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Professor Susan Hunston

32nd SAAL Lecture

Topic: Pattern Grammar, Corpora and Applied Linguistics: Implications for Theory and Practice

Corpus Linguistics has a tradition of research into the patterning of lexis, inspired by Sinclair and with examples including Hoey’s work of Lexical Priming, Hank’s work on Corpus Pattern Analysis, and Francis et al.’s work on Pattern Grammar. This lecture will describe the state of the art in pattern adjectives, nouns and verbs, with their associated node-words. It will explore how this resource can be exploited by language teachers and used in exploring learners language. The paper also considers how the observation of pattern aligns with various theories of language description, comparing Sinclair’s unit of meaning approach with the notion of constructions proposed by Cognitive Linguistics. It proposes a convergence of the two approached that would lead to the identification of about one thousand mid-level constructions.

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