Assessing corpus search methods 
in onomasiological investigations

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This paper sets out to explore and evaluate several corpus search methods that are applied to uncover linguistic devices expressing ‘quantity approximation’ in a corpus of business English from an onomasiological perspective. The study is carried out within the framework of a project exploring quantity approximation in various business genres using a contrastive, corpus-driven approach (in Dutch, English and French). The paper sheds light on the advantages and disadvantages of using annotated corpora (part-of-speech and semantic tagging) and automatically extracted word lists for onomasiological investigations. The analysis of the results provides valuable insights into the way these methods might successfully complement each other to uncover a wide variety of linguistic devices expressing a specific notion, in this case quantity approximation.


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