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How might corpus research be expected to influence your own academic or professional field in the future? You should consider what corpus research has told us about what language is like, and how this knowledge might be exploited in your chosen field.
1.1 What is Corpus Research?
A corpus is a collection of written or spoken words and information across bodies of work, which enables linguists to analyse patterns in the work and, most commonly, frequency of word use. If we look at the past literature concerning corpus linguistics, we find a number of interpretations and theories related to CR. According to McEnery, Xiao and Tono, corpus linguistics is a complete system of methods and principles of applying corpora in language studies. For them, corpus linguistics is essentially a methodology that may be developed into a system (McEnery, Xiao and Tono, 2005). However, Teubert, 2005, emphasises that corpus linguistics is an approach more than being a methodology. As such, we can safely conclude that while corpus linguistics could either be a methodology or an approach depending upon its utility in language learning and teaching.
Uses of Corpus Linguistics
The use of corpora is an excellent way to develop one's language learning and teaching skills. As argued by Barbieri and Eckhardt, corpus linguistics should be introduced in the model of instruction to ensure that students benefit from the research-driven methods that corpora provide (Barbieri and Eckhardt, 2007). Corpus Research can serve as a major language learning tool which may extend its benefits to academics, healthcare, politics and IT as each of them requires automatic word-finding for technical terms. According to Arnold, 2001, automatic translation between languages is a long-time dream of human beings which has 'enormous social, political, and scientific importance' (Arnold, 2001). Furthermore, CR can be applied to numerous other fields such as psychology and even crime, in various ways. Criminologists deal with laymen and as such translators in this field must have a strong understanding of the colloquialisms used in the original source language (Bowker, 1998:1).