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CQPweb: Searching for words (part 1)

Watch Andrew Hardie elaborate on how to conduct increasingly sophisticated word searches.
Hello again. In this practical CQPweb video, we’re going to have a look at some more complexities of how we can search for different word forms and different types of words. Previously what we did was we search for an individual word. We did pleasing in the first video. And I also showed you how to get all forms of a particular verb using this pattern. So we’ve seen those. Let’s do some more complex things. One thing that is often very useful to do in English is to distinguish different parts of speech of the same word. And a nice word to look at to exemplify this is the word leaves. Let’s just look at the concordance for the word leaves.
You’ll see that the word leaves, if you hadn’t already realised, but you probably did, is both a plural noun, referring to multiple “leaf-sss”. We have examples of that here His hollow whistling in the leaves. The sanguine colour of the leaves. But leaves is also a verb. It’s a form of the verb to leave. He leaves, she leaves, so on. And we have here he leaves his back unarmed, which loseth men’s hearts and leaves behind a stain. Let them be left which leaves itself to the seaside straightway. And so on and so on and so forth. We’ve got 63 examples here of leaves, but I can’t imagine any situation where we’ll be interested in both those things.
The plural of a leaf and the verb form derived from leave. So how can we actually set these apart using the actual query rather than having them all mixed together? What we can do is we can add a part of speech or world class label to the word. And here’s how we do that. We use V for verb, as we’ve seen before. But in this case, we’re attaching it to the word form leaves. So what this is saying is find us the word leaves but only where in the underlying data it’s been labelled as a verb. V is the abbreviation. You can also type verb, it’s the same thing, but we’ll go with V. We’ll start that query.
And here’s the result. We’ve got 31 matches this time and I’m not going to go through the exercise now, but if you go through then, you would find that all of these are in fact the verb and not the noun. Let’s do it the other way. New query. Leaves.
N for noun. And there we. Go got the leaves, fig leaves, Aspic leaves, hoar leaves, tender leaves, and so on and so forth. That’s something quite nice that we can do. When we do the query that we’ve seen before for please as a verb, then what we do there is we combine the dictionary head word, or lemma is the term that you may also know by now. And we combine together the grammatical label within the curly braces. The difference between having the word out here and having the word in here is whether or not we’re searching for a head word with many different forms or what we’re searching for one specific word form.
If we don’t specify a grammatical label here, we can search for lemma without specifying the part of speech. Let’s search for leaf as lemma and you’ll see that we get both leaf and then the plural, leaves. Let’s go back. What about leave as a lemma. There we are. We’ve got leave and we must have some leaves somewhere. There’s one leaves. We’ve also got plenty of left, leave, leaving. Left is notable because it means we’re also covering irregularities. So that’s all quite nice. Even at the head word level, it is possible that we might have more than one part of speech for a particular head word.
An example of the head word that has multiple parts of speech is record or record, depending on how it’s stressed. Record is a noun. Record is a verb. So you have one record, two records or you can have record, recorded, recording. So let’s have a very quick look at how that works. We put in our head word and we specify our part of speech. So let’s have record as in Shakespeare’s time, a written down record, not an audio record or anything like that. And there are plenty of examples, about 20 actually. What about the verbal version. Well, we just hop in and we say give us the same head word, but this time find examples where it’s a verb.
And there we are. Records, two wages recorded, that are recorded, recorded with your deeds, twill be recorded, so on and so forth. That’s all very interesting if we’re looking at the grammar of particular words. I’m going to pause now and speak to you again in the next video. Thank you very much.

This video is a direct continuation of the last one (last week) on using CQPweb. Here, Andrew Hardie hones your skills in Word searching, and specifically how to search for words of a particular grammatical part of speech. Remember that Shakespeare is famed for functional conversions (e.g “lip” as a verb in “to lip a wanton”). The only way that we can spot them and establish whether there is an earlier precedent for them is to understand the grammar and how to search for it.

As usual, put any issues or concerns or simply interesting observations in the comments.

We strongly advise you to listen to Andrew Hardie’s video in one window of your computer, and open up his program, CQPweb, in another, so that you can practice what he is saying as he goes along. Obviously, you will need to pause periodically.

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