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Author: Urszula Clark
Debates about the nature of literacy and literacy practices have been conducted extensively in the last fifteen years or so. The fact that both previous and current British governments have effectively suppressed any real debate makes the publication of this book both timely and important. Here, Urszula Clark stresses the underlying ideological character of such debates and shows that they have deep historical roots. She also makes the point that issues regarding the relationship between language and identity, especially national identity, become sharply focused at times of crisis in that identity. By undertaking a comparison with other major English-speaking countries, most notably Australia, New Zealand and the USA, Clark shows how these times of crisis reverberate around the globe.
Analyses and Techniques in Describing English
Volume Editor: John M. Kirk
Aspects of Theory and Description
Author: Joe Trotta
This study provides the first description-oriented, theoretically-unaligned account of wh-clauses in Modern English. The author employs a data-based approach to examine aspects of both generative and non-generative work as regards their relative strengths and weaknesses.
Wh-clauses in English: Aspects of Theory and Description is a unique combination of statistical findings and qualitative analysis. It is not only underpinned by a systematic investigation of the Brown University corpus but also includes attested material from other sources such as the British National Corpus, the CobuildDirect corpus as well as material gleaned from the internet.
The qualitative and quantitative analyses are combined to approach a wide range of theoretical and descriptive issues, such as wh-movement, landing-sites for moved wh-XPs, vacuous movement, island constraints, among others. Not insignificantly, many questions of indeterminacy are addressed, such as the interface of conjunctions and relative words, the problems of demarcation between interrogatives and free relatives as well as structural ambiguities between interrogatives and exclamatives.
Volume Editor: Antoinette Renouf
Explorations in Corpus Linguistics contains selected papers from the eighteenth International Conference on English Language Research on Computerised Corpora (ICAME 18). The papers give a broad overview of the latest activities in corpus linguistics. Issues associated with the creation of corpora are raised, topics ranging from corpus design, to problems of rare data acquisition and data protection, to the relative merits of corpora and free text collections. The main body of the volume is devoted to reports on the analysis of corpora. Several papers offer synchronic descriptions of aspects of modern language usage, in both spoken and written corpora. Some corpora are 'general' in content; those deriving from specialised textual domains include parallel corpora of international varieties of English and of learner language. The diachronic dimension of corpus-based study is also represented, in the examination of some modern-day grammatical features from a historical perspective, and by socio-pragmatic and sociolinguistic studies of diachronic corpus data. The principal aim of English corpus linguistics as reflected here is to describe language in use; there are also cases where such description forms a basis for the development of resources and tools, including specialised taggers, an Internet-based grammar, a glossary, and software to identify semantic relations and diachronic change within corpora.
Papers from the seventeenth International Conference on English Language Research on Computerized Corpora (ICAME 17)
Volume Editor: Magnus Ljung
Corpus-based Studies in English contains selected papers from the seventeenth International Conference on English Language Research on Computerized Corpora (ICAME 17). The topics include parsing and annotation of corpora, discourse studies, lexicography, translation studies, parallel corpora, language variation and change, national varieties, methodology and English language teaching. The papers on parsing and annotation include discussions of the treatment of irregular forms, semantic/pragmatic labels in air traffic control, a comparison of tagging systems and a presentation of T-tag lexicon construction.
The papers on discourse and lexicography include a study of like as a discourse marker, thesaural relations and the lexicalisation of NPs. In translation studies one paper discusses explicitness as a universal feature of translation and the paper on parallel corpora contrasts English and Norwegian. Many papers deal with variation and change; here we find a discussions of dialogue vs. non-dialogue in modern English fiction and an account of verbal disputes in adolescent English; the historical studies deal with e.g. text type evolution, multi-verb words, normalization in Middle English prose and modalities in Early Modern English. The methodology papers discuss the use in corpus analysis of inferential statistics, probabilistic approaches to anaphora resolution and multi-method approaches to data. The ELT paper compares the use of the progressive in native and non-native compositions.
Studies in English Corpus Linguistics
Volume Editors: Udo Fries, Viviane Müller, and Peter Schneider
The twenty papers of this volume - published to honour Gunnel Tottie - are of interest to everyone concerned with the study of the English language. The collection is a convincing argument for an approach to language studies based on the analysis of computerized corpora.
Though this is not an introduction to the field but a series of highly specialized studies, readers get a good overview of the work being done at present in English computer corpus studies. English corpus linguistics, though basically concerned with the study of varieties of English, goes far beyond the simple ordering and counting of large numbers of examples but is deeply concerned with linguistic theory - based on real language data.
The volume includes sections on corpora of written and spoken present-day English, historical corpora, contrastive corpora, and on the application of corpus studies to teaching purposes.
Studies based on the Corpus of Early English Correspondence
What role has social status played in shaping the English language across the centuries? Have women also been the agents of language standardization in the past? Can apparent-time patterns be used to predict the course of long-term language change?
These questions and many others will be addressed in this volume, which combines sociolinguistic methodology and social history to account for diachronic language change in Renaissance English. The approach has been made possible by the new machine-readable Corpus of Early English Correspondence (CEEC) specifically compiled for this purpose. The 2.4-million-word corpus covers the period from 1420 to 1680 and contains over 700 writers.
The volume introduces the premises of the study, discussing both modern sociolinguistics and English society in the late medieval and early modern periods. A detailed description is given of the Corpus of Early English Correspondence, its encoding, and the separate database which records the letter writers' social backgrounds.
The pilot studies based on the CEEC suggest that social rank and gender should both be considered in diachronic language change, but that apparent-time patterns may not always be a reliable cue to what will happen in the long run. The volume also argues that historical sociolinguistics offers fascinating perspectives on the study of such new areas as pragmatization and changing politeness cultures across time.
This extension of sociolinguistic methodology to the past is a breakthrough in the field of corpus linguistics. It will be of major interest not only to historical linguists but to modern sociolinguists and social historians.