Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA)

This section contains questions on using the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA).

1. What search string is needed to carry out the following searches in COCA? Just write the search in the answer boxes, nothing else.

 

a. A search for all instances of the lemma BREATHE. [2]

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b. A search for synonyms of clever. [2]

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c. All instances of the word change functioning as a verb. [2]

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d. All sequences of ‘in the X of a Y Z’ where X = any noun, Y = any adjective and Z = any noun. [4]

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e. All forms of the verb get followed by an –ing participle. [4]

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f. ‘What a(n)’ followed by any noun. [4]

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g. The base form of all verbs beginning with the consonant cluster cl-. [4]

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2. What is the most frequent item belonging to the following word classes in the whole of COCA? Just write the word in the answer boxes, nothing else.

 

a. Reflexive pronoun [2]

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b. Plural noun [2]

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c. Modal verb [2]

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d. Interjection [2]

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3. List the top four plural nouns in the following sections of COCA. (You should write four words in each box, nothing else.)

 

a. Juvenile fiction [4]

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b. Academic (Humanities) [4]

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c. Academic (Medicine) [4]

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d. News (Money) [4]

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4. In the whole of COCA, what are the most frequent collocates of the following words and phrases?

 

 

a. Most frequent noun collocate of shallow occurring in a span of 4 to the right of the node? [2]

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b. Most frequent adjective collocate of seems occurring in a span of 1 to the right of the node? [2]

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c. Most frequent adjective collocate of Obama occurring in a span of 4 to the right and left of the node? [2]

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SECTION B [20 marks]

This section contains questions on using BNCweb.

5. What is the most economical query syntax required for the following searches? Just write the search in the answer boxes, nothing else.

 

a.All adjectives ending in -ly. [2]

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b. Any word ending in -ful. [2]

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c. All nouns ending in -sation or -zation. [4]

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6. Using the ‘frequency list’ function, answer the following questions:

 

a. What is the most frequent man’s first name beginning with B in the whole BNC? [2] Click here to enter text.

b. What is the most frequent city beginning with C in the whole BNC? [2]

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c. What is the most frequent interjection in the whole of the BNC? [2]

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7. Use ‘standard query’ and ‘distribution’ to find out about the distribution of the lemma CHAT (use Simple Query Syntax help if you need to). Answer the following questions.

 

a. Is the verb chat more common in ‘fiction and verse’ or ‘spoken conversation’? [2]

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b. Is the verb chat more common in written texts by males or written texts by females? [2] Click here to enter text.

c. Is the noun chat more common in ‘fiction and verse’ or ‘spoken conversation’? [2]

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SECTION C [10 marks]

This section contains questions on using AntConc.

8. For each of the following wildcard searches write TWO examples of words or phrases which might be returned in each box. You do NOT need to analyse a corpus in AntConc to get the answers.

 

a. talk* [2]

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b. tap+ [2]

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c. b?t [2]

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d. the#of [2]

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e. cheese@toast [2]

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SECTION D [28 marks]

This section tests your knowledge of concepts in corpus linguistics and language pedagogy. It consists of a series of definitions. You have to select the term which matches each definition from the list below and write them in the appropriate box. There are more words than gaps!

a. Click here to enter text.

 

The typical grammatical patterning into which a word or grammatical construction enters. [2]

 

 

b. Click here to enter text.

 

The number of words either side of a search item to set the parameters when searching for co-occurrence patterns. [2]

 

 

c. Click here to enter text.

 

A large corpus which attempts to represent the general usage of a language through the careful selection of a cross-section of texts. [2]

 

 

d. Click here to enter text.

 

The tendency for certain words to be related to a particular area of evaluative or attitudinal meaning, even when the meaning of the word itself appears to be evaluatively neutral. [2]

 

 

e. Click here to enter text.

 

The proportions of distinct words and total number of words in a corpus. [2]

 

 

f. Click here to enter text.

 

An approach to learning in which students ‘discover’ rules and probabilities from the corpus examples they find. [2]

 

 

g. Click here to enter text.

 

A process to enable direct comparisons to be made when comparing data-sets of different sizes. [2]

h. Click here to enter text.

 

The on screen display of a concordance in which the search word is centred, with co-text on either side. [2]

 

 

i. Click here to enter text.

 

A corpus used as a background against which to compare findings from another corpus. [2]

 

 

j. Click here to enter text.

 

The canonical form of a word. [2]

 

k. Click here to enter text.

 

The process by which each word in a corpus is assigned a label according to which word class it belongs to. [2]

 

The relationship between an individual word and a set of semantic categories. [2]

 

These are sometimes referred to as grammatical words and consist of pronouns, prepositions, determiners, conjunctions, etc. [2]

 

A word which is found significantly more often in one corpus when compared with a reference corpus. [2]

KWIC; reference corpus; tagging; lexical bundles; function words; collocate; DDL; open-class; semantic prosody; colligation; indirect; span; keyword; co-occur; frequency; general corpus; type-token ratio; normalization; dispersion; lemma; semantic preference; monogeneric corpus 

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