Using Corpora in Discourse Analysis

corpora in discourse analysis.jpg

Human Centred Design makes extensive use of linguistic data. While traditional tools such as thematic coding are still in widespread use, they are being more-and-more supplemented by automated statistical summaries which can help to identify trends via word counts, word correlations and lexical sentence selections.

The recent text by Paul Baker provides an invaluable tool for performing such analysis. The text introduces the concept of “corpora” from linguistics and then goes on to provide simple and easy-to-read explanations of the main techniques which are currently popular for performing statistical linguistic analysis.

While word counts, cross correlations and other such tools probably cannot replace the interpretative power of the expert designer, the tools nevertheless help to speed and better document what is being proposed as “the findings”.

This enjoyable and helpful book is a must read for all full time Human Centred Designers…