Building onto the corpus-driven approach: a wider look on meaning

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  1. Wolfgang Teubert

What makes the corpus-driven approach stand out in language studies is its appeal as a ‘scientific’ methodology. Using computational tools to identify, count and measure real language data, we obtain dependable findings. Scientific practice, however, is no different from any other social practice: it is discursively constructed. In the absence of a ‘real’ fundament, there cannot be a ‘true’ bottom-up approach. All corpus research presupposes a consensus on the arbitrary decisions underlying our research question, and the findings obtained have to be interpreted to make sense. Meaning is found only in discourse.