What can corpus software do?

Laurence Anthony*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter focuses on the software tools available to researchers interested in carrying out corpus studies. First, the chapter describes the strengths and weaknesses of ready-built online and offline tools and compares them to custom-built do-it-yourself (DIY) tools that usually come in the form of programming scripts. Next, the chapter explains how online, offline, and DIY tools can be effectively used to analyze bottom-up language patterns, such as the word and keyword frequencies, clusters, n-grams, lexical-bundle patterns, and Key-Word-In-Context (KWIC) concordances. Then, the chapter looks at how corpus tools can be used in combination with dedicated tagging and annotation tools to investigate top-down language patterns, including cohesion, register variation, discourse structure, and pragmatic phenomenon. Next, the chapter explains the importance of data interoperability in corpus tools, which allows for data to be imported into a tool and the results from that tool to be exported for use in other tools. Finally, the chapter discusses cases when a researcher might consider programming their own custom corpus tools and introduces several resources to help them create their first scripts.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Corpus Linguistics, Second edition
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780429634130
ISBN (Print)9780367076382
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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