Synchronic and diachronic uses of corpora

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In this interview, Mark Davies, Professor of (Corpus) Linguistics at Brigham Young University (United States), shows his interest in languages such as English, Spanish and Portuguese. This interest is revealed in his involvement with corpora compilation (Corpus of Historical American English, <i>Corpus del Español</i>, and <i>Corpus do Português</i>, to name three instances). From his practical experience, Davies comments on the constraints one may find when trying to make a corpus available on the Internet and on what kind of technological knowledge is expected of corpus linguists. In line with the practice in this field, the author makes use of data to show us the role that intuition should play in linguistic analysis and generalizations. In terms of approach, he stresses that corpora may be used for both synchronic and diachronic purposes – the latter being discussed in more detail in one of his specific questions.


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