ELL237 : Corpus Linguistics

Convener(s): Dr Gabriel Ozon


General Information

This module introduces the theoretical and practical issues of using language corpora in linguistic studies and explores how the corpus-based approach and other methodologies can be combined in the study of language. The module builds on the knowledge acquired from other modules (Structure of English, Varieties of English, History of English, as well as Sociolinguistics), but focuses on actual language phenomena. Students will be introduced to the notion of the linguistic corpus and will be expected to become familiar with at least one of the major computerised corpora currently in the public domain.


With a dual focus on ‘why’ and ‘how to’ in corpus-based language studies, this practical module will be delivered through a series of lectures and hands-on lab sessions. The weekly teaching typically comprises two parts. The first is a lecture introducing key concepts, theories and data analysis skills. Lab sessions are designed as hands-on events, aiming both at (i) exposing students to some available corpora, as well as to (ii) providing familiarity with tools and techniques for handling corpora. Students may be asked to replicate a case study (either the one illustrated in the theoretical component, or a different one), and to address a set research question/hypothesis, for which they would need to get involved in obtaining and manipulating relevant data.


The assessment consists of (i) a 1,000-word essay that critically reviews either a corpus exploration tool or a corpus-based study (40%); and (ii) a 2,500-word project report based on students’ independent research (60%).

Contact Details

0114 222 8478


Information last changed: Monday 10th of August 2015 :: 12:39:57 PM (BST)

Please note: This module may or may not run in any individual session. Please check with the course convener.


The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK