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Sublanguage corpus analysis toolkit: a tool for assessing the representativeness and sublanguage characteristics of corpora

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  • Irina Temnikova
  • William Baumgartner
  • Negacy Hailu
  • Ivelina Nikolova
  • Tony McEnery
  • Adam Kilgarriff
  • Galia Angelova
  • Bretonnel Cohen


Sublanguages are varieties of language that form “subsets” of the general language, typically exhibiting particular types of lexical, semantic, and other restrictions and deviance. SubCAT, the Sublanguage Corpus Analysis Toolkit, assesses the representativeness and closure properties of corpora to analyze the extent to which they are either sublanguages, or representative samples of the general language. The current version of SubCAT contains scripts and applications for assessing lexical closure, morphological closure, sentence type closure, over-represented words, and syntactic deviance. Its operation is illustrated with three case studies concerning scientific journal articles, patents, and clinical records. Materials from two language families are analyzed―English (Germanic), and Bulgarian (Slavic). The software is available at sublanguage.sourceforge.net under a liberal Open Source license.