[Corpora-List] Simple query language or CQP syntax

Hardie, Andrew a.hardie at lancaster.ac.uk
Wed Jun 24 21:31:19 CEST 2015

The historical answer as to "why" is that CQPweb emulates the BNCweb interface, and this is the way BNCweb does it.

The actual justification for the simple query language is pedagogical. CQPweb is, after all, at least as much a teaching tool as a research tool. Undergraduate students in Linguistics tend to run away screaming if you expose them to regular expressions. The Simple Query language (or CEQL, "Common Elementary Query Language", to give it its official title) is designed to use single-character wildcards - of the sort used in non-regex corpus software - to access the most commonly used features of regex.

Similarly, CQP-syntax requires the writing of Boolean expressions across named attributes, which is NOT an easy concept for the non-programmer to get their head around. Simple query gives memorable shorthands for the most commonly used attributes.

Or, to put it in concrete terms: simple query is offered because, if a beginner wants to search for instances of "break" as a verb, it is a lot easier to explain how/why they should type something like this


than something like this

[word="break"%c & pos="V.*"]

even though the former, once compiled by the CEQL parser, will translate to the latter.



-----Original Message----- From: corpora-bounces at uib.no [mailto:corpora-bounces at uib.no] On Behalf Of evalacroix at free.fr Sent: 23 June 2015 16:34 To: corpora at uib.no Subject: [Corpora-List] Simple query language or CQP syntax

Dear all,

may I ask you a rather basic question? I would like to know why CQPweb users are offered two concurrent query languages, the so-called simple query language and the CQP syntax. In my eyes, the simple query language is not really much simpler than the CQP syntax. Are there good arguments justifying the use of the first one or rather the second one?

Thank you in advance for your help. Kind regards, Eva.


Eva Schaeffer-Lacroix http://didaktik.hautetfort.com

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