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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: The use of film subtitles to estimate word frequencies
Author: Boris New
Institution: Université Paris V - Descartes
Author: Marc Brysbaert
Institution: University of London
Author: Jean Véronis
Institution: Université de Provence
Author: Christophe Pallier
Institution: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics
Abstract: We examine the use of film subtitles as an approximation of word frequencies in human interactions. Because subtitle files are widely available on the Internet, they may present a fast and easy way to obtain word frequency measures in language registers other than text writing. We compiled a corpus of 52 million French words, coming from a variety of films. Frequency measures based on this corpus compared well to other spoken and written frequency measures, and explained variance in lexical decision times in addition to what is accounted for by the available French written frequency measures.


This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 28, Issue 4.

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