Introducing corpora and corpus analysis tools
Simply speaking, corpus linguistics is an approach or a methodology for studying language use. It is an empirical approach that involves studying examples of what people have actually said, rather than hypothesizing about what they might or should say. As we will see, corpus linguistics also makes extensive use of computer technology, which means that data can be manipulated in ways that are simply not possible when dealing with printed matter. In this chapter, you will learn what a corpus is and you will read about some different types of corpora that can be used for various investigations. You will also get a brief introduction to some of the basic tools that can be used to analyse corpora. Finally, you will find out why corpora can be useful for investigating language, particularly LSP.