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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.

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.