Morphosyntax is another word for grammar.
Grammar can be divided into morphology and syntax. Morphology is the study of words and their rules of formation. And syntax is the study of sentences and their rules of formation. Essentially, morphology and syntax are studies of the same thing – formation rules of a language – but at differing “levels”.
By calling it by the transparent term morphosyntax we are highlighting this dualism.
When we talk about word-formation (morphology) we use terms like
And when we talk about sentence-formation (syntax) we use terms like
The term verb unfortunately has “double duty” for word-forming and sentence-forming. So when using the term be careful and clear to your reader/listener as to which meaning of the verb you are trying to convey.
Note also that the sentence-formation terms do not appear in dictionary definitions, indicating most clearly the idea that dictionaries are about words, and not sentences.
How words (collocates) relate to a particular word (keyword or node). In corpus, this usually means within a certain distance from the node. For example, ±5 words to either side of the node which are then collated and summed for quick comprehension.
Words often come together with greater-than-chance regularity. This can either be within the same phrase, clause, sentence or even between sentences, that is, over sentence boundaries.
Short for Key Word In Context. It is a way of looking at a search term (type) in a concordance program with the keyword centred so as to see the patterns created by the other words, its context.
Below is an example of a concordance search of the term ‘violence’ in a corpus.
The words ‘domestic’, ‘TV’ and ‘of’ seem to stand out and warrants further investigation. This is even before the surrounding text has been sorted.
Other Corpus Linguistic Terms:
The unique form of the tokens (words) in a corpus. Often accompanied by frequency data.
Meaning is treated as secondary. Corpus linguistic analysis does not directly reveal the various meanings of a word. This must be inferred from its usage. In corpus linguistics this usually done by concordancing, collocations, clusters, etc.
The individual forms (words) of a corpus. The sum of the tokens is the size of the corpus. The term contrasts with type in order to distinguish how we are observing the form, whether as one instance in the corpus (token), or as combined instances relating to its frequency within a corpus (type).
Consider this conversation:
Tom: This is my neighbour, David.
David: Hi. I’m his neighbour. Call me Dave.
Harry: Harry. Nice to meet you, Dave.
David is Tom’s neighbour from Tom’s perspective. So the focus of the conversation is with Tom. But in reality we tend to forget (or in Lakoff and Johnson’s term hide) the fact that Tom is also David’s neighbour.
Any piece of dialogue must assume a perspective. If it didn’t they would be difficult to understand. It must highlight some facts and hide others. Sometimes this highlighting and hiding is deliberate. Sometimes it is unavoidable.