On corpus linguistics ways

Mike Scott

Q: How much should a discourse analyst know before he or she engages in corpus work?

A: I don’t agree with the presupposition. No discourse analyst needs to know anything doing Corpus Linguistics. What they need (for either) is an open mind, a willingness to learn, to take risks, to make mistakes, to ask for help or find it for themselves. There is not just one way of slicing bread, and the CL ways of slicing it are not necessarily superior to non-CL ways.

Mike Scott, Viana, Zyngier & Barnbrook (2011: 218)

Sinclair (2004) vs the theoreticians

Those who during the last decade tried to barricade the profession against the influence of corpora recycled the critical arguments of the theoreticians thirty years before, and we heard again that no corpus can be a totally accurate sample of a language, that occurrence in a corpus is no guarantee of correctness, that frequency is not a sound guide to importance, that there are inexplicable gaps in the coverage of any corpus, however large, etc.

That flurry of resistance is now largely behind us, and it is timely to consider the issue posed as the title of this book, how to use corpora in language teaching, since corpora are now part of the resources that more and more teachers expect to have access to.

Sinclair (2004: 2)

Sinclair, J. (2004). How to use corpora in language teaching. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Language is the quintessence of distributed cognition

Language is the quintessence of distributed cognition. Language and usage are like the shoreline and the sea. Usage affects learning, and it affects languages, too. So, our understanding of language learning requires the detailed investigation of usage, its content, its participants, and its contexts—the micro level of human social action, interaction, and conversation, the meso level of sociocultural and educational institutions and communities, and the macro level of ideological structures.

Ellis, N. (2019). Essentials of a Theory of Language Cognition. The Modern Language Journal, 103, 39-60.

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Brillante Elvis Costello sobre las redes sociales


¿Qué piensa de esta locura en torno a las redes sociales que vivimos hoy día?

Han convertido el hecho de sentirse ofendido, esa indignación estúpida, en toda una industria. La gente que promueve el uso de opiáceos hasta convertirlos en una epidemia a nivel mundial tiene la misma mentalidad que los que desarrollaron estas plataformas. Son el mismo tipo de parásito, traicionan algo que podría ser bueno para la humanidad y lo transforman en algo perverso. Han creado la posibilidad de comunicar cualquier cosa que pienses con extraños, ignorando que los impulsos naturales de mucha gente son acosar, censurar, aprovecharse de las debilidades del otro y propagar información falsa. Y, de paso, ser ciego ante cualquier otra opinión, consideración o decencia. Es lo mismo que envenenar a la gente a propósito. No dudo que estas nuevas formas de comunicación tienen cosas positivas, lo que me da rabia es ver en lo que se convierten. Así que así seguimos. ¡Esto es el progreso!

Fuente: http://www.elmundo.es/metropoli/musica/2018/06/19/5b28b0f0ca4741510d8b45b9.html


The act of writing is itself an exercise of thought

Jacques Barzun
Jacques Barzun Photo: GETTY & The Telegraph

The act of writing is itself an exercise of thought
Many writers have said that they do not fully grasp their own meaning until they have carved it like a statue, using words as material.  The reason is plain. One starts writing, not with a well-shaped thought, trimmed and polished, but with an intent—perhaps with several, overlapping and conflicting. You see a scene in your mind’s eye or know the tendency of a complex argument, but do not know which part of the scene or argument is to come first—what, anyhow, is a part of something you sense as an undivided whole? Thinking, and nothing but thinking, will answer these questionsnor will the answer be satisfactory until words are down on paper that represent the first finished piece of description or argument. (p.118-9). 
Jacques Barzun. Simple & Direct