Language for Communicating Software Change

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Student Presentation

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Casey Keck


While much of the research and analysis in the field of corpus linguistics has been driven by a desire to improve teaching tools for second language learners, there are still many registers and domains that remain relatively unstudied. My area of interest for this study centers around a domain of technical writing, that of patch notes – the writing used to communicate updates for a given software.

To this end, I have compiled a modest corpora of patch notes of six major software publishers, publishing software ranging from large scale multiplayer games to operating systems. The texts collected from these publishers are all recent, with text collection limited to approximately the last six months. Texts are then compared quantitative for their language use, looking for features such as frequently occurring words or clusters of words, as well as frequently occurring phrasal structures.

The presentation of this data will describe some of the features present in this domain of language use. I will also describe some of the differences in register present across publishers, such as the vast difference between the writing of Riot Games, publisher of League of Legends, and Apple.

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