Collocation is the probability that any two of the words identified in a keyness analysis frequently occur together, typically within five words on either side of the word identified for investigation (also referred to as the “node”). Collocation can be used not only to enhance search functionality but to help identify key themes in a text. Collocation is important because it can indicate how a person forms connections between concepts.

For example, Baker et al., in their study on United Kingdom discourse around refugees, found that four words—immigrant, migrant, refugee, and asylum seeker—shared a consistently high number of collocates, meaning that the United Kingdom press was either intentionally or unintentionally linking those concepts in people’s minds.


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