Reader comments as an aboutness indicator in online texts: introducing the Birmingham Blog Corpus

Kehoe, Andrew and Gee, Matt (2012) Reader comments as an aboutness indicator in online texts: introducing the Birmingham Blog Corpus. Studies in Variation, Contacts and Change in English: Aspects of Corpus Linguistics: Compilation, Annotation, Analysis, 12. ISSN 1797-4453

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Abstract

This paper presents work based on the new Birmingham Blog Corpus: a 600 million word collection of blog posts and reader comments, available through the WebCorp Linguist’s Search Engine interface. We begin by describing the steps involved in building the corpus, including a discussion of the sources chosen for blog data, the ‘seeding’ techniques used, and the design decisions taken. We then go on to focus on textual ‘aboutness’ (Phillips 1985). Whereas in previous work we examined social tagging sites as an aboutness indicator (Kehoe & Gee 2011), in this paper we analyse the reader comments found at the bottom of posts in our blog corpus. Our aim is to determine whether free-text comments offer different insights into the reader perspective on aboutness than those offered by social tags, and whether comments present further linguistic challenges. Online comments are often associated with blogs but are found increasingly on web documents of all kinds, and we also examine the growing importance of reader comments on online news articles.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Submitted to REF 2014, UoA 29, Andrew Kehoe
Subjects: Q100 Linguistics
Q300 English studies
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > School of English
UoA Collections > UoA29: English Language and Literature
Depositing User: Dr. Andrew Kehoe
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2017 13:54
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2017 09:34
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/467

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