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Corpus methods and their reflection in linguistic theories of the 20th century

Author(s): Simon Krek

Journal: Slovenščina 2.0 : Empirične, Aplikativne in Interdisciplinarne Raziskave
ISSN 2335-2736

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 4;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: corpora | linguistics | structuralism | semantics | syntax | Saussure | Chomsky

In the 20th century structuralism established itself as the central linguistic theory, in the first half mainly through its originator Ferdinand de Saussure, and in the second half with the figure of Noam Chomsky. The latter consistently refused to acknowledge analysis of extensive quantity of texts as a valuable method, and favoured linguistic intuition of a native speaker instead. In parallel with structuralism other trends in linguistics emerged which pointed to the inadequateness of the prevailing linguistic paradigm and to theoretical insights which were only possible after the systematic analysis of large quantities of texts. The paper discusses some of the dilemmas stemming from this dichotomy and places corpus linguistics in a broader linguistic context.
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