Corpora: First use of the term 'corpus linguistics'
Mon, 06 Jul 1998 10:35:55 -0400 (EDT)

Back in February, I asked if anyone could pinpoint the first use
of the term corpus linguistics. Geoffrey Leech, in his
contribution to Directions in Corpus Linguistics, 'Corpora and
theories of linguistic performance' (Mouton de Gruyter, 1992, p.
105), notes:
"The term 'corpus linguistics' made only occasional
appearances until the publication of a book of that title [Corpus
Linguistics: Recent Developments in the Use of Computer Corpora in
English Language Research, Rodopi] edited by Aarts and Meijs
In response to my query, Jan Aarts wrote that, to his
knowledge, their book was the first entirely devoted to the
subject but that he had used the term in 1980 as the title of a
research programme, though with some hesitation "...because we
thought (and I still think) that it was not a very good name: it
is an odd discipline that is called by the name of its major
research tool and data source." He added that "Perhaps the term
has outlived its usefulness by now. Its boundaries have shifted
and have become rather vague - nowadays you hardly know whether
you are talking about a subdiscipline of linguistics or about
language technology. The TOSCA [TOols For Syntactic Corpus
Analysis] research programme, called 'corpus linguistics' for over
15 years, is now called 'Empirical description of language use'."