Short Book Review – Corpus Linguistics: Method, Theory and Practice

Corpus Linguistics: Method, Theory and Practice (Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics) by Tony McEnery and Andrew Hardie, Cambridge University Press (2012). ISBN 9780521547369. 294 pages.

As part of the Cambridge Textbook in Linguistics Series this book stays true to its title and doesn’t disappoint.

Broken down into nine chapters on 1) a basic definition of the term, and types and constructions of corpora out there; 2) analysis methodology to the types of tools available today; 3) legal and ethical issues in regards to data collection and usage; 4) a rundown of corpus linguistics in English language research, one of the main areas in which it has been used; 5) on synchronic and diachronic language research; 6) the Neo-Firthian corpus linguistic approach; 7) Functionalist linguistics (vs. Formalist) and corpus; methods; 8) towards a convergence of corpus, psycholinguistics and functionists traditions, and 9) a nice summary of the story called ‘corpus linguistics’.

Covers most of the related movements including the growing trend in Cognitive Linguistics to use corpus linguistic data. Argues for a Corpus Linguistics as a method, not a theory. Could function well as a textbook as it is intended to be.

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