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Mon 1 Mar, Thu 4 Mar, ... Thu 11 Mar 2021
14:00, ...

Venue: Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Provided by: Cambridge Digital Humanities


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Methods Fellow Workshop: Exploring (literary) texts with corpus linguistics tools

Mon 1 Mar, Thu 4 Mar, ... Thu 11 Mar 2021


Applications for this workshop have now closed.

Corpus linguistic approach to language is based on collections of electronic texts. It uses software to search and quantify various linguistic phenomena that make up patterns, which it then compares within and across texts based on their frequency. Corpus stylistics applies tools and methods from corpus linguistics to stylistic research. Corpus stylistics mainly focuses on literary texts, individual or corpora. Corpora are here, usually, principled collections of texts, for example a collection of texts by one author, or texts from a specific period. It focuses both on more general patterns and meanings that are observable across corpora and patterns and meanings in one individual text. In terms of quantitative approaches that corpus stylistics employs, it is in many ways similar to work that is referred to as ‘distant reading’ and also ‘cultural analytics’. These approaches emphasise the gains that we get from looking at texts from “distance”, i.e., in large quantities. For corpus stylistics, it is the relationship between quantitative and qualitative that is central. Therefore, research in corpus stylistics often deals with much smaller “cleaner” data sets, so that the qualitative step in the analysis is more manageable.

This workshop aims to introduce the basic corpus linguistic techniques and methods for working with literary and other texts. It aims:

  • To provide an introduction to corpus linguistics in relation to digital humanities approaches;
  • To develop critical understanding of how data representativeness used in quantitative research may influence results;
  • To critically examine the relationship between quantitative and qualitative textual analyses;
  • To provide a practical toolkit for computational textual analysis.
Target audience

This programme is open to graduate students and staff at the University of Cambridge. PhD students and Early Career Researchers have priority for the scheme, but applications from MPhil students are welcome to apply.


Number of sessions: 4

# Date Time Venue Trainer
1 Mon 1 Mar   14:00 - 16:00 14:00 - 16:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online Dr Anna Cermakova
2 Thu 4 Mar   14:00 - 15:00 14:00 - 15:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online Dr Anna Cermakova
3 Mon 8 Mar   14:00 - 15:00 14:00 - 15:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online Dr Anna Cermakova
4 Thu 11 Mar   14:00 - 15:00 14:00 - 15:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online Dr Anna Cermakova

The workshop will consist of two parts: in the first part, we will explore a corpus stylistic web application CLiC, which houses several 19th century fiction corpora including the 19th century Children’s Literature corpus (ChiLit). Here you will learn the basics of how to “read the concordance lines” and you will be introduced to basic techniques such as ‘keywords’ and ‘clusters’. In the second part, we will use AntConc, with which you will be able to explore your own texts.

  • Session 1 – Monday 1 March @2pm 1 hour + 1 hour hands-on with CLiC
  • Session 2 – Thursday 4 March @2pm 1 hour hands-on with AntConc (participants are requested to have AntConc installed at their computers plus have one or more texts (in txt format), which they would like to examine
  • Drop-in session – Monday 8 March @2pm
  • Session 3 – Thursday 11 March @2pm Participants’ mini-project presentations (5 min)
CDH Methods Fellow Workshop Series

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