Corpus-driven approaches to grammar

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Accounting for collocation has to be central to a true theory of language but a satisfactory account must also be able to deal with the grammaticality of language. A number of linguistic positions have attempted to describe the relationship between collocation and grammar, including Sinclair’s idiom principle (1996, 2004), Hunston and Francis’s Pattern Grammar (2000) and my own lexical priming theory (2003, 2005). Although they share many common perspectives and grow out of a common tradition, these approaches do not appear especially similar. This paper seeks to relate lexical priming to both the idiom principle and Pattern Grammar, and shows that with tweaking there are no important incompatibilities amongst the approaches.


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