Corpus creation and analysis using AntConc 4
Seven years on from his keynote speech and masterclass at METM15, we were delighted to welcome back AntConc developer Laurence Anthony with his online masterclass to take us through the features and functions of the latest version of his freeware corpus analysis tool, AntConc 4.
Hands-on workshops are always a firm favourite at MET and it was no surprise that the masterclass had a full house in attendance. A quick poll revealed that just over half of the attendees had little or no experience using AntConc, while the rest were intermediate or advanced users.
Laurence began with an overview of the 20-year history of AntConc and how it evolved from an exercise to improve his coding skills to a general-purpose language analysis tool used by language professionals worldwide. He then introduced the design, features and core functions of AntConc 4 and explained how this version differs from AntConc 3, particularly in terms of speed when working with massive data sets, its ability to process PDF and Word files, and its repository of ready-built corpora.
The masterclass continued with a series of demonstrations showing how the tool can be used by editors and translators to answer queries related to language usage, from creating corpora to analysing the data using the KWIC, Plot, File, Cluster, N-Gram, Collocate, Word and Keyword tools. The demonstrations were fast paced to cover as much ground as possible, and attendees received a worksheet and the demo data to practise after the session.
Laurence was keen to answer questions throughout the session to ensure attendees of all levels of experience were able to follow his demonstrations, with a lively Q&A taking place at the end.
Our thanks go to Laurence for his engaging masterclass packed with useful tips to assist us in our work as editors and translators.
Review by Jacqueline Lamb