Corpus linguistics as distant reading?

Bibliographic details

Allington, Daniel and Hewings, Ann (2013). ‘Corpus linguistics as distant reading’. Paper in the Digital Humanities in Practice series to be presented to the Digital Humanities Thematic Research Network, at the Open University in Milton Keynes, 12.00-14.00, 4 July.


By the mid 1980s, corpus linguistics had been successfully and relatively uncontroversially established as a sub-discipline of linguistics. In this presentation, we will outline the development of corpus linguistics and its relevance to a number of fields of enquiry including forensic linguistics, relating this development to the contrasting disciplinary history of digital research methods within the humanities. We will also discuss the very real differences that exist between corpus-based and non-corpus-based approaches to linguistics, and how these can be resolved in research and teaching. The presentation will conclude with demonstration of free web-based tools which people can easily access and experiment with.


A sandwich lunch will be served to registered participants. Please email Heather Scott ( by 1 July to book a place.