the preposition “to”.

On the other hand, another big difference between the spoken and written list is that in the spoken one we have language markers as “mm” , “well” or “like”, words like ” yeah”, or even laughs,that we wouldn’t find in the written list. In the written list we find more preposition, since the written one is a more organised discourse with longer sentences and richer structures.

But a corpus linguistics doesn’t allow us just to analyse the words itself but also the meaning of the words, as we can analyse them in different context. Sometimes we are expecting a word to have a specific meaning and once we have looked it up in a corpora the different examples show us that it has more meanings.

In the examples we have been given the word we are going to analyse is “dead” , at first what we think when we heard the word dead is something negative because that is the real meaning of dead and most of the times we forget about the ironic meanings or the slang language, in which  the words are used in different contexts.

The word dead is used as an intensifier, as in the example of “dead sexy” or as in “Dead sure” , ” you’re dead right” which means completely sure, it is also used meaning stopped: ” the wind has been dead”, in the example ” dead of the night” means in the middle of the night , the quiet night. As we can see the corpus shows us all the different meanings of a word in context, it doesn’t provide us a definiton of the word we are analyzing but we can perfectly know how it is used by the different examples.


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