Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2016

Published In

Anthropological Linguistics/Linguistic Anthropology


In this assignment, students will learn basic methods in corpus linguistics, an emerging field at the intersection of humanities and quantitative social science. They will learn how to search large English language corpora (e.g., the 900 million word Cambridge International Corpus) to look for otherwise hidden patterns of language use. They will be able to track the emergence of new words, shifts in meaning in existing words, and note the obsolescence of some words. They will interpret their findings in light of how language usage reflects societal attitudes and social change.

Funding Agency

Swarthmore College Provost Office

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Professors K. David Harrison and Jamie Thomas were awarded a Digital Humanities Curricular Grant from the Provost's Office for use in their fall 2016 course, Anthropological Linguistics/Linguistic Anthropology (LING21, ANTH020N).
This assignment was developed in alignment with this grant; the assignment instructions and a completed student example are freely provided here courtesy of the authors.

LING21_CorpusLinguisticsAssignment_Anderson.pdf (1918 kB)
"Race, Age, and "Hipsterdom" in the COCA" by Celine Anderson '19