Annotating the ICE corpora pragmatically – preliminary issues & steps

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Abstract

Since the inception of the ICE project in 1990, ICE corpora have been used extensively in the investigation and comparison of varieties of English on different linguistic levels. These levels, however, have so far primarily been restricted to lexis and lexico-grammar, while relatively little has to date been achieved in the investigation of pragmatic strategies used by the speakers in these corpora. One of the main reasons for this shortcoming is a lack of suitable annotation that would make such a detailed pragmatic comparison possible. This paper will propose a suitable model and format for converting and enriching the ICE corpora with different levels of pragmatics-relevant information, as well as discussing the issues involved in this endeavour. And finally, to illustrate the feasibility of this aim, the paper will also include a small case study carried out on a number of files, pointing out how the resulting annotations could later be exploited in pragmatics research.

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