Faculty Publications


If You Count It, They Will Come

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The desire to generate insight into human expression by “scientific” means is futile—but also, so it seems, perennial. Recently, two related attempts to bring certitude to the analysis of language by using computers have cropped up: one in law (called “corpus linguistics”) and one in the broader study of letters (which goes by the name of the “digital humanities”). I’ve had reason to address both a Digital Humanities conference (in person) and the corpus linguistic phenomenon (in print). Corpus linguistics has been embraced most strongly by a group of practitioners and academics centered around BYU Law.