[Corpora-List] Re: Google searches as linguistic evidence

James_L._Fidelholtz jfidel at siu.buap.mx
Mon Dec 11 19:22:01 CET 2006

David L. Hoover escribió:
[a bunch of interesting examinations of Google results] ...


> "many researches" will freqeuntly be an error for "many researchers", no?


Actually, I doubt it. In Spanish (similar facts in many other European
languages), 'una investigación' *could* be the literal 'an investigation',
but rather more often, I think, means 'a research project' or 'a piece of
research'. In the latter case, the error is sometimes made of translating it
as 'an investigation', which in English sounds like something a P.I. or the
FBI (resp. MI-whatever-the-number-is or Scotland Yard) would do. But people
with more experience with English, especially reading experience only, and
who are aware of the fact that the example just given is wrong in English,
will frequently make the error of translating the expression as 'a
research', or 'muchas investigaciones' as 'many researches'. So the issue in
evaluating such collocations is whether the writer is a native speaker of
English. If they are, then the suggestion could be correct. But if they are
a speaker of one of the other languages with a different division of this
semantic space (as well as, NB, somewhat or very different usage of the
articles), then it seems to me that this other explanation is rather more
likely. I suppose I should do 'a research' on this.


James L. Fidelholtz
Posgrado en Ciencias del Lenguaje, ICSyH
Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla MÉXICO

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