Exploring corpus-attested patterns in Dickens's fiction

Professor Michaela Mahlberg and Dr Gareth Carrol will be speaking at the CASS Corpus Data and Psycholinguistics Seminar at the University of Lancaster on 19 May 2016.

Their paper titled: 'Exploring corpus-attested patterns in Dickens’s fiction – methodological challenges of using eye-tracking techniques' is a joint paper with Dr Kathy Conklin, Associate Professor in Psycholinguistics at the University of Nottingham.


The study of the relationship between patterns and meanings is a key concern in corpus linguistics. The data that corpus linguists work with, however, only provides a partial picture. In this paper, we will look at how questions of frequencies in corpora can be related to questions raised by data from eye-tracking studies on reading times. We will also discuss challenges of designing experiments to address these questions. As a case study, we focus on examples of patterns identified in Dickens’s fiction, but the methodological issues we address have wider implications beyond the study of literary corpora.