Inferring Meaning: Text, Technology and Questions of Induction

  • Michael Stubbs
Part of the Studies in Fuzziness and Soft Computing book series (STUDFUZZ, volume 209)


Corpus linguists, including lexicographers, use methods which are often called ‘inductive‚. That is, they study large corpora or large data sets (such as wordfrequency lists) derived from these corpora, in order to identify patterns in the data. There is detailed discussion of a few statistical techniques (e.g. for identifying significant collocations), but little general discussion of the combination of automatic and intuitive methods which are used to make significant generalizations. It might be thought that, if linguists draw generalizations from large data sets, then they would generally agree about the resulting analyses, and certainly corpus work often reaches a remarkably large consensus across different studies. Findings from one corpus are regularly corroborated by studies of other independent corpora, and partly automated or computer-assisted analysis has led to major progress in the study of semantic and pragmatic data.


Word Meaning Word Sense Intuitive Method Foreign Learner British National Corpus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Stubbs
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TrierTrier

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