Corpora and the new Englishes

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Contrasts between British and American usage were an important topic in computer-aided corpus linguistics from the very start. The present contribution shows how from these beginnings the scope of corpus-based research was successively extended to cover standard varieties of the New Englishes (e.g. in the International Corpus of English) and eventually also non-standard and vernacular varieties, so that today the corpus-linguistic approach has become an important complement to sociolinguistics in the study of variation in the New Englishes. From a general discussion of this development, the contribution moves on to present the ‘Corpus of Cyber-Jamaican’ (CCJ), a large web-derived corpus of diasporic Jamaican web forums, and shows in a number of exploratory studies how this new resource can be used to investigate the globalisation of vernacular features.


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