[Corpora-List] Is a complete grammar possible (beyond thecorpus itself)?
O.Mason at bham.ac.uk
Tue Sep 11 10:39:14 CEST 2007
On 11/09/2007, Rob Freeman <lists at chaoticlanguage.com> wrote:
> The effect of "corpus linguistics" on the way we do syntax has been nil (for
> lexicon it has been a revolution, but for syntax, nothing.)
> There is a vague idea we have to merge "lexical" and "syntactic" aspects of
> text, but no-one has a clue how to do that.
This is obviously not true. In 1995 David Brazil published "A Grammar
of Speech", which was based on authentic corpus data.
Non-generativist description driven by a corpus.
Then there is Pattern Grammar (Hunston and Francis 2000). Also
non-generativist, and also derived from corpus data.
And finally, Linear Unit Grammar (Sinclair and Mauranen 2006). They
don't even use the traditional word-classes.
All these descriptions of syntax are _linear_ in nature, ie they
reject the hierarchical tree structure that seems to have become the
accepted norm for most syntacticians. And they all have in common that
they have broad coverage. Not as detailed as some formal grammars,
but at least you can apply them to any text.
Syntax is obviously harder to describe than lexis, but to say that
corpora have had no influence on how we can approach grammar is
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