Concordances

Using a concordancing program, such as Wordsmith Tools Concordancer, enables us to find all the occurrences of a word or phrase in a particular corpus in context. The examples are displayed as lines of text on the screen, with the search item highlighted in the center. For example, if we search for 'giggl*' the program will find things like 'giggle, giggles, giggling' etc. The first concordance has not been sorted at all, but it is still possible to say something about our search item. What can you notice about the occurrences of 'giggl*'?

1 a bit of a giggle !
2 Stop giggling !
3 she 's giggling again , wha
4 I was just giggling away ,
5 were laughing and giggling
6 was watching or giggling with your
7 a bit of a giggle in the offic
8 such a great giggle .
9oom with hilarious giggles which do n't
10 a big enough giggle as it is
11I was like , giggling to them an
12 trying not to giggle
13 we did was giggle .
14ny bit of a giggle !
15 Getting Michael giggly .
16 And she giggles a lot .
17ittle girls giggling !
18 She giggles a lot ?
19 Stop giggling !
20r . Irene giggled , Mademoiselle
21 I was giggling there 's a
22oys sniggering and giggling , whatever ,
23 they all were giggling at me .
24t , you know giggling and laughing
25 You got up giggling and laughing
26ened to so much as giggle , but bre
27 And she was giggling away .
28 n't you all giggling together at
29pronunciation , you giggle , you look
30 Oh I had a giggle !
31 just started to giggle . And
32 's a great giggle pretty crue

Feedback

One of the most noticeable things is that 'giggling' is the most frequent form. We can also see that there is just one occurrence of the adjective 'giggly'.

The next concordance has been left-sorted so that we can look at what kinds of things tend to precede the 32 occurrences of 'giggl*' in our corpus. What insights into the use of 'giggl*' can you get from this set of concordance lines?

1 Oh I had a giggle !
2 a bit of a giggle !
3 a bit of a giggle in the offic
4ny bit of a giggle !
5 n't you all giggling together at
6 were laughing and giggling
7oys sniggering and giggling , whatever ,
8ened to so much as giggle , but bre
9 a big enough giggle as it is
10I was like , giggling to them an
11ittle girls giggling !
12 's a great giggle pretty crue
13 such a great giggle .
14oom with hilarious giggles which do n't
15r . Irene giggled , Mademoiselle
16 I was just giggling away ,
17t , you know giggling and laughing
18 Getting Michael giggly .
19 was watching or giggling with your
20 she 's giggling again , wha
21 And she giggles a lot .
22 She giggles a lot ?
23 Stop giggling !
24 Stop giggling !
25 trying not to giggle
26 just started to giggle . And
27 You got up giggling and laughing
28 we did was giggle .
29 I was giggling there 's a
30 And she was giggling away .
31 they all were giggling at me .
32pronunciation , you giggle , you look

Feedback

We can easily see that giggle forms part of a noun phrase 'a (bit of a) giggle', and it appears to form the second element of two two-part expressions 'laughing and giggling' and 'sniggering and giggling. Although we cannot see the genders of all the speakers, we can see that it is not only women who giggle.


Finally, if we re-sort this concordance to the right, we can see different patterns emerge. What does this right sort show you?

1 And she giggles a lot .
2 She giggles a lot ?
3 she 's giggling again , wha
4 just started to giggle . And
5 trying not to giggle
6 we did was giggle .
7t , you know giggling and laughing
8 You got up giggling and laughing
9 a big enough giggle as it is
10 they all were giggling at me .
11 And she was giggling away .
12 I was just giggling away ,
13ened to so much as giggle , but bre
14 Stop giggling !
15 a bit of a giggle in the offic
16r . Irene giggled , Mademoiselle
17ittle girls giggling !
18 Getting Michael giggly .
19 such a great giggle .
20 Oh I had a giggle !
21 Stop giggling !
22 's a great giggle pretty crue
23 a bit of a giggle !
24 I was giggling there 's a
25I was like , giggling to them an
26 n't you all giggling together at
27 were laughing and giggling
28oys sniggering and giggling , whatever ,
29oom with hilarious giggles which do n't
30ny bit of a giggle !
31 was watching or giggling with your
32pronunciation , you giggle , you look

Feedback

The occurrences of the phrase 'giggling and laughing' shows that 'giggling' does not seem to be fixed in either the first or second slot of our two-part expressions (we had 'laughing and giggling' in our left-sorted concordance).

It is important to remember that we have only looked at a few concordance lines here. Of course it is impossible to make sweeping generalizations about 'giggl*' based on this evidence. However, what we have seen has shown us some interesting patterns in this particular spoken corpus.

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