Not just a linguistic resource but a unique record of humanity

robbie-love 150Robbie Love is a PhD student at the ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS) at Lancaster University, where he spent four years working on the Spoken British National Corpus 2014 project.

 

harry-strawson 150Harry Strawson is a writer living in London and contributed recordings to the Spoken British National Corpus 2014.

Here Robbie and Harry share two different perspectives on the Spoken British National Corpus project ahead of its release next week.

Every day billions of words are uttered in hundreds of languages all over the world. For corpus linguists, that is, people who study the form, use and function of language using specialised computer software, speech is like the golden snitch in a game of Quidditch. It appears to be everywhere around you and yet it is incredibly difficult to capture.

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What is corpus linguistics and how does it contribute to society?

Professor Tony McEnery, previously Director of the ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science, is the ESRC’s new Research Director. Here, in a piece to be published in the upcoming Society Now magazine, he explains corpus linguistics and its contribution to society, how language is changing, and his aspirations in his new role.

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What are the challenges of the corpus linguistics area of research and what is the contribution that corpus linguistics has made to society? What might a non-scientific person on the street recognise/understand as the impacts from this genre of research? Continue reading