Keyness Analysis: nature, metrics and techniques

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    194 Citations (Scopus)
    2060 Downloads (Pure)


    This chapter discusses methodological issues relating to keyness analysis, and addresses a number of this volume’s interconnected themes. It raises awareness of relevant methodological choices and their implications, and addresses related misconceptions and resulting practices, particularly regarding the selection of linguistic units, appropriate metrics, and thresholds of frequency, effect-size and statistical significance. It also discusses the pervasive partiality (Marchi & Taylor, this volume) in keyness analysis, as the vast majority of keyness studies focus on difference, at the expense of similarity. Finally, it discusses the tension between objectivity and subjectivity in relation to methodological choices, and problematises the frequent conflation of quantitative analysis and objectivity. In order to better understand and evaluate the current state of keyness research, however, we need to contextualise current views and practices. Therefore, the chapter will start with a critical overview of the brief history of keyness analysis.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCorpus Approaches to Discourse
    Subtitle of host publicationA Critical Review
    EditorsCharlotte Taylor, Anna Marchi
    Place of PublicationOxford
    Number of pages34
    ISBN (Electronic)9781351716079
    ISBN (Print)9781138895782
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2018


    • corpus linguistics
    • keyness analysis
    • quantitative analysis


    Dive into the research topics of 'Keyness Analysis: nature, metrics and techniques'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this