English Corpus Linguistics Symposium The Survey Methodology of Linguistic Inquiry University of Brescia, 19 June 2019

English Corpus Linguistics Symposium
The Survey Methodology of Linguistic Inquiry
University of Brescia, 19 June 2019

A one-day symposium into the state of the art of corpus linguistics, hosted by the University of Brescia, with guest speakers from the Survey of English Usage at University College London, the first corpus linguistics research group in Europe.
CORPUS LINGUISTICS, understood as a set of methodologies within linguistics that exploit collections of language data for research purposes, is becoming increasingly important within linguistics. From its origins in the 1950s, corpus linguistics has contained within it a number of competing approaches, both qualitative and quantitative, concentrating at different levels of language description, from text patterns to grammatical and pragmatic relations.
The Survey of English Usage (SEU) has played a leading role in corpus linguistics for decades. Under the leadership of Randolph Quirk, the SEU began collecting a spokenword corpus in the 1950s, which became the spoken part of the famous London-Lund Corpus, LLC. This was followed in 1998 by the British component of the International Corpus of English (ICE-GB), a fully parsed and grammatically annotated corpus (overseen by Bas Aarts, Gerald Nelson and Sean Wallis), and a new diachronic spoken corpus, DCPSE, in 2006.
The Survey Methodology is anchored in a philosophical approach to science with a long pedigree. It argues that linguistic research, like that in other sciences, must rely on what are termed ‘auxiliary assumptions’ to permit research to take place. Thus it promotes the systematic annotation of texts as the first step of investigation, whether at syntactic or pragmatic level.
By contrast, the majority of corpus linguistic research has become dominated by the computational ease of collecting ever-larger lightly-annotated corpora, inductive generalisation and word frequency and neighbourhood statistics. Whereas these resources have generated a large amount of interest, not least when they offer the prospect of computational solutions to some engineering problems, the benefits for linguistic theoretical research appear limited.
This symposium is intended as a one-day masterclass in the Survey Methodology using the corpus resources and tools developed by the Survey of English Usage. It will cover the fundamentals of linguistic corpus research in the grammar of English and the approach to research that these tools make possible. Covering grammar, methodology and statistics, the symposium will showcase the state of the art in corpus linguistics in the 21st Century, and will be a must for every linguistic PhD student and researcher interested in corpus linguistics.

The symposium convenors are all members of the Survey of English Usage:
– Professor Bas Aarts, Professor of English Linguistics
– Dr. Sean Wallis, Principal Research Fellow

Sessions will include:
• Overview of corpus linguistics theory
• Introduction to the ICE-GB corpus
• Basic statistics for corpus linguistics
• Practical hands-on experience of the ICE-GB corpus

Submission guidelines
This event is open to PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, lecturers, and professors. In view of the strictly limited number of positions and the specificity of the symposium, some previous knowledge of linguistic theory and English language is required.
For organizational purposes, those wishing to attend are required to send a short paragraph (300 words max) to corpuslinguistics2019@unibs.it detailing research interests, motivation for attending, and any previous experience of corpus linguistics and corpus software.
Applicants who cannot be accommodated on the symposium will be eligible for early-bird registration rates on the Survey’s Summer School in Corpus Linguistics (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/english-usage/summer-school/) by 1 June 2019.

Key dates
Submission deadline: 15 April 2019
Acceptance notification: 6 May 2019

Fees are entirely covered by the University of Brescia.

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