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Are there any resources for finding examples of texts which use a particular word, in any language?

One would think that Google would be fit for this purpose, however with Google I cannot find a single page which uses the word vaginate in natural context. All results returned are general reference (dictionaries, pronunciation guides, etc). Though an English word is given for example, this question addresses resources available in any language.

  • You're unlikely to find "vaginated" in natural text, because it's not a natural word in English. :) But good question nonetheless. – Flimzy Aug 10 '16 at 9:12
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    This question appears to refer to corpus linguistics. As far as I know, corpora are language specific. Linguistics SE has a tag for questions related to corpore. – user800 Aug 10 '16 at 11:31
  • @ChristopheStrobbe: Thank you, I'm actually on Linguistics.SE. However I figured that this is a better place to ask as I'm looking for a reference tool. – dotancohen Aug 10 '16 at 12:13
  • I typed in 'vaginates' in Google and on the first page I found the following sentence: "The plasma membrane vaginates the molecules and forms a coated vessel." This is not exactly about flowers, but still a good example sentence for "forming or enclosed in a sheath". On the next page I found: "...much greater than in Amaryllis, of which Blanda vaginates above six inches; but the consequence of this vagination in Haemanthus is a different form of bulb..." Anyway, the majority of words you can find easily on Google, but you picked a very rare one - in what context were you going to use it? Hmm. – J.Past Aug 10 '16 at 13:16
  • @J.Past: Thank you, upon further digging I did find that link on page 3 of my search results. Therefore Google is a good resource for finding such data, even if it is buried in the clickbait. You can post your comment as an answer and I'll accept it with a note about having to dig deep. – dotancohen Aug 10 '16 at 13:29
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The type of resource you need appears to be a text corpus. Some corpora are freely available (they can be searched through a web interface or downloaded). Below are a few examples:

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You can try Linguee.

And this is a dictionary first, but it also provides some real-world-examples: https://glosbe.com/

You can also try this: http://corp.hum.sdu.dk/

They all cover only a selection of languages each, though.

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For better results than using Google directly, try a "corpus search". Ask Google for "name of language + corpus" and you will find what you need.

For example "Esperanto corpus" gives you these:

http://tekstaro.com/

http://corp.hum.sdu.dk/cqp.eo.html

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Just to add another great resource: http://www.dwds.de/ Corpora like this one shows you texts in which the words appear, synonyms and the etymology. It's as easy as a Google search.

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