Techniques and tools

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The use of corpora in semantic research is a rapidly developing method. However, the range of quantitative techniques employed in the field can make it difficult for the non-specialist to keep abreast with the methodological development. This chapter serves as an introduction to the use of corpus methods in Cognitive Semantic research and as an overview of the relevant statistical techniques and software needed for performing them. The discussion and description are intended for researches in semantics that are interested in adopting quantitative corpus-driven methods. The discussion argues that there are fundamentally two corpus-driven approaches to meaning, one based on observable formal patterns (collocation analysis) and another based on patterns of annotated usage-features of use (feature analysis). The discussion then introduces and explains each of the statistical techniques currently used in the field. Examples of the use of each technique are listed and a summary of the software packages available in R for performing the techniques is included.


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