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22nd June 2017 by

Video: Introducing the CLiC KWICGrouper function to group concordance lines

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:

Background

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.

Viola Wiegand

Author: Viola Wiegand

I am a research fellow on the AHRC-funded CLiC Dickens project. My research interests focus on the use of corpus linguistic tools to identify meaning in texts.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing an useful information with us!!!
    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.
    Amazing concept and keep blogging.