Consolidating empirical method in data-assisted stylistics: Towards a corpus-attested glossary of literary terms.
Method (Gk. Meta + hodos) means an ‘after-path’. Radical revisions of methodology follow momentous paradigm-shifts within scientific theories. Hence linguistic-stylistics developed analogue collocation into its digital counterpart, especially through the discovery of semantic prosodies (Sinclair 2004b; Louw 1993). This led to the recognition (Louw 1991; 2000; 2007d) that all literary devices have a corpus-accessible feature in common: relexicalisation. Delexicalisation arose out of developments in lexicography. Sinclair refers to the two terms as forming a continuum (Sinclair 2004a: 198fn18). This continuum is marked (Enkvist 1973), unlike Hoey’s (2005) purported, but psychologist priming. He omits Firth’s (1957) pre-condition that collocation is abstracted from syntax and that collocative (relexicalising) power falls off within four words on either side of a node. This paper explores the consequences for science and glossaries of literary terms of collocation as instrumentation for meaning.