The Survey of English Usage
Annual Report 2007

News
Research
Staff
Publications, conference presentations, etc.

The Survey's Annual Report now forms part of a series of quarterly electronic newletters, intended to keep the academic community and other interested parties informed about research in the Survey. The first newsletter is incorporated into the Annual Report and is sent out in March. The remaining newsletters will be sent out in June, September and December.

1. News

1.1 New Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) grant

The Survey is pleased to announce the award of a grant to investigate current change in the English Verb Phrase. The title of the project is The changing verb phrase in present-day British English. It is funded by The Arts and Humanities Research Council, grant AH/E006299/1. The researcher working on this project is Dr Joanne Close, who comes to UCL from the University of York.

Description of the project

Traditionally, the study of the development of the morphosyntax of English has been carried out by historical linguists who have concerned themselves mostly with changes occurring across long periods of time (e.g. the development of the English inflectional system from Old to Middle English). Changes across shorter periods of time have received much less attention up to the 1990s, with a few exceptions, such as Barber (1964). Recently, there has been a realisation among syntacticians (following work by sociolinguists like Labov) that languages change all the time, often in very subtle ways. This is belied by the old synchronic/diachronic dichotomy that has entrenched itself in the field. In the field of syntax 'recent change' is thus an emerging research area which recognises that short-term changes are an important part of grammar systems. Key publications are Denison (1993, 1998, 2001, 2004), Mair (1995, 1997), Mair&Hundt (1995, 1997), Mair&Leech (2006), Leech (2000, 2003, 2004), Smith (2002, 2003a, 2003b, 2005), Smith&Leech (2001) and Leech et al. (forthcoming).

In the present project we will conduct a large-scale investigation of changes in the (morpho)syntax of the spoken British English verb phrase (VP; conceived of as a verb+dependents) over a period of twenty-five years (1960s-1990s), using the Diachronic Corpus of Present-day Spoken English (DCPSE).

For further information and references, see: www.ucl.ac.uk/english-usage/projects/verb-phrase.

1.2 Announcement: ICLCE 3 and the Survey’s 50th birthday in 2009

The Survey of English Usage, together with Jenny Cheshire and Devyani Sharma in the Department of Linguistics at Queen Mary, University of London, will be organising the third International Conference on the Linguistics of Contemporary English (ICLCE 3). Appended to this conference there will a one day symposium on current change in English to celebrate the Survey's 50th birthday. Dates and venue will be announced on the SEU website and through the usual channels in due course.

1.3 New publications

Evelien Keizer, who worked from 2000-2002 on the AHRB project The English noun phrase: an empirical study, published her results in a monograph entitled The English noun phrase: the nature of linguistic categorization. It appears in the Studies in English Language series, and is published by Cambridge University Press. » The English NP (CUP).

Bas Aarts’s book Syntactic gradience: the nature of grammatical indeterminacy was published by Oxford University Press in July. » Syntactic Gradience (OUP).

Also published is Parentheticals. Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 106. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. This book was edited by Nicole Dehé, now at the Free University of Berlin, and Yordanka Kavalova, a PhD student at the Survey and a commissioning editor at Macmillan Publishers. » Parentheticals (Benjamins).

Other highlights of from colleagues outside the Survey (see also Section 4):

Renaat Declerck (2006, in cooperation with Susan Reed and Bert Capelle) The grammar of the English verb phrase. Volume 1: the grammar of the English tense system. A comprehensive analysis. Topics in English Linguistics 60-1. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter. » English VP (de Gruyter)

Anne-Marie Simon-Vandenbergen and Karin Aijmer (2007) The semantic field of modal certainty: a corpus-based study of English adverbs. Topics in English Linguistics 56. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter. » Modal certainty (de Gruyter)

Jean-Christophe Verstraete (2007) Rethinking the coordinate-subordinate dichotomy: interpersonal grammar and the analysis of adverbial clauses in English. Topics in English Linguistics 55. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter. » Dichotomy (de Gruyter)

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2. Research projects

2.1 ICE-GB

The results of the ‘Next Generation Tools’ project will be part of a new release of ICECUP (version 4) which Sean Wallis is working on. More details follow in the next section.

2.2 Next generation tools for linguistic research in grammatical treebanks (ESRC)

Corpus linguists have had a number of tools at their disposal for exploring corpora and extracting data for analysis. Our current ICECUP 3.1 software is a state-of-art corpus exploration platform designed for parsed corpora. Tools for searching and browsing trees and sentences are tightly integrated into this platform. The result is rather greater than the sum of the parts. Tools work together ‘synergetically’, and the platform supports an exploration cycle in which different tools play their part.

However, many linguists find setting up viable experiments quite difficult. What the ‘The Next Generation Tools’ project is designed to do is extend this exploration platform mentioned above into supporting the experimental cycle. As we explain on the project home page (see link below), without this support, carrying out experiments on an exploration platform is onerous and error-prone, and linguists often struggle with the process, rather than focus on the meaning of their research results. Specialised extraction tools are narrow and results inevitably require further explanation. The idea is to combine a range of tools and algorithms in a common platform to support a wide range of research goals with a parsed corpus.

‘Exploration’ is a process of elaborating individual queries, exploring results and evolving new queries. Experimentation, by contrast, requires the cyclic elaboration and evaluation of entire experiments.

New tools support:

  • the elaboration of a formal experimental design;
  • the exploration of the experimental dataset, and
  • the analysis of the dataset.

The new software, provisionally called ICECUP 4, is built as a series of tools, new functions and enhancements to the ICECUP 3.1 architecture. The platform will work with any corpus, such as ICE-GB R2 and DCPSE, which are already indexed for ICECUP 3.1. Users familiar with ICECUP should find the interface a natural progression.

We are currently on track for a beta release of ICECUP 4 in March 2008 with a full release in the summer. Up-to-date information will be circulated on mailing lists and on our website at www.ucl.ac.uk/english-usage/projects/next-gen.

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3. Staff

Christine Bowles has returned to the Survey after giving birth to two twins. During her absence Marie Gibney returned to the Survey to cover Chris’s maternity leave. We are grateful for her help.

As noted above, Dr Joanne Close has joined the SEU to work on the new AHRC project. Her home page can be found here: www.ucl.ac.uk/english-usage/staff/jo

At the end of 2007 Gerald Nelson left UCL to work at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He will be working closely with us on the ICE project, of which he will remain the international coordinator. His contact details are as follows:

Professor Gerald Nelson
Department of English
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Shatin
New Territories
Hong Kong SAR
gnelson@arts.cuhk.edu.hk

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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 (2007) Syntactic gradience: the nature of grammatical indeterminacy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Aarts, Bas (2007) In defence of distributional analysis, pace Croft. 2007. Studies in Language 31.2. 431-443.

Aarts, Bas (2007) Seminar series on the 'Methodology of corpus linguistics for spoken and written language' at the summer school of the Societas Linguistica Europaea in Campobasso, Italy.

Aarts, Bas (2007) Mergers, blends, fusions and constructional gradience in English syntax, paper presented to the Philological Society at School of Oriental and African Studies, London.

Aarts, Bas (2007) Grammatical indeterminacy: gradience and corpus linguistics. Plenary lecture at the 28th ICAME conference at Stratford-upon-Avon. Also presented at the University of Giessen, Germany.

Aarts, Bas (2007) Mixed structures in English syntax: mergers, blends and fusions, paper presented at the Second International Conference on the Linguistics of English, Toulouse, France.

Aarts, Bas (2007) Mixed constructions in English. Seminar series at the University of Vigo, Spain.

Aarts, Bas (2007) 'There's a guy works down the chip shop thinks he's Elvis': syntactic mixing in the grammar of English. Lecture at the University of Giessen, Germany.

Bogaert, Julie van (2007) A reassessment of the syntactic classification of pragmatic markers: an account of the positions of I think and you know. Paper presented at the 28th ICAME conference, Stratford-upon-Avon.

Declerck, Renaat (2006) (In cooperation with Susan Reed and Bert Capelle.) The grammar of the English verb phrase. Volume 1: the grammar of the English tense system. A comprehensive analysis. Topics in English Linguistics 60-1. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

Dehé, Nicole (2007) The relation between syntactic and prosodic parenthesis. In: Nicole Dehé and Yordanka Kavalova (eds.) Parentheticals. Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 106. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 261-284.

Dehé, Nicole (2007) Parentheticals at the syntax-prosody interface. Paper presented at University of Konstanz.

Dehé, Nicole (2007) Sentential parentheticals and intonational phrasing. Paper at the Workshop on Parenthesis and Sentence Amalgamation, University of Groningen.

Dehé, Nicole and Yordanka Kavalova (2007) Introduction. In: Nicole Dehé and Yordanka Kavalova (eds.) Parentheticals. Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 106. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 1-22.

Dehé, Nicole and Anne Wichmann (2007) The prosody of adverbials and discourse markers: the case of epistemic comment clauses. Paper presented at ICAME 28, Stratford-upon-Avon.

Dehé, Nicole and Anne Wichmann (2007) Epistemic parentheticals in discourse: prosodic cues to pragmatic function. Paper presented at the 10th International Pragmatics Conference, Gothenburg.

De Los Ángeles Gómez-Gonzáles, Maria (2007) 'It was you that told me that, wasn't it?': it-clefts revisited in discourse. In: Mike Hannay and Gerard J. Steen (2007) (eds.) Structural-functional studies in English grammar. Studies in Language Companion Series 83. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 103-139.

Denison, David (2007) Playing tag with category boundaries. In Anneli Meurman-Solin and Arja A. Nurmi (eds.) Annotating Variation and Change. Helsinki: Varieng, UoH. » ePublished

De Smedt, Liesbeth, Lieselotte Brems and Kristin Davidse (2007) NP-internal functions and extended uses of the 'type' nouns kind, sort, and type: towards a comprehensive, corpus-based description. In: Roberta Facchinetti (ed.) Corpus linguistics 25 years on. Amsterdam: Rodopi. 225-255.

Gries, Stefan Th. (2007) New perspectives on old alternations. In: Jonathan E. Cihlar, Amy L. Franklin, and David W. Kaiser (eds.). Papers from the 39th Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistics Society. Volume. II. The Panels. Chicago IL: Chicago Linguistics Society. 274-92.

Gries, Stefan Th. (2007) and Anatol Stefanowitsch (2007) Cluster Analysis and the Identification of Collexeme Classes. In: John Newman and Sally Rice (eds.). Experimental and empirical methods in the study of conceptual structure, discourse, and language. Stanford, CA: CSLI.

Hasselgård, Hilde (2007) Adverbial usage across text types. Paper presented at the 28th ICAME conference, Stratford-upon-Avon.

Kallen, Jeffrey and John Kirk (2007) ICE-Ireland: local variations on global standards. In: Joan C. Beal, Karen P. Corrigan and Hermann L. Moisl (eds.) Creating and digitizing language corpora. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 121-162.

Kaltenböck, Gunther (2007) Spoken parenthetical clauses in English. In: Nicole Dehé and Yordanka Kavalova (eds.) Parentheticals. Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 106. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 25-52.

Kaltenböck, Gunther (2007) Comment clauses in spoken English. Paper presented at the 28th ICAME conference, Stratford-upon-Avon. [Also presented at the Second International Conference on the Linguistics of English, Toulouse, France.]

Kavalova, Yordanka (2007) And-parenthetical clauses. In: Nicole Dehé and Yordanka Kavalova (eds.) Parentheticals. Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 106. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 145-172.

Keizer, Evelien (2007a) The English Noun Phrase: the nature of linguistic classification. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Keizer, Evelien (2007b) Prenominal possessives in English: function and use. In: Mike Hannay and Gerard J. Steen (2007) (eds.) Structural-functional studies in English grammar. Studies in Language Companion Series 83. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 59-82.

Kohnen, Thomas (2007) 'Connective profiles' in the history of English texts. In: Ursula Lenker and Anneli Meurman-Solin (eds.) Connectives in the history of English. Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 283. 289-306.

Lenker, Ursula (2007) Forwhi 'because': shifting deictics in the history of English causal connection. In: Ursula Lenker and Anneli Meurman-Solin (eds.) Connectives in the history of English. Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 283. 193-227.

Mair, Christian (2007a) Varieties of English around the world: collocational and cultural profiles. In: Paul Skandera (ed.) Phraseology and culture in English. Topics in English Linguistics 54. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 437-468.

Mair, Christian (2007b) Corpus linguistics meets sociolinguistics: assessing the quality of corpus evidence in the study of sociolinguistic variation and change. Plenary lecture at the 28th ICAME conference, Stratford-upon-Avon.

Simon-Vandenbergen, Anne Marie (2007) No doubt and related expressions: a functional account. In: Mike Hannay and Gerard J. Steen (2007) (eds.) Structural-functional studies in English grammar. Studies in Language Companion Series 83. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 9-34.

Simon-Vandenbergen, Anne-Marie and Karin Aijmer (2007) The semantic field of modal certainty: a corpus-based study of English adverbs. Topics in English Linguistics 56. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

Svartvik, Jan (2007) Corpus linguistics 25+ years on. In: Roberta Facchinetti (ed.) Corpus linguistics 25 years on. Amsterdam: Rodopi. 11-25.

Szmrecsanyi, Benedikt (2007) Review of Joybrato Mukherjee (2005) English ditransitive verbs: aspects of theory, description and a usage-based model. Amsterdam: Rodopi. English Language and Linguistics 11.1, 240-246.

Verstraete, Jean-Christophe (2007) Rethinking the coordinate-subordinate dichotomy: interpersonal grammar and the analysis of adverbial clauses in English. Topics in English Linguistics 55. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

Wallis, Sean (2007) ICECUP: the next generation? Paper presented at the 28th ICAME conference, Stratford-upon-Avon.

Wallis, Sean (2007) Annotation, Retrieval and Experimentation. In Anneli Meurman-Solin and Arja A. Nurmi (eds.) Annotating Variation and Change. Helsinki: Varieng, UoH. » ePublished

Wichmann, Anne (2007) Corpora and spoken discourse. In: Roberta Facchinetti (ed.) Corpus linguistics 25 years on. Amsterdam: Rodopi. 73-86.

Wichmann, Anne and Nicole Dehé (2007) The prosody of adverbials and discourse markers: the case of epistemic comment clauses. Paper presented at the 28th ICAME conference, Stratford-upon-Avon.

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Bas Aarts
Director

January 2008

This page last modified 21 July, 2014 by Survey Web Administrator.