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

Jordan Smith tjordans at IASTATE.EDU
Mon Jan 21 10:11:44 EST 2019


Hi Neal,

You can still use the old search syntax in the current interfaces for the
BYU corpora. My guess is that the problem you're seeing might stem from
mixing the simplified all caps POS tags with the old tags in the same
search. When I searched COCA in the current interface using only the old
search syntax (witness_v* _p* _v*g), I got the type of results I think
you're looking for (e.g., "witness you doing", "witness them fighting",
etc.)

Hope that helps.

Jordan

On Sun, Jan 20, 2019 at 10:48 PM Neal Whitman <nwhitman at ameritech.net>
wrote:

> OK, I've found one workaround: You can access the pre-May 2016 interface
> by adding "/old" to the URL, like this:
>
>     https://corpus.byu.edu/coha/old/
>
> However, I'd still like to know if there's a way to use the new
> interface and still be able to do a search like the one I'm describing.
>
>
> On 1/20/2019 11:20 PM, Neal Whitman wrote:
> > 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
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>


-- 
Jordan Smith
PhD candidate
Rhetoric and Professional Communication (co-major)
Applied Linguistics and Technology (co-major)
Iowa State University
206 Ross Hall, Ames, IA 50011
801-599-1028
tjordans at iastate.edu

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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