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Revista Brasileira de Linguística Aplicada

On-line version ISSN 1984-6398


KYTO, Merja. Corpora and historical linguistics. Rev. bras. linguist. apl. [online]. 2011, vol.11, n.2, pp.417-457. ISSN 1984-6398.

The present article aims to survey and assess the current state of electronic historical corpora and corpus methodology, and attempts to look into possible future developments. It highlights the fact that within the wide spectrum of corpus linguistic methodology, historical corpus linguistics has emerged as a vibrant field that has significantly added to the appeal felt for the study of language history and change. In fact, according to a historical linguist with more than fifty years of experience, "[w]e could even go as far as to say that without the support and new impetus provided by corpora, evidence-based historical linguistics would have been close to the end of its life-span in these days of rapid-changing life and research, increasing competition on the academic career track and the methodological attractions offered to young scholars" (RISSANEN, forthcoming). Historical corpora and other electronic resources have also made the study of language history attractive: working on them engages students in an individual and interactive way that they find appealing (CURZAN 2000, p. 81).

Keywords : Electronic historical corpora; corpus methodology; electronic resources; interdisciplinary collaboration.

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