On the role of computational, statistical, and interpretive techniques in multi-dimensional analyses of register variation: A reply to Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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The present paper addresses several issues relating to the research goals and methodological techniques used in multi-dimensional analyses of register variation (e.g., Biber, 1988). The paper is prompted by the allegations of inadequacy and error published in Watson (1994). In my discussion, I point out that Watson fails to substantiate his claimed inadequacies with empirical evidence, and that previous investigations have shown that many of these criticisms are factually incorrect. In addition, I attempt to correct several fundamental misunderstandings of the multi-dimensional approach and the relationships among computational, statistical, and interpretive methodologies within the approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-370
Number of pages30
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes



  • computer taggers
  • corpus linguistics
  • multi-dimensional analysis
  • multivariate statistics
  • register variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Linguistics and Language

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