Corpora: Corpus Linguistics User Needs

Oliver Mason (
Wed, 29 Jul 1998 09:26:26 +0100


after some discussion about user needs regarding corpus processing
software we have come to the conclusion that this topic would better be
discussed including a wider audience.

It seems to be a problem that many corpus linguists can not write their
own programs and thus have to rely on available software, and to some
extent adopt their research to what it is presently possible to do
rather than what they would like to do. At the same time there are
developers working on corpus access/processing software that have
little own experience of linguistic research or little knowledge what
researchers would want to be able to do. Often it would be helpful for
them to know more about the really relevant features, or possible new
procedures/algorithms. Since corpus linguistics is still only
developing a methodology there are few established procedures, like
concordances, word frequency lists, and collocations.

We feel that the corpus linguistics community at large could benefit
from a discussion of issues relating to user needs and design of corpus
processing software, so we hope to get some responses from you. Please
reply either directly to one of us, and we will post a summary, or send
a mail to this list.

Oliver Mason Ylva Berglund
University of Birmingham University of Uppsala