Cfp: Workshop on 'Parallel corpora and linguistic theory' (SLE 2013) (deadline Nov 12!)

Volker Gast volker.gast at UNI-JENA.DE
Sat Nov 10 12:08:08 UTC 2012

Dear colleagues,

I would like to draw your attention to a workshop on "Parallel Corpora 
and Linguistic Theory", submitted to the next SLE meeting (Split) by 
Johan van der Auwera, Natalia Levshina and myself. Cf. also the call for 
papers on the LinguistList:

Some information on the workshop is given below.

If you're interested, you're most cordially invited to submit an abstract!

The deadline for submission is November 12.

Best regards,


Workshop on "Parallel Corpora and Linguistic Theory"
The 46th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE)
Split, Croatia (18-21 September 2013)

Submission deadline: 12 November 2012

Johan van der Auwera (University of Antwerp, Belgium), Volker Gast 
(Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Germany), Natalia Levshina 
(Philipps University of Marburg, Germany)

This interdisciplinary, methodologically oriented workshop focuses on 
the application of parallel corpora in linguistic studies. Parallel 
corpora are understood here in the broadest possible sense, as any 
collections of texts in different languages and language varieties 
(including idiolects) that convey similar information and/or are 
produced under similar pragmatic conditions. They include translation 
corpora, balanced samples of the same registers/genres from different 
languages and language varieties (cf. 'comparable corpora'; cf. Aijmer 
2008), as well as texts produced by different speakers of one language 
(cf. Chafe's 1980 Pear Stories).

Parallel corpora, which are becoming increasingly available for a large 
number of languages and language varieties, have been used to arrive at 
theoretical generalizations in a range of linguistic disciplines - from 
typology (e.g. van der Auwera et al. 2005; Cysouw & Wälchli 2007) and 
contrastive linguistics (cf. Granger 2010) to functional and Cognitive 
Linguistics (e.g. Croft 2010) and dialectometry (e.g. Grieve et al. 
2011). At the same time, recent years have witnessed many new 
methodological approaches to cross-linguistic and cross-lectal 
variation, which employ multidimensional scaling, neighbor joining, 
regression analysis, random forests, spatial autocorrelation and other 
statistical techniques.

The aim of this workshop is to bring together linguists who use 
different types of parallel corpora in their research, and to encourage 
cross-fertilization between the above-mentioned and other theoretical 
and methodological approaches.

In this workshop we welcome any type of parallel corpus-based 
contributions, for instance:
* case studies (semasiological and onomasiological) of particular phenomena:
- within or across languages, language families and linguistic areas
- synchronic and diachronic

* methodological contributions referring to
- the advantages and disadvantages of various types of parallel corpora 
(translation corpora, comparable corpora of similar registers/genres, etc.)
- approaches to (multi-variate) quantitative comparison and statistical 
analysis (exploratory and hypothesis-testing)
- the make-up of (different types of) parallel corpora
- ways of annotating multilingual corpora (manually and 
- the comparison of parallel corpora with other types of resources
(e.g. grammars, questionnaires, experiments)

If you are interested, please send an abstract of approx. 300 words 
(excluding references) to Natalia Levshina (natalevs at

Abstracts should contain the author's name, affiliation and contact 
email. The deadline for the submission of proposals is November 12, 2012.

* Aijmer, K. 2008. Parallel and comparable corpora. In: Lüdeling, A. and 
M. Kytö (eds.), Corpus Linguistics. An International Handbook. Vol. I., 
275--291. Berlin: de Gruyter Mouton.
* van der Auwera, J., E. Schalley & J. Nuyts, 2005. Epistemic 
possibility in a Slavonic parallel corpus - a pilot study. In: B. Hansen 
& P. Karlik (eds.), Modality in Slavonic Languages, New Perspectives, 
201-17. München: Sagner.
* Chafe, W. (ed.) 1980. The Pear Stories. New York: Ablex.
* Croft, W. 2010. The origins of grammaticalization in the verbalization 
of experience. Linguistics 48: 1-48.
* Cysouw, M. & B. Wälchli. (eds.), 2007. Parallel Texts. Using 
Translational Equivalents in Linguistic Typology. Theme issue in 
Sprachtypologie & Universalienforschung STUF 60.2.
* Granger, S. 2010. Comparable and translation corpora in 
cross-linguistic research. Design, analysis and applications. Journal of 
Shanghai Jiaotong University.
* Grieve J., Speelman D., Geeraerts D. 2011. A statistical method for 
the identification and aggregation of regional linguistic variation. 
Language Variation and Change 23: 193-221.

Prof. Dr. Volker Gast
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Department of English and American Studies
Ernst-Abbe-Platz 8
07743 Jena

phone: ++49 (0)3641 9-44546
fax:   ++49 (0)3641 9-44542

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