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Spreading PatternsDiffusional Change in the English System of Complementation$
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Hendrik De Smet

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199812752

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199812752.001.0001

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The Corpus Data

The Corpus Data

(p.12) Chapter 2 The Corpus Data
Spreading Patterns

Hendrik De Smet

Oxford University Press

Since the history of a language is only accessible through its written records, historical linguistics is corpus based by necessity. This means that in any historical investigation, gathering data is the first hurdle. Students of the history of English are particularly fortunate, however, to have at their disposal a great and growing number of digitized text corpora, which have made data gathering considerably less painstaking. This study is based almost entirely on such electronic corpora, and this chapter describes the material used. It presents the corpora in the order of the historical subperiods they represent, i.e., Middle English, Early Modern English, Late Modern English, and Present-Day English. The last section of the chapter discusses some general methodological practices.

Keywords:   language history, historical linguistics, English, Middle English, Early Modern English, Late Modern English, Present-Day English

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