Volume 16, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1384-6655
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9811
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This paper examines the relationship between corpus linguistics and theoretical linguistics from a variety of standpoints. We consider the nature of the fit between particular theoretical approaches and the three areas in which corpus linguistics has made a significant contribution to our understanding of language: the provision of frequency information, the highlighting of the importance of collocations, and the description of variation and text types. The complex relationship between data, theory, and representation is described with the aim of situating corpus-based research with respect to different linguistic theories, looking broadly at British and American traditions and paying particular attention to usage-based models of language. We then briefly discuss some current issues surrounding theoretical developments within corpus linguistics, including the divide between cognitive and social perspectives; the representation of corpus-based generalisations; and the relationship between patterns in corpus data and patterns in the mind.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): collocations; frequency; grammatical theory; usage-based models; variation
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