[Ads-l] Difficulty with new BYU corpora search syntax

Neal Whitman nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET
Sun Jan 20 23:20:49 EST 2019


I've discovered to my dismay that the BYU Corpora's latest 
simplifications to their search syntax have decreased their 
functionality...at least as far as I can tell. I'm hoping someone here 
will know the proper workaround.

I'm looking into the frequency of the verb 'witness' taking a 
participial complement ('witnessed them doing') versus a base-form 
complement ('witnessed them do'). To ask for the verb 'witness' plus a 
pronoun is now done like this:

    WITNESS_v PRON

To ask for a following verb, you do this:

    WITNESS_v PRON VERB

To ask for a specific form of a verb, such as a gerund/participle, you 
used to be able to do it like this:

    WITNESS_v PRON _v?g*

or like this if you wanted the base form:

    WITNESS_v PRON _vv0*

However, when you use these POS tags preceded by an underscore, instead 
of the all-caps POS tags--even if you put a space before the 
underscore--the search engine interprets it to mean a restriction on the 
previous element. So in this case, it would be looking for pronouns that 
are also gerund/participles or base-form verbs, and find nothing. So 
what I need is one of those all-caps versions of the parts of speech, 
like maybe VERBING or something, but as far as I've been able to tell so 
far, they don't exist.

Thanks for any suggestions!

-Neal


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