The Survey of English Usage
Annual Report 2002

1. General

During the summer Exploring natural language: working with the British component of the International Corpus of English by Gerald Nelson, Sean Wallis and Bas Aarts was published. This book is a comprehensive guide to both the ICE-GB corpus and its associated exploration software ICECUP. The chapters on ICECUP provide complete instructions on the use of the many features of the software, including concordancing, lexical and grammatical searches, sociolinguistic queries, random sampling, and searching for syntactic structures using ICECUP’s Fuzzy Tree Fragment models. Special attention is given to the principles of experimental design in a parsed corpus. The book also includes a number of case studies. For further details about this book, see here.

The lectureship in Modern English Language in the English Department was filled by Gerry Nelson, who returned to UCL from Hong Kong last September. Gerry maintains the International ICE project website which has now moved back to UCL. The URL is http://www.ucl.ac.uk/english-usage/ice/index.htm.

2. Research

New Projects

A new project started at the Survey in August, entitled Creating a parsed and searchable diachronic corpus of present-day spoken English, funded by the ESRC. At the core of this proposal are two corpora of Modern British English, both founded at the Survey of English Usage: the London-Lund Corpus (LLC), compiled in the 1960s, and the British Component of the International Corpus of English (ICE-GB), compiled in the 1990s. The project aims to construct a fully parsed and searchable diachronic corpus of spontaneous spoken English, containing carefully selected and directly comparable texts from the LLC and ICE-GB corpora. There is a new research impetus in linguistics which concerns itself with recent changes in lexis and grammar. This corpus will be a unique resource for linguists studying the spoken English of a period spanning 25-30 years. There is currently no comparable resource available, and the corpus will be the first of its kind enabling research into current change in spoken language. For full details, see here.

The Survey is collaborating with Professor Dr Hans-Jörg Schmid at the University of Bayreuth on a project entitled The Bayreuth-UCL Morphology Corpus (BUMC). More details will follow as they become available.

Completed project

The AHRB-funded project The English noun phrase: an empirical study finished in December. Dr Evelien Keizer, who worked on this project, has written an impressive monograph of 400+ pages for which she is now seeking a publisher. Progress reports on this project and sample chapters are available on the web.

The aim of the study is to shed light on aspects of the noun phrase which over the years have proved problematic and which, as a result, have been the subject of a considerable amount of debate. One of the problems concerns the internal structure of noun phrases, or, more specifically, of noun phrases containing two nominal elements (e.g. this kind of language, the poet Burns, the city of Rome, a number of people). These topics are dealt with in Part 1. At the heart of the discussion in this part of the book is the issue of headedness. Other aspects, such as referentiality and predication, definiteness, determination and quantification, however, also play an important role in the discussion.

In Part 2 the focus of attention shifts towards the communicative and cognitive factors underlying the production and interpretation of noun phrases. From a communicative point of view, information packaging, i.e. the speaker’s choice of the most effective linguistic form to achieve his/her communicative objectives, is explored in detail, while from a cognitive point of view an attempt is made to explain certain linguistic phenomena in terms of the way knowledge is conceptualized and structured in the mind.

The study has been written in the communication-and-cognitive tradition. As such, it starts from the assumption that language is principally a means of communication, and that the form of linguistic utterances is determined first and foremost by their use. In addition, it is recognized that the study of language use must take place within the broader perspective of such cognitive processes as reasoning, conceptualization and the storage and retrieval of knowledge. The analyses proposed, in particular those in Part 1, make use of underlying representations. These are, however, to be regarded merely as a notational tool to distinguish minimally different construction types. Moreover, the study as a whole has not been written within a particular theoretical framework; instead a deliberate choice has been made for a more eclectic approach, selecting useful notions used in one or more functional and/or cognitive models of language, without favouring any one of these models.

Title of the monograph:
Aspects of the English Noun Phrase: structure, cognition and communication.

Table of Contents:
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Key notions
Chapter 3: A classification of sort/kind/type constructions.
Chapter 4: Close appositions
Chapter 5: N-of-N constructions
Chapter 6: Complemention and modification
Chapter 7: Discontinuous NPs
Chapter 8: Possessive constructions
Chapter 9: Conclusion

Ongoing Projects

ICE-GB

Sean Wallis has been finalising ICECUP 3.1 for beta release. The new software contains an integrated lexicon and grammaticon for ICE-GB, and supports enhanced search facilities using Fuzzy Tree Fragments. It also supports the synchronous playback of recorded speech. Unfortunately progress on hand-indexing the ICE-GB sound files was affected by the passing away of René Quinault, resulting in a delay of the release date of version 3.1.

Sean has also been extending ICECUP for use in the construction of the new Diachronic Corpus of Spoken English (see above). This will contain 400,000 words of material from the spoken part of the London Lund Corpus which is being tagged and parsed in line with another 400,000 words of material from ICE-GB to form a new corpus permitting studies of recent change in grammar and lexis.

3. Staff

Yordanka Kostadinova Kavalova and Gabriel Ozón have joined the diachronic corpus project as Research Assistants.

4. Publications, conference presentations, talks, theses and other studies using Survey material

Please let us know if you would like us to include your publications based on SEU material. We will appreciate it if you send us offprints of any such publications.

Aarts, Bas (2002, with Flor Aarts) Relative whom: a ‘mischief-maker’. In: Andreas Fischer, Gunnel Tottie and Peter Schneider (eds.) Text types and corpora. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag.123-130.

Aarts, Bas (2002, with Gerald Nelson and Sean Wallis) Exploring natural language: working with the British component of the International Corpus of English. Varieties of English Around the World 29. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Aarts, Bas (2002, with Evelien Keizer, Mariangela Spinillo and Sean Wallis) Which or what? A study of interrogative determiners in present-day English. In: Andrew Wilson, Paul Rayson and Anthony McEnery (eds.). Corpus Linguistics by the Lune. (Lodz Studies in Language series). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

Aarts, Bas (2002) English syntax and argumentation. Korean translation by Dong-hwan An. Seoul: Hankook Publishing company.

Aarts, Bas (2002) Conceptions of gradience in the history of linguistics. Paper presented at Lancaster University.

Aarts, Bas (2002) Categorial indeterminacy. Paper presented at the University of Bonn.

Aarts, Bas (2002) Lectures on corpus linguistics. Queen Mary, University of London.

Aijmer, Karin (2002) English discourse particles: evidence from a corpus. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

De Clerck, Bernard (2002) A corpus based analysis of the sociopragmatic distribution and use of let’s in spoken language. Paper presented at the 23rd ICAME conference, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Keizer, M.E. (2002) Review of Inge de Mönnick, On the move: the mobility of constituents in the English noun phrase: a multi-method approach. In: English Language and Linguistics 6/1, 210-216.

Keizer, M. E. (2002) The English noun phrase: an empirical study. Progress report.

Keizer, M. E. (2002) The English noun phrase: an empirical study. Final report. Available at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/english-usage/projects/noun-phrase/index.htm.

Keizer, M.E. (2002, with Bas Aarts, Mariangela Spinillo and Sean Wallis) Which or what? A study of interrogative determiners in present-day English. In: Andrew Wilson, Paul Rayson and Anthony McEnery (eds.). Corpus Linguistics by the Lune. Lodz Studies in Language series. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

Keizer, M.E. (2002) Close apposition. Paper presented at the Functional Grammar colloquium, Amsterdam. Also presented at the 10th International Conference on Functional Grammar.

Keizer, M.E. (with David Denison; forthcoming). Sort-of/kind-of/type-of constructions: a diachronic and synchronic account.

Kreyer, Rolf (2002) Fronted constructions in ICE-GB: the influence of heaviness and other factors on word order variation. Paper presented at the 23rd ICAME conference, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Meyer, Charles F. (2002) English corpus linguistics: an introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mindt, Ilka (2002) Nominal that-clauses. Paper presented at the 23rd ICAME conference, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Mondorf, Britta (2002) Gender differences in English syntax. Journal of English Linguistics. 30.2. 158-180.

Monschau, Jacqueline (2002) Analysing professional oral reading on the basis of corpus data. Paper presented at the 23rd ICAME conference, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Mukherjee, Joybrato (2002) Corpus data in a usage-based cognitive grammar. Paper presented at the 23rd ICAME conference, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Nelson, Gerald (2002, with Sean Wallis and Bas Aarts) Exploring natural language: working with the British component of the International Corpus of English (Varieties of English Around the World, Amsterdam: John Benjamins).

Nelson, Gerald (2002, with Sidney Greenbaum) An introduction to English grammar. 2nd edition. London: Longman.

Nelson, Gerald (2002, with Kingsley Bolton) Analysing Hong Kong English: samples texts from the International Corpus of English. In Kingsley Bolton (ed.) Hong Kong English: autonomy and creativity. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. 241-264.

Nelson, Gerald (2002) Workshop on the International Corpus of English in Sri Lanka (SLICE). British Council, Colombo, Sri Lanka. March 9-11, 2002.

Oostdijk, Nelleke (2002) The use of assertive and nonassertive pronouns in nonassertive contexts. Paper presented at the 23rd ICAME conference, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Ozón, Gabriel (2002) Ditransitives: a corpus-based study. Paper presented at the University of Surrey at Roehampton.

Spinillo, Mariangela (2002, with Bas Aarts, Evelien Keizer, and Sean Wallis) Which or what? A study of interrogative determiners in present-day English. In: Andrew Wilson, Paul Rayson and Anthony McEnery (eds.). Corpus Linguistics by the Lune. (Lodz Studies in Language series). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

Wallis, Sean (2002) Experimental design in corpus linguistics. Pre-conference workshop for the Conference on Teaching and Language Corpora (TALC) 2002, Bertinoro, Italy.

Wallis, Sean (2002, with Gerald Nelson and Bas Aarts) Exploring natural language: working with the British component of the International Corpus of English (Varieties of English around the World series), Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Wallis, Sean (2002, with Bas Aarts, Evelien Keizer, Mariangela Spinillo) Which or what? A study of interrogative determiners in present-day English. In: Andrew Wilson, Paul Rayson and Anthony McEnery (eds.). Corpus Linguistics by the Lune. (Lodz Studies in Language series). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

Wichmann, Anne (2002) How to do things with prosody: requests with please in ICE GB. Paper presented at the ICAME conference, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Bas Aarts
Director

March 2003

This page last modified 11 February, 2014 by Survey Web Administrator.