25 July 2013 15:23

Former Home Secretary Charles Clarke has welcomed the opening of a Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Sciences (CASS) at Lancaster University, where he is a Visiting Professor.

Mr Clarke was among several special guests at the launch event including representatives from the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office and the Environment Agency.

The opening of the £4.1 million ESRC Centre took place at the start of the seventh international Corpus Linguistics 2013 conference attended by more than 300 delegates.

CASS is a Centre designed to bring a new method in the study of language – using computers to analyse patterns in large collections of naturally occurring speech and writing – to a range of social sciences.

Centre Director Professor Tony McEnery said: “We will be providing an insight into the use and manipulation of language in society in a host of areas of concern, including climate change, hate crime and education.”

CASS is run in partnership with the University Centre for Computer Corpus Research on Language (UCREL) and the Academy of Social Sciences.