Recommend to your Librarian

Corpus Linguistics

Tony McEnery, Andrew Wilson

Edition: 2


Corpus Linguistics has quickly established itself as the leading undergraduate course book in the subject. This second edition takes full account of the latest developments in the rapidly changing field, making this the most up-to-date and comprehensive textbook available. It gives a step-by-step introduction to what a corpus is, how corpora are constructed, and what can be done with them. Each chapter ends with a section of study questions that contain practical corpus-based exercises.

  • Designed for student use, with all technical terms explained in the text and referenced further in a Glossary
  • Examples are taken from existing corpora; detailed case study chapter included
  • Contains end-of-chapter summaries, study questions and suggestions for further reading
  • Updated reviews of new studies, areas that have recently come to prominence and new directions in corpus encoding and annotation standards
  • Detailed coverage of multilingual corpus construction and use
  • An in-depth historical review of computer-based corpora from the 1940s to the present day
  • Helpful appendices include answers to the study questions, up-to-date information on where corpora can be found, and the latest software for corpus research.

"[An] important addition to the fast growing literature in corpus linguistics… should be read by anyone interested in utilization of large-scale corpora in linguistic research."

Studies in the Linguistic Sciences, on the first edition.


1 Early Corpus Linguistics and the Chomskyan Revolution
2 What is a Corpus and What is in It?
3 Quantitative Data
4 The Use of Corpora in Language Studies
5 Corpora and Computational Linguistics
6 A Case Study: Sublanguages
7 Where to Now?

About the Author

Tony McEnery is Professor of English Language and Linguistics at Lancaster University. He is Editor of the journal Corpora.

Andrew Wilson is Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Lancaster.


There are useful new sections on multilingual corpus alignment and paralled concordancing, which reflect the increasing importance of this type of corpus work … The final chapter has been completely re-written … Clearly delineated section headings, end of chapter summaries, study questions and comprehensive suggestions for further reading making it user-friendly for student use. Unfamiliar terminology (indicated in bold text) is explained by the end glossary or alongside in the text itself, and there are useful up-to-date appendices on corpora and software for the corpus research … The book is attractively and well written, explaining complex issues clearly and succintly, and making effective use of illustrative diagrams, tables, and examples. Its tone is approachable and occasionally conversational, which will appeal to those looking for an accessible and, most importantly, a readable introduction to corpus linguistics … McEnery and Wilson predict that corpus linguistics is moving with such momentum that another new edition may be required in a few years. If they maintain their 'fingers on the pulse' 'hands-on' approach to corpus studies, I expect the book will figure prominently on course reading lists for many years to come.
- Literary and Linguistic Computing
praise for the first edition: Important [addition] to the fast growing literature in corpus linguistics, and should be read by anyone interested in utilization of large-scale corpora in linguistic research.
- Studies in the Linguistics Sciences

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