Red herrings in a sea of data
The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech (SCOTS) is a multimedia corpus of Scottish texts, containing a wide range of written and spoken genres from 1945 to the present day. One application of the resource is the study of the use in context of lexical items. This paper explores ways of exploiting SCOTS to investigate the literal, metaphorical and idiomatic uses of colour terms in contemporary Scots. This involves using the integrated analysis tools to consider the collocational patterning of these terms. Other complementary online resources, such as the <i>Dictionary of the Scots Language</i>, are drawn on where appropriate to aid in the interrogation of the complex body of material in the corpus. The paper also outlines the issues involved in using a minority-language corpus for linguistic research.