THE LINGUIST'S SEARCH ENGINE: GETTING STARTED GUIDE

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2003-12-18

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The World Wide Web can be viewed as a naturally occurring resource that embodies the rich and dynamic nature of language, a data repository of unparalleled size and diversity. However, current Web search methods are oriented more toward shallow information retrieval techniques than toward the more sophisticated needs of linguists. Using the Web in linguistic research is not easy. It will, however, be getting easier. This report introduces the Linguist's Search Engine, a new linguist-friendly tool that makes it possible to retrieve naturally occurring sentences from the World Wide Web on the basis of lexical content and syntactic structure. Its aim is to help linguists of all stripes in conducting more thoroughly empirical exploration of evidence, with particular attention to variability and the role of context. LAMP-TR-108 UMIACS-TR-2003-109

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