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Sample text

Yet such information can be important for the study of text-types and registers (Biber 1998: 73-5). " Clearly, for some purposes, language-specific strategies (and software) need to be devised for German. However, important though the differences between the languages are, they should perhaps not be exaggerated. 'Wildcard' searches (typically using the 'asterisk' or 'ampersand' operator) will find morphemes and other strings at sub-word level just as easily in German as in English, and a great deal of important collocational evidence in German can be found using the kind of collocational spans commonly used for English.

Her analysis of the frequency and distribution of the German equivalents of English 'manager' (Manager, Letter, Fiihrer, Chef, BoJ3) and 'management' (Management, Leitung, Fiihrung), key lexical fields in management discourse, forms the basis of a contrastive study which reveals a 'mirror image' pattern of distribution in the two publications. She argues that these initial findings represent an important first step in a linguistic study of register variation which she also believes reveals important insights into the different assumptions each periodical makes about its readership.

A span of four words will rarely be enough to capture these important syntactic relationships, and the same is true of complex structures such as the extended adjectival attribute, where important adjectival collocates may be several words removed from the noun they qualify. In such cases, it may be necessary to cast the net wider when looking for collocational evidence in German. And there are other problems. Average word length and sentence length in German texts are reputedly greater than for the equivalent text-type in English.

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