CorpusMOOC Week 2

A few thoughts for week 2:

  • I still think there is a lot of stuff, coming pretty fast, that might be overwhelming for true beginners. It’s good that folks can go back and review things (or skip/hold something for later).
  • After last week’s vocabulary and concept building, I appreciated the more practical bent of this week’s material. Especially, the discussions of language change in the lecture and main reading were very clear and stimulating. Also, a lot of the focus this week was on collocation, which, of course, is so fundamental to a lot of corpus work.
  • Part of what I think was good about the lecture and reading was the introduction of statistical measurements such as Mutual Information and log-likelihood scores. Statistical work can be daunting, but I was happy to see/read clear, if brief, descriptions of how such scores are used. This is just a personal theory (at this point), but I think the reticence to bother with corpora for a lot of folks is based on unfamiliarity with or lack of understanding of statistics.
  • In addition to further tutorials for AntConc, GraphColl was introduced. I had toyed around with GraphColl a little bit before, but this intro clarified quite a few things. The #Lancsbox package, of which GraphColl is a part, is able to do a number of customized statistical measurements on a corpus. The GraphColl feature allows the user to visualize collocations rather than just reading them in a list or table. On top of that, the visualization feature lets you see collocational relationships that maybe removed by a number of degrees. For example, A collocates with B, and B collocates with C, but what about A and C? GraphColl lets the user see how A and C may be connected through B. This is termed a ‘collocation network’. The #Lancsbox website has a citation paper that explains collocation networks in more depth.

Looking forward to week 3 🙂

**Update**

I highly recommend not skipping the video with Michael Hoey where he discusses priming and collocation in the mind. There are some very interesting anecdotes and concepts discussed that would be great, imo, to look into further.

 

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