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Title: Sampling techniques in metalexicographic research
Authors: Bukowska, Agnieszka
Keywords: Sampling
Statistical methods
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Ljouwert: Afûk
Citation: Dykstra, Anne and Tanneke Schoonheim (eds.) Proceedings of the 14th EURALEX International Congress, Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, The Netherlands. Ljouwert: Afûk, 1082-1091.
Abstract: Browsing through International Journal of Lexicography archives and other metalexicographic work one could easily notice that sampling techniques are generally neglected by metalexicographers, rarely described exhaustively by the authors themselves and almost never discussed, even though numerous researchers sample in order to make generalizations about the whole dictionary text, usually too large to be studied in its entirety. Not rarely samples consisting of one stretch only, usually selected judgmentally, are used to draw inferences about the whole dictionary text and serve as a basis for statistical analysis, which produces results of uncontrolled reliability. This study aims both at exposing the pitfalls of currently used sampling techniques and at proposing probability sampling instead. Two basic probability sampling schemes were examined: simple random and stratified selection of pages. Censuses based on three dictionaries, three characteristics examined in each one, confirmed my concerns regarding one-stretch sampling. Simple random selection of pages produced, as expected, far more satisfying results in virtually all the cases. This can be, however, bettered by stratification in case of entry-based characteristics in larger dictionaries. Page-based characteristic, mean number of entries per page in this study, did not benefit from stratification. The smallest of my dictionaries presented a range of problems mostly connected with stratified sampling. Furthermore, empirical evaluation of sampling techniques proposed in Coleman – Ogilvie (2009) demonstrated that randomization within strata is also crucial.
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