Author(s): Veronica Păstae
Subject(s): Education
Published by: Carol I National Defence University Publishing House
Keywords: idioms; software; computer corpora; database

Summary/Abstract: Software and computer based learning have become all-pervasive realities nowadays. In the present paper we shall investigate the advantages and drawbacks of computer use in linguistics, when processing very large databases. Our main focus will be on idiom computer corpora. Thus we shall begin by analyzing the idiosyncratic nature of idioms and expand on their main features. Then we shall prove that the often surprising character of idiomatic phrases can be thoroughly explored only through examining sizeable corpus data. Although dictionaries are essentially databases, many of them lack the grammatical and contextual information that a researcher would benefit from. Therefore we shall go into detail about the advantages of quantitative corpus linguistics, which is approximately exhaustive with respect to a certain phenomenon in question. Computers are the best tools available for such an undertaking since, in this manner, authentic language data can be stored, interpreted and evaluated through complex software. To better explore the behavioural patterns of an idiom, a researcher needs to observe as many instantiations as possible of a particular word or string. Computer databases can offer millions of samples of naturally-occurring language, furnishing the researcher with a huge amount of information. But of course, this entire process is not trouble-free. The availability of such resources and the technical skills required to manage computer corpora pose serious problems which must dealt with in the future. However, it is beyond any doubt that in terms of both quantity and quality the future of research will necessarily depend on computer assistance.

  • Issue Year: 9/2013
  • Issue No: 03
  • Page Range: 322-327
  • Page Count: 6
  • Language: English