Word sketch difference — compare words via their collocations

The word sketch difference is used for making comparisons by contrasting collocations. Three options are available:

  • lemma
    compares the use of two different lemmas via their collocates
  • word forms
    compares the use of two different word forms of the same lemma via their collocates
  • subcorpora
    compares the use of the same lemma in two different subcorpora of the same corpus via their collocates

Word sketch difference

Visit the related Quick start guide or gover the mouse over icons, controls and other elements to display the tooltips. Click the highlighted words to learn bout the functions and settings.

Word sketch tooltip

The collocates of a word give a good idea about how the word is used, about subsenses, subject area, connotations or register. Comparing the collocations will provide a great insight into the difference in use and meaning. The word sketch difference makes the comparison more effective by automatically generating both word sketches and highlighting the collocates that make the difference.

Sketch Engine assigns a colour to each search word (or a subcorpus) and generates the two word sketches. Then it compares the use of each collocate with both search words or in both subcorpora in each grammatical relation separately.

The colours indicate the search word (or a subcorpus) where the collocate is more frequent. The shade of the colour indicates the strength of the collocation. The white lines in the centre contain collocates without a preference of a green or red word or a subcorpus.

The user can use view options to display the frequencies and scores. The local menu will use the selected collocate as the search word of other tools.

Rich word sketches with lots of collocates in all grammatical relations are important. Therefore the
requirements are the same as those for the word sketch.

Detailed Sketch Engine manual

THOMAS, James Edward (2015). Discovering English with Sketch Engine (DESkE), chapter 9 Word Sketches, pp. 161–176.

Work on word sketch

Semantic Word Sketches (presentation). Diana McCarthy, Adam Kilgarriff, Miloš Jakubíček and Siva Reddy (2015). InCorpus Linguistics (CL2015).

Finding Multiwords of More Than Two Words. Adam Kilgarriff, Pavel Rychlý, Vojtěch Kovář and Vít Baisa (2012). In Proceedings of the 15th EURALEX International Congress, Norway, pp. 693–700.

A Quantitative Evaluation of Word Sketches. Adam Kilgarriff, Vojtěch Kovář, Simon Krek, Irena Srdanovic and Carole Tiberius (2010). In Proceedings of the 14th EURALEX International Congress. The Netherlands, pp. 372–379.

Towards disambiguation of word sketches. Vít Baisa (2010). In Text, Speech and Dialogue. Germany, Berlin: Springer-Verlag, pp. 37–42.

Word sketch for individual languages

The articles relating to individual languages can be found in the Bibliography section (e.g. Arabic, Chinese, Polish, Japanese, etc).