[Corpora-List] Google searches as linguistic evidence

Ramesh Krishnamurthy r.krishnamurthy at aston.ac.uk
Fri Dec 8 11:23:00 CET 2006

Dear Vlado

The Cobuild dictionary (3rd ed 2001) gives research
as "N-UNCOUNT also N in pl",
i.e. it is uncountable (ie not used with a/an in singular form);
but is also used as a plural noun.

Bank of English evidence:

>Query is "researches/NOUN" [*Note from RK: to the extent that the

>POS tagging is accurate...]

>Term 1 in your query has been selected as the node


>272 matching lines

>Corpus Total Number of Average Number per

> Occurrences Million Words


>brbooks 76 1.8/million

>newsci 10 1.3/million

>strathy 19 1.2/million

>indy 29 1.0/million

>guard 30 0.9/million

>usbooks 23 0.7/million

>usacad 4 0.6/million

>usephem 2 0.6/million

>brmags 24 0.5/million

>brspok 9 0.4/million

>times 23 0.4/million

>bbc 8 0.4/million

>econ 5 0.3/million

>oznews 8 0.2/million

>brephem 1 0.2/million

>wbe 1 0.1/million

>sunnow 0 0.0/million

>usspok 0 0.0/million

>npr 0 0.0/million

>usnews 0 0.0/million

Of course, a lot of English texts on the Web are also written by
non-expert English speakers,
which will affect the distributions...
I wonder if the proportions are the same for other languages?


At 16:50 07/12/2006, you wrote:

>Yet Another Story:


>After showing to one of my students how to use Google to verify

>validity of some lexical and syntactic constructs, a couple weeks later I

>was presented with significant Internet evidence that "research" is a

>count noun and "in many researches" is a valid phrase.



Ramesh Krishnamurthy

Lecturer in English Studies, School of Languages and Social Sciences,
Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK
[Room NX08, North Wing of Main Building] ; Tel: +44 (0)121-204-3812 ;
Fax: +44 (0)121-204-3766

Project Leader, ACORN (Aston Corpus Network): http://corpus.aston.ac.uk/
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