Category Archives: Reviews

Review of CLGM in Facta Universitatis

Vladan Pavlović reviewed Corpus Linguistics: A Guide to the Methodology for his the University of Niš’s open-access journal Facta Universitatis, Series: Linguistics and Literature. The issue containing the review is freely accessible here.

It is a positive review, concluding that “[t]his book represents a valuable source for students and others interested in corpus linguistics, and an excellent starting point for delving further into the area” — which is exactly what I intend it to be!

Review of CLGM in Lingua

Zhen Dong and Fan Pan reviewed Corpus Linguistics: A Guide to the Methodology for Lingua. It is behind the Elsevier paywall here.

It is a very positive review, emphasizing three areas in which the reviewers see it as particularly valuable: first, the extensive introduction to statistical thought and practice, second, the case studies drawing from a broad range of linguistic phenomena, and third, the focus on reproducibility (something I want to expand on in potential future editions).

The reviewers also raise two critical points that will be useful for me when working on future editions:

  1. They criticize that the book does not include a chapter on how to construct specialized corpora in cases where available corpora do not meet the needs of a particular research project. They are right — although Section 2.1 talks about the design of “representative” or “balanced” corpora at length, it does not discuss the design of corpora for specific research projects, nor does it give any practical advice. Part of the reason for this is that I felt that a section (or even a chapter) on this topic would have to raise not only practical issues (where to find texts, how to store and process them, etc.), but also legal issues (how to deal with copyrighted texts). The latter issue, apart from the fact that it is beyond my expertise, is very dependent on the researcher’s jurisdiction, which makes it difficult to discuss in general terms. However, I will certainly think about including such a section in potential future editions. In the meantime, I can only recommend Martin Wynne’s excellent open-access book Developing Linguistic Corpora: a Guide to Good Practice, which my potential chapter would be based on in large parts!
  2. They criticize the absence of any reference to specific software tools for concordancing and statistical analysis. I do see their point (as I saw Kevin Gerigk’s point concerning my focus on manual statistic analysis when there are tools that will do some of this analysis for you). I just feel that given the quick pace of software development, a textbook that builds on specific software tools will be outdated too quickly. A discussion of software tools is one of the things that this blog is meant to provide, if only I had time…

Review of CLGM in the IJCL

Kevin Gerigk has reviewed Corpus Linguistics: A Guide to the Methodology for the International Journal of Corpus Linguistics. The review is open access, so you can read it here.

The review is very useful, because it draws attention to ways in which a future edition of the book might be improved. I would like to respond very briefly to three issues raised in the review. Continue reading

Review of CLGM in the Časopis pro moderní filologii

Lucie Lukešová reviewed Corpus Linguistics: A Guide to the Methodology for the Časopis pro moderní filologii last year. If you read Czech or if you, like me, are willing to trust Google Translate, you can read the text here.

The review is very positive overall, concluding as follows: “I dare
say that the author succeeded in what he set out to do – to create a textbook that was lacking in the market. It is full of information, and yet the reader does not find themselves lost or overwhelmed. That is why I am happy to recommend it not only to all my students, but also to colleagues who, like me, sometimes need a reliable beacon (and sometimes a lifeline) in the stormy waters of corpus data.”

I sometimes dream of living in an old lighthouse on the Baltic Sea coast – it will always remain a dream, as I am very much an urbanite who gets nervous when he is more than a few hours away from a major city, but it certainly lets me appreciate Lucie’s maritime metaphor!