ERIC Number: ED171104
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: 0
Concordances KWIC and Complete: An Appraisal.
Dixon, J. E. G.
Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing Bulletin, v6 n1 p28-33 1978
The application of computer techniques to the making of concordances and indexes has brought about many innovations including the KWIC format and the exhaustive concordance. Although claims for the merits of these concordances are not always justified, the KWIC method offers the following advantages: (1) the detection of formulaic expressions and repeated word patterns; (2) simplicity; (3) speed; (4) maximization of computer use; and (5) minimization of the editor's role. The traditional concordance was designed by philologists and is problematic not only because of its sheer bulk, but also because it tends to assume that word frequency is directly proportional to unimportance and it tends to favor only literary interests, almost neglecting sizeable linguistic interests. Solutions to size and economic problems are: (1) to make tapes available to researchers who have access to a computer; (2) to print references only in an appendix to the main concordance; (3) to issue sub-concordances on microfilm or microfiche; and (4) to publish as cheaply as possible a series of sub-concordances as fascicules, each containing pages according to specific categories and criteria. Traditionally a tool of philologists, concordances are perhaps not the best research instrument for linguists. But the concordance, improved by the refinements and analytical devices provided by the editor and computer together, will continue to serve the philologist well in the future. (Author/MHP)
Descriptors: Automatic Indexing, Citation Indexes, Computational Linguistics, Coordinate Indexes, Indexes, Information Retrieval, Literary Criticism, Literature, Permuted Indexes, Reference Materials, Research Tools, Structural Analysis, Word Frequency
Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing, Sidgwick Site, Cambridge CB3 9DA, England (L4 or US$8 for entire Bulletin)
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A