Challenges in cross-linguistic corpus-assisted discourse studies

Author(s) Rachelle Vessey
Year 2013
Language of Investigation DB
Studied Language
Please cite as follows:

Rachelle Vessey (2013): Challenges in cross-linguistic corpus-assisted discourse studies. In: Corpora 8/1, pp. 1-26.


In this paper, I present some of the challenges and benefits arising from the use of cross-linguistic (i.e., involving comparable, non-parallel corpora of different languages) corpus-assisted discourse studies. Since corpus linguistics and discourse analysis ultimately focus on ‘real’ language use rather than theoretically constructed examples, it follows that the content of a corpus will be as varied as the population it is intended to represent; and this is true to an even larger extent when the population is ethno-linguistically diverse. Data for corpus-assisted discourse studies (CADS) research, then, can present numerous issues to researchers, particularly if they are drawing on multilingual data. In this paper, four examples of cross-linguistic CADS challenges are drawn from two cases in Canada, a country that contains a diverse population that is indexed by two official languages, English and French. I conclude this paper by suggesting solutions for each of these issues and call for more research into the comparative nature of cross-linguistic CADS research.