Events

Upcoming | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

  • Fri
    10
    Jan
    2014

    Using Corpus Methods to Analyse Metaphor in Discourse

    Lancaster University, UK

    The Metaphor in End of Life Care ('MELC') Project at Lancaster University is using a corpus-based approach to investigate the role of metaphor in language used to talk about end-of-life care by patients, carers, and healthcare professionals. As part of our project activities, we will be holding a one-day workshop on 'Using Corpus Methods to Analyse Metaphor in Discourse' at Lancaster on 10th January 2014. This event is aimed at those with an interest in using corpus linguistic methods to investigate metaphor, particularly in the area of health communication. The workshop will include presentations and training sessions, and the programme is available here.

    There is no fee to attend this event, which includes lunch and refreshments. Places are limited, however. We are able to offer funding for UK economy-class travel and one night's accommodation on campus, up to a combined maximum of £100, for 15 participants, on a first-come, first-served basis. A further 9 places are available without funding for travel or accommodation.

    To register for a place at the workshop, please e-mail Dr Jane Demmen (j.demmen@lancaster.ac.uk) by 31st October 2013, indicating the name of the institution with which you are affiliated and whether you are a member of staff or a student.

    The MELC project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Funding Council (ESRC) and associated with Lancaster's ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science). For more information about Wmatrix suite of corpus tools, see the website.

  • Fri
    07
    Mar
    2014
    Sun
    09
    Mar
    2014

    Second Asia Pacific Corpus Linguistics Conference (APCLC 2014)

    The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

    The aim of the APCLC 2014 is to bring together academics from around the world, and from the Asia Pacific area in particular, in order to report on the varied developments in the use of and investigation into corpora in linguistics, language learning and translation studies. Some countries have a number of well-developed projects related to the theoretical and applied aspects of corpus analysis; other countries are just starting to develop corpus resources. Through this conference, we will provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and expertise and lay the foundations for future developments in the application of corpus resources in Asia and the Pacific.

    Visit the official website for more information.

  • Wed
    30
    Apr
    2014
    Sun
    04
    May
    2014

    ICAME 35

    University of Nottingham

    The 35th ICAME conference is to be hosted by CRAL (Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics)School of English at the University of Nottingham in the spring of 2014.

    The Conference theme is 'Corpus Linguistics, Context and Culture'. The main conference will be opened with a talk by Professor Ronald Carter.

    For more information, visit the official website.

  • Thu
    08
    May
    2014

    Language in End-of-Life Care workshop

    The Work Foundation, 21 Palmer Street, London, SW1H 0AD

    The workshop will include the following sessions. The full programme is available to download here.

    • Welcome and opening: Professor Sheila Payne (Lancaster University)
    • The search for a final sense of meaning in end-of-life discourses: Professor Lukas Radbruch (University of Bonn)
    • The 'Metaphor in End-of-Life Care' project - data, questions and methods: Dr Jane Demmen and Dr Paul Rayson (Lancaster University)
    • 'Fight' and 'journey' metaphors for cancer revisited: Dr Veronika Koller and Professor Elena Semino (Lancaster University)
    • Listening to patient and professional voices in end-of-life care Dame Professor Barbara Monroe (Chief Executive, St Christopher's Hospice, London)
    • Narratives of 'good' and 'bad' deaths: Dr Zsofia Demjen (Open University) and Professor Elena Semino (Lancaster University)
    • Plenary discussion: chaired by Professor Sheila Payne (Lancaster University)
    • Closing: Dr Veronika Koller (Lancaster University)

    Please contact Jane Demmen for further information and to book one of the remaining places for this event: (j.demmen@lancs.ac.uk). NB: Places will be allocated on a 'first-come-first-served' basis. We may not be able to respond to individual emails after the event is full, but an update will be posted here in due course.

  • Tue
    27
    May
    2014

    Learner language and natural language processing

    15.00-16.30Lancaster University, Frankland Lecture Theatre, Faraday Building

    Lecture by Professor Detmar Meurers

    The automatic analysis of learner language is potentially relevant in a range of contexts, from the online analysis of learner language aimed at providing individual feedback in Intelligent Language Tutoring Systems (ILTS) to the automatic annotation of learner corpora in support of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) research and Foreign Language Teaching and Learning (FLTL) practice. In this talk, I want to raise some questions about the interpretation of learner data involved in any such analysis, focusing the discussion on learner corpora.Learner corpora as collections of language produced by second language learners have been systematically collected since the 90s, and with readily available collections such as ICLE and new Big-Data collections such as EFCamDat there is a growing empirical basis of potential relevance to SLA research. Yet, as soon as the research questions go beyond the acquisition of vocabulary and constructions with unambiguous surface indicators, corpora must be enhanced with linguistic annotation to support efficient retrieval of the instances of data that are relevant for specific research questions.

    In contrast to the different types of linguistic annotation schemes which have been developed for native language corpora, the discussion on which linguistic annotation is meaningful and appropriate for learner language is only starting. When formulating linguistic generalizations, one generally relies on a long tradition of linguistic analysis that has established an inventory of categories and properties abstracting away from the surface strings. We will show that traditional linguistic categories are not necessarily an appropriate index into the space of interlanguage realizations and their systematicity, which research into second language acquisition aims tocapture. We will argue for balancing robustness of categorization and representation of the actual observations and their variability. Complementing the discussion of the corpus annotation as such, we then discuss the need for explicit information about the task from which the corpus resulted and the learners who produced it for interpreting and annotating learner data.

    Background references:

    This event is a general lecture, co-organized by the Department of Linguistics and English Language, the Second Language Learning and Teaching Group (SLLAT), the ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS), and the University Centre for Computer Corpus Research on Language (UCREL).

    Contact: p.rebuschat@lancaster.ac.uk

    Who can attend: Anyone

  • Wed
    28
    May
    2014

    Readability analysis as an exploration of linguistic complexity

    2.00-3.00pmLancaster University, Management School LT7

    Lecture by Professor Detmar Meurers

    The analysis of readability has traditionally relied on surface properties of language, such as average sentence and word lengths and specific word lists. At the same time, there is a long tradition analyzing the Complexity, Accuracy, and Fluency (CAF) of language produced by language learners in second language acquisition (SLA) research. Reusing SLA measures of learner language complexity to analyze readability, Sowmya Vajjala and I explored which aspects of linguistic modeling can successfully be employed to predict the readability of a native language text. Using various machine learning setups and corpora, we show that a broad range of linguistic properties are highly indicative of the readability of documents, from graded readers to web pages and TV programs targeting different age groups. The readability model using our full linguistic feature set currently is the best non-commercial readability model available for English (and second overall, with the commercial ETS model coming in first), based on the performance on the Common Core State Standard data set.

    The fact that we found readability to be reflected in a wide range of linguistic aspects also has consequences for text simplification, where we are interested in identifying for which sentences which kind of simplification would be worthwhile. To support such research, we show that our text readability models can meaningfully be applied to individual sentences.The talk will try to trace the ideas sketched above based on the joint paper with Sowmya Vajjala listed below, which are downloadable from http://purl.org/dm/papers In case there is something you'd be particularly interested in, just send me an email so I can try to give it more time.

    References:

    • Sowmya Vajjala and Detmar Meurers (to appear) "Readability Assessment for Text Simplification: From Analyzing Documents to Identifying Sentential Simplifications". International Journal of Applied Linguistics, Special Issue on Current Research in Readability and Text Simplification edited by Thomas François & Delphine Bernhard.
    • Sowmya Vajjala and Detmar Meurers (2014) "Assessing the relative reading level of sentence pairs for text simplification". Proceedings of EACL. Gothenburg, Sweden.
    • Sowmya Vajjala and Detmar Meurers (2014) "Exploring Measures of 'Readability' for Spoken Language: Analyzing linguistic features of subtitles to identify age-specific TV programs. Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Predicting and Improving Text Readability for Target Reader Populations (PITR), EACL. Gothenburg, Sweden.
    • Sowmya Vajjala and Detmar Meurers (2013) "On The Applicability of Readability Models to Web Texts." Proceedings of the Workshop on Predicting and Improving Text Readability for Target Reader Populations (PITR), ACL. Sofia, Bulgaria.
    • Julia Hancke, Sowmya Vajjala and Detmar Meurers (2012) "Readability Classification for German using lexical, syntactic, and morphological features". Proceedings of COLING, Mumbai, India.
    • Sowmya Vajjala and Detmar Meurers (2012) "On Improving the Accuracy of Readability Classification using Insights from Second Language Acquisition". Proceedings of BEA7, ACL. Montreal, Canada.

    Event website: http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/groups/sllat/programme.html

    Contact: p.rebuschat@lancaster.ac.uk

    Who can attend: Anyone

  • Thu
    19
    Jun
    2014
    Sat
    21
    Jun
    2014

    7th Biennial IVACS Conference

    Newcastle University

    IVACS 2014 will take place in Newcastle, the cultural capital of the North East. IVACS 2014 is being organised by the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences at Newcastle University.

    Plenary speakers:

    • Michael McCarthy, University of Nottingham
    • Ronald Carter, University of Nottingham
    • Brona Murphy, University of Edinburgh
    • Dawn Knight, Newcastle University
    • Tony McEnery, Lancaster University
    • Andrew Hardie, Lancaster University

    For more information, visit the official website

  • Tue
    15
    Jul
    2014
    Fri
    18
    Jul
    2014

    ESRC Summer School in Corpus Approaches to Social Science

    Lancaster University, UK

    The ESRC Summer School in Corpus Approaches to Social Sciences was inaugurated in 2013; the 2014 event is the second in the series. It will take place 15th to 18th July 2014, at Lancaster University, UK.

    This free-to-attend summer school takes place under the aegis of CASS (http://cass.lancs.ac.uk), an ESRC research centre bringing a new method in the study of language – the corpus approach – to a range of social sciences. CASS is investigating the use and manipulation of language in society in a host of areas of pressing concern, including climate change, hate crime and education.

    Who can attend?

    A crucial part of the CASS remit is to provide researchers across the social sciences with the skills needed to apply the tools and techniques of corpus linguistics to the research questions that matter in their own discipline. This event is aimed at junior social scientists – especially PhD students and postdoctoral researchers – in any of the social science disciplines. Anyone with an interest in the analysis of social issues via text and discourse – especially on a large scale – will find this summer school of interest.

    Programme

    The programme consists of a series of intensive two-hour sessions, some involving practical work, others more discussion-oriented.

    Topics include: Introduction to corpus linguistics; Corpus tools and techniques; Collecting corpus data; Foundational techniques for social science data - keywords and collocation; Understanding statistics for corpus analysis; Discourse analysis for the social sciences; Semantic annotation and key domains; Corpus-based approaches to metaphor in discourse; Pragmatics, politeness and impoliteness in the corpus.

    Speakers include Tony McEnery, Paul Baker, Jonathan Culpeper, and Elena Semino.

    The CASS Summer School is one of the three co-located Lancaster Summer Schools in Interdisciplinary Digital Methods; see the website for further information:

    http://ucrel.lancs.ac.uk/summerschool

    How to apply

    The CASS Summer School is free to attend, but registration in advance is compulsory, as places are limited.

    The deadline for registrations is Sunday 8th June 2014.

    The application form is available on theevent website as is further information on the programme.

  • Tue
    15
    Jul
    2014
    Fri
    18
    Jul
    2014

    UCREL Summer School in Corpus Linguistics

    Lancaster University, UK

    The UCREL Summer School 2014 is the fourth event in a highly successful series that began in 2011. Sponsored by UCREL at Lancaster University – one of the world's leading and longest-established centres for corpus-based research – its aim is to support students of language and linguistics in the development of advanced skills in corpus methods.

    The UCREL Summer School is intended primarily for postgraduate research students (and secondarily for Masters-level students, postdoctoral researchers, and others) who require in-depth knowledge of corpus-based methodologies for their degree projects. It is not aimed at raw beginners, but rather at students who have at least some introductory experience of analysis using language corpora, and who wish to expand their knowledge of key issues and techniques in cutting-edge corpus research.

    The programme consists of a series of intensive two-hour sessions, some involving practical work, others more discussion-oriented.

    For more details on the programme and how to apply, please visit the event website.

  • Tue
    15
    Jul
    2014
    Fri
    18
    Jul
    2014

    ERC Summer School in GIS for the Digital Humanities

    Lancaster University, UK

    The ERC Summer School in GIS for the Digital Humanities is an intensive, hands-on introduction to the use of Geographical Information Systems aimed at PhD students and other junior researchers in the digital humanities.

    Geographical Information Systems (GIS) is the field of geography devoted to the visualisation, in the form of maps, of non-visual data sources. These data sources can range from statistical databases to corpora of literary texts.

    The Summer School in GIS for the Digital Humanities is sponsored by the European Research Council as part of the five-year project Spatial Humanities: Texts, Geographic Information Systems and Places. It is taught by Prof. Ian Gregory.

    Over four days, a series of intensive lab-based sessions will be used to introduce GIS, from the basic concepts, to the use of key software including ArcGIS, to a consideration of approaches for applying GIS in different kinds of humanities research. The aim is to give participants the skills needed to exploit GIS techniques in their own research – allowing the spatial dimension to emerge in the study of digital humanities.

    There are additional daily lectures shared with the other two Summer School events, each illustrating cutting-edge research using corpus data.

    For more information on the programme and how to apply, please visit the event webpage

  • Sat
    15
    Nov
    2014

    Corpus Linguistics in the South 8: Voices from Below - Corpus Linguistics and Social Media

    University of Reading

    The aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers who adopt the tools and approaches of Corpus Linguistics to study communication in online environments especially social media sites and interactive online and comment forums. We invite papers that:

    • look at the interplay of public/hegemonic and private/grassroots discourse in social media and online forums that feature voices of ‘ordinary people’
    • deal with methodological questions of mining and annotating data from online and social media platforms
    • present case studies based on corpora of social media and online interactive communication
    • discuss specific linguistic features, practices and phenomena of social media and online interactive communication

    Click to view the programme

     

  • Wed
    19
    Nov
    2014

    Symposium on Corpus Methods and Health Communication

    1:50pm - 5:00pmLancaster University, Faraday, Seminar Room 3

    The ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS) in association with the Lancaster University Department of Linguistics and English Language (LAEL) will be hosting a Symposium on Corpus Methods and Health Communication on 19 November 2014. The programme is as follows:

    1.50-2.00

    Opening: Elena Semino

    2.00-2.30

    Veronika Koller (Lancaster University) – Metaphor and end-of-life care

    2.30-3.00

    Gavin Brookes (University of Nottingham) – Discourses of Diabulimia: a corpus-based approach to online health communication

    3.00-3.30

    Tea/coffee

    3.30-4.00

    Karen Donnelly (Lancaster University) – "I've come to view myself as either a clinical patient, mother-without-a-baby, or complete failure." - representations of the infertile self

    4.00-4.30

    Elena Semino (Lancaster University) – Corpus methods and narratives of autism and schizophrenia

    4.30-5.00

    General discussion

    Fifteen places are available, and will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Please contact Elena Semino by 12th November: e.semino@lancaster.ac.uk

  • Wed
    26
    Nov
    2014

    Research seminar, "Big Educational Data: any good for SLA research?"

    4:00 pmCounty South C89, Lancaster University, UK

    Dora Alexopoulou (Cambridge)
    Joint work with J Geertzen, A Korhonen and D Meurers

    The emergence of online EFL teaching  platforms offering teaching and learning to students around the globe results in unprecedented amounts of learner production data: data can come from  rich task sets across the proficiency spectrum and learners from a variety of linguistic, educational and cultural backgrounds. Exploiting such datasets opens important opportunities for SLA research and, in particular, linking SLA findings to  second language teaching. But at the same time, such datasets have all the pitfalls of big data: a range of variables standardly controlled for in carefully designed data collections (e.g. task sets) are not considered. Access to unprecedented numbers of learners is set against lack of rich learner metadata targeted in typical data collections. In addition, the very context of production poses  arbitrary constraints (e.g. word limits on writings). Last, but not least, the size of such datasets brings new challenges  for extracting information and addressing the noisy aspects of the data. 

    Can we then  use such data for SLA research, crucially, to link SLA findings to teaching second languages? I will argue that Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools can help us address many of the methodological issues and  will show that we can  obtain valuable information for SLA research. I will use the EF-Cambridge Open Language Database (EFCAMDAT) as an example of a big data resource.  I will focus on the  the developmental trajectory of Relative Clauses (RCs) as a study case and consider specific issues that can affect the developmental picture, such as task effects, formulaic language and national language effects. I will conclude by showing  that not only we can arrive at reliable generalisations about RC development based on a resource like EFCAMDAT,  but we can also obtain new generalisations, a fact strongly indicating the potential of big educational data for SLA research.