Wishlist: corpus analysis and sociolinguistics

Traditionally, sociolinguistics has examined language variation as a function of independent social variables: gender, class, geography, time, and so on. Texts marked up for the web (or any other digital medium that uses structured meta-data) might potentially allow researchers with the right data-mining scripts to extract some of these variables from the text itself: potentially overcoming some of the barriers presented by traditional sociolinguistic field work (especially for longitudinal studies on language variation).

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