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Title: Variation and change in a specialized register. A comparison of random and sociolinguistic sampling outcomes in Desert Island Discs.
Authors: Smith, Nicholas
Waters, Cathleen
First Published: 2019
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing
Citation: International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 2019, 24 (2) In Press
Abstract: Corpus-based studies of specialized registers typically sample texts using random methods as far as possible, but they disregard social characteristics of the speakers/writers. In contrast, in corpus-based studies of conversation and quantitative sociolinguistic studies, sampling is more typically designed to optimize social representation. To our knowledge, this study is the first to compare linguistic outcomes from random versus sociolinguistic sampling in a specialized register. Our data comes from the biographical radio chat show, Desert Island Discs (DID), at different points in time. We constructed two versions of a DID corpus: a sociolinguistic judgment sample based on guest demographics, and a random sample. We compare grammatical usage between them using an inductive (‘key POS-tags’) method and close manual analysis, uncovering some evidence of significant grammatical differences between the samples and differing patterns of diachronic change. We discuss the implications of our research for corpus design, representativeness and analysis in specialized registers.
eISSN: 1569-9811
Links: TBA
Embargo on file until: 1-Jan-10000
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2019, John Benjamins Publishing. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy. (
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, College of Arts, Humanities & Law

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