Kutter, A. (2018) Corpus analysis: textstatistics as an explorative technique

Kutter, A. (2018) Corpus analysis. In: Wodak, R. and Forchtner, B. (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Language and Politics. London: Routledge, 169-186.

The boost of digitisation, automated text processing and so-called Big Data have all enhanced the spread and popularity of computer-aided statistical analysis of large samples of digital texts: corpus analysis. This contribution gives an overview of corpus analysis so that entering the field and navigating field-specific controversies become easier. The reader will get to know the plurality of approaches to corpus analysis, familiarise herself with the specificities of text-statistical methods and learn about possible applications, all illustrated by examples from a study on crisis discourse. The chapter argues that corpus analysis is a valid addition to the toolbox of the discourse researcher. In particular, when used as an explorative technique for heuristic and reflexive purposes, it may enhance discourse research that investigates social and political issues.