Corpus linguistics for social scientists: A practical introduction


Bio: Vaclav Brezina is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Linguistics and English Language and a member of the ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science, Lancaster University. His research interests are in the areas of applied linguistics, corpus design and methodology, and statistics. He is the author of Statistics in Corpus Linguistics (CUP, 2018) and a co-author of the New General Service List (Applied Linguistics, 2015). He also designed a number of different tools for corpus analysis such as #LancsBox, BNClab, LancsLex and Lancaster Stats Tools online.

Corpus linguistics is a versatile methodology for the analysis of language and discourse. Using corpus techniques we can discover; for instance; how different groups of people (young and old; man; women; LGBTQ people; religious people; immigrants etc.) are characterised and constructed in discourse through newspapers; social media; informal speech etc. Corpus linguistics provides robust evidence based on large data sets (millions or billions of running words) about language use and connections between words. In this workshop; participants will be introduced to #LancsBox; a free software tool for automatic analysis of language. They will be provided with data and guided step-by-step through essential corpus linguistic techniques; which they can apply in their own research contexts. Multiple examples from different areas of social science (social history; education; sociology; management etc.) will be provided.