23.127, Calls: Discipline of Linguistics/UK

Sat Jan 7 12:49:51 UTC 2012

LINGUIST List: Vol-23-127. Sat Jan 07 2012. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 23.127, Calls: Discipline of Linguistics/UK

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Date: 06-Jan-2012
From: Kim Witten [kaw522 at york.ac.uk]
Subject: Advances in Visual Methods for Linguistics

-------------------------Message 1 ---------------------------------- 
Date: Sat, 07 Jan 2012 07:48:56
From: Kim Witten [kaw522 at york.ac.uk]
Subject: Advances in Visual Methods for Linguistics

E-mail this message to a friend:
Full Title: Advances in Visual Methods for Linguistics 
Short Title: AVML 

Date: 05-Sep-2012 - 07-Sep-2012
Location: York, United Kingdom 
Contact Person: Dominic Watt
Meeting Email: avml at events.york.ac.uk
Web Site: http://www.avml2012.wordpress.com 

Linguistic Field(s): Discipline of Linguistics 

Call Deadline: 09-Jan-2012 

Meeting Description:

Linguistics, like many other scientific disciplines, is centrally reliant upon visual images for the elicitation, analysis and presentation of data. It is difficult to imagine how linguistics could have developed, and how it could be done today, without visual representations such as syntactic trees, psychoperceptual models, vocal tract diagrams, dialect maps, or spectrograms. Complex multidimensional data can be condensed into forms that can be easily and immediately grasped in a way that would be considerably more taxing, even impossible, through textual means. Transforming our numerical results into graphical formats, according to Cleveland (1993: 1), 'provides a front line of attack, revealing intricate structure in data that cannot be absorbed in any other way. We discover unimagined effects, and we challenge imagined ones.' Or, as Keith Johnson succinctly puts it, 'Nothing beats a picture' (2008: 6).

So embedded are the ways we visualize linguistic data and linguistic phenomena in our research and teaching that it is easy to overlook the design and function of these graphical techniques. Yet the availability of powerful freeware and shareware packages which can produce easily customised publication-quality images means that we can create visual enhancements to our research output more quickly and more cheaply than ever before. Crucially, it is very much easier now than at any time in the past to experiment with imaginative and innovative ideas in visual methods. The potential for the inclusion of enriched content (animations, films, colour illustrations, interactive figures, etc.) in the ever-increasing quantities of research literature, resource materials and new textbooks being published, especially online, is enormous. There is clearly a growing appetite among the academic community for the sharing of inventive graphical methods, to judge from the contributions made by researchers to the websites and blogs that have proliferated in recent years (e.g. Infosthetics, Information is Beautiful, Cool Infographics, BBC Dimensions, or Visual Complexity).

In spite of the ubiquity and indispensability of graphical methods in linguistics it does not appear that a conference dedicated to sharing techniques and best practices in this domain has taken place before. This is less surprising when one considers that virtually nothing has been published specifically on the subject (an exception is Stewart, 1976). We think it is important that researchers from a broad spectrum of linguistic disciplines spend time discussing how their work can be done more efficiently, and how it can achieve greater impact, using the profusion of flexible and intuitive graphical tools at their disposal.

The Department of Language and Linguistic Science at the University of York is hosting 'Advances in Visual Methods for Linguistics' on September 6-7, 2012. The conference will be preceded by a half-day workshop on the afternoon of Wednesday September 5.

The venue for the conference is the Berrick Saul Building on the Heslington West campus of the University of York. Accommodation on campus will be available. 

Call for Papers:

We would like to let you know that the abstract submission deadline for papers to be presented at the Advances in Visual Methods for Linguistics conference (AVML 2012) is this upcoming Monday, January 9, 2012. 

Abstracts for oral or poster presentations should be sent as PDF files to avml at events.york.ac.uk. Please visit http://www.avml2012.wordpress.com for abstract submission guidelines and general info about the conference.

Conference Organisers: 

Dom Watt, Carmen Llamas, Kim Witten, Natalie Fecher (University of York)
Anne Fabricius (Roskilde University, Denmark)
Tyler Kendall (University of Oregon)

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