In May 2017 the CLiC web app was updated with a new function in the ‘Concordance’ tab: the KWICGrouper. The concordance is a basic display format in corpus linguistics. It is also a powerful tool in revealing language patterns that are not visible in running text, or in Sinclair’s famous words:
“The language looks rather different when you look at a lot of it at once”John Sinclair (1991: 100)
The CLiC KWICGrouper function allows the user to interactively explore patterns within a concordance by searching for words in an adjustable span around the node word.
How it works
The ‘KWICGrouper’ opens through a tab on the right of the concordance screen and can be used to group concordances based on particular words within a desired span. Matching lines are highlighted according to the number of search words they contain; those lines with the most hits are moved to the top of the concordance screen. This allows the user to identify continuous and non-continuous patterns. You can access the KWICGrouper through the CLiC concordance search. For a detailed example, watch our video tutorial:
The concept of the KWICGrouper builds on Michaela Mahlberg’s notion of ‘local textual functions’ as described, for example, in her article on clusters and local textual functions in Dickens. A detailed description of the original KWICGrouper concept can be found in this article from Matthew Brook O’Donnell. A more recent article focusing on CLiC and novel uses of concordances (Mahlberg et al. 2016 – open access) describes how the KWICGrouper concept could be applied to CLiC. The CLiC KWICGrouper feature that is now live has developed out of this line of research.