A corpus (pl. corpora) is a collection of spoken or written texts to be used for linguistic analysis and based on a specific set of design criteria influenced by its purpose and scope. There are various, and sometimes conflicting, definitions in the relevant literature (...) as to what exactly constitutes a corpus, but for our purposes, we’ll adopt the relatively simple and straightforward one given above. This basically means that any collection of texts that has been systematically assembled in order to investigate one or more linguistic phenomena can be termed a corpus, even if it may only contain a handful of classroom transcripts, interviews, or plays.

Practical Corpus Linguistics: An Introduction to Corpus-Based Language Analysis

What is the definition of linguistic phenomenon in the context of a linguistic corpus? I don't know what they mean by a phenomenon.

  • Maybe this belongs on Linguistics.SE? – Cascabel Nov 10 at 19:03
  • I’m voting to close this question because it gives no evidence that this is a collocation, to say nothing of a fixed phrase. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 10 at 19:29
  • If you want to ask for a definition of a term, get the term right. The text uses the phrase linguistic phenomenon. That's not the same as language phenomenon. – John Lawler Nov 10 at 19:48
  • Thanks.what is the definition of a linguistic phenomenon? – Reaserchee Nov 10 at 19:50
  • 1
    This Q was never clear to begin with, and any changes have probably only made it divergent from the original intent. ...I hope the OP weighs in here to make things less obscure...right now I am VTCing. – Cascabel Nov 10 at 22:01

I know of no better definition of the word "phenomenon" than this one.

From The shorter Oxford Dictionary

phenomenon 1 An act or event that appears or is perceived by one of the senses or by the mind; especially one whose cause or explanation is in question.

This means that about anything in linguistics can be called a phenomenon; the fact that you use "a" before words beginning with a consonant and "an" if the first consonnant is a vowel can be called a phenomenon; the fact that it takes twenty six letters in order to represent all the sounds of English is a phenomenon and the fact that you must place the subject before the verb in normal constructions is another. However, people tend to use the word when they are discussing a question about a particular fact, which they then refer to as "this phenomenon", such a phenomenon, etc.

| improve this answer | |
  • LPH: I think you are correct. There is nothing mysterious about this phenomenon. – Greybeard Nov 10 at 20:55

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.