AntConc Basics

A printable PDF version of this page is available here.

What is AntConc?
AntConc is a program for analysing electronic texts (that is, corpus linguistics) in order to find and reveal patterns in language. It was created by Laurence Anthony of Waseda University. It is, in my opinion, one of the most well designed and easy to use corpus tools out there. As always I thank Mr Anthony for creating and letting us use this invaluable tool for free.

This guide will give you the minimum knowledge required to use AntConc. It will not teach you how to analyse corpora. The book I recommend for that is Using Corpora for Discourse Analysis by Paul Baker (ISBN 0826477259).

Downloading AntConc
AntConc is freely available from Laurence Anthony’s AntConc homepage at:

http://www.antlab.sci.waseda.ac.jp/antconc_index.html

The version used for writing this guide was AntConc 3.3.5w. Older (and newer) versions may differ slightly in location of the functions mentioned.

Starting AntConc
AntConc does not require installation. It is a stand-alone program that runs by simply clicking on the icon. When downloading it please make sure you noted where you have saved the program for ease of locating it afterwards. I recommend that you save it onto the desktop first, then move it into a subfolder in the main drive.

Making a corpus
In order to analyse text electronically it must be in a format readable by AntConc. This format is called plain-text file or just text file. It has the extension of ‘.txt’. In Windows the included default program to read and create a text file is Notepad (in Mac OS X, TextEdit).

Simply type or copy-and-paste into your text into the text file editor, then save. Again please make sure you noted where have saved the file for ease of locating it in the next step.

Loading a corpus

  1. Start AntConc
  2. Choose from the ‘File’ menu ‘Open File(s)’ (navigation help)
  3. Select desired file(s)
  4. Click ‘Open’ button

Your file(s) should be shown in the left-hand text box.

Word List

  1. Click on the ‘Word List’ tab
  2. Click ‘Start’ button

A list of the words should be listed in the main text box.

Concordance

  1. Click on the word from the list in the ‘Word List’ tab

AntConc will automatically jump to the ‘Concordance’ tab. Alternatively, if you already know which word you wish to search for:

  1. Click on the ‘Concordance’ tab
  2. Enter word into the search box
  3. Click ‘Start’ button

Collocates

  1. Click on the ‘Collocates’ tab
  2. Choose the Window Span for your search
  3. Enter word into the search box
  4. Click ‘Start’ button

Clusters

  1. Click on the ‘Clusters/N-Grams’ tab
  2. Choose the Cluster Size for your search
  3. Enter word into the search box
  4. Click ‘Start’ button

N-Grams

  1. Click on the ‘Clusters/N-Grams’ tab
  2. Choose the Cluster Size for your search
  3. Check the ‘N-Grams’ checkbox
  4. Click ‘Start’ button

Keyword List
Please note, this tool requires you to do several complex steps and also a reference corpus text file.

  1. (Do everything up to Word List section in this guide)
  2. Click on the ‘Tool Preferences’ menu
    1. Choose ‘Keyword List’ from the ‘Category’ box
    2. Click ‘Add directory’ or ‘Add Files’ button
    3. Select desired file(s)
    4. Click ‘Open’ button
    5. Click ‘Load’ button
    6. Click ‘Apply’ button
  3. Click on the ‘Keyword List’ tab
  4. Click ‘Start’ button

(This guide created 5 September 2013)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s