[Corpora-List] little favour
John F. Sowa
sowa at bestweb.net
Sun Sep 9 17:35:12 CEST 2007
Very similar phenomena arise in every field:
> what is the relationship between corpus data (whose use
> Ramesh so well defended to give an appropriate description
> of an English verb) and the (hypothesized poor) correlation
> with made-up sentences from corpus linguists, which Geoffrey
> Sampson and Ulf Magnusson consider such an interesting question.
Anyone who designs a system of any kind (anything ranging from
a computer program to an automobile to a theory of grammar)
has a well-defined view of the system, and that view will guide
(usually unconsciously) how the designer chooses test cases.
For that reason, companies typically make sure that the people
who test a program (or automobile) have different skills, habits,
and background from those who designed it.
For similar reasons, it is very difficult for a linguist who has
strong views about how language "should" work to imagine all the
possible ways that people actually use language.
> I am absolutely for using our own language skills and introspection
> to interpret corpus data.
That is a good way of using a corpus -- as a tool for stimulating
or broadening one's intuition.
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