The Survey of English Usage
Annual Report 2009

News
Research
Publications, conference presentations, etc.

The Annual Report for 2009 incorporates the newsletters published during the year.

1. News

1.1 New research funding

AHRC
Camden Council
Grammar Teaching KT Project
The Survey is very pleased to announce the award of an AHRC Knowledge Transfer Fellowship entitled Creating a web-based platform for English language teaching and learning. The aim of this project, which started on 1 February 2010, is to build a web-based teaching and learning platform consisting of an interactive structured English language course, tailored to the goals of the National Curriculum’s Key Stages 3-5. This will consist of lesson modules dynamically accessing the corpora based at the Survey.

Details of the project, which will be carried out with the London Borough of Camden as a partner, are available here. See also section 1.2 below.

1.2 New staff

We are very pleased to welcome two new members of staff.

Dr Jillian Bowie joins the Survey on The changing verb phrase in present-day English project. Jill has BA in Linguistics and an MA in Applied Linguistics, both from the University of Queensland. She worked for Rodney Huddleston as a research assistant on the Cambridge grammar of the English language. Her research interests include English syntax and morphology, language evolution (phylogenetic, historical, and ontogenetic), complexity in language, and the grammatical analysis of spoken discourse. Her PhD thesis was entitled ‘Compositional versus holistic theories of language evolution: an interdisciplinary and experimental evaluation’.

Daniel Clayton is a secondary school English teacher who has joined us on the Creating a web-based platform for English language teaching and learning project. Among other activities, Dan has written course books for Nelson Thornes and was a team leader and trainer for the AQA Examinations Board. He has a blog on English grammar aimed at school teachers. He will work closely with Sean Wallis on the Knowledge Transfer Project.

Fifty years of the Survey of English Usage
ICLCE 3 Conference
1.3 The Survey at 50

In July 2009 the Survey celebrated its 50th birthday during a one-day symposium entitled Current change in the English verb phrase. The day was a great success, and were pleased that Randolph Quirk, the founder of the Survey, attended parts of the proceedings. We hope to publish an edited book with papers presented at the symposium. For details about the programme, see section 2.2.

The symposium preceded the Third International Conference on the Linguistics of English (ICLCE3), organised by the SEU and the Linguistics Department at Queen Mary, University of London. The ICLCE progarmme can be viewed here.

1.4 Technical note: 64 bit Windows

We have had a number of enquiries about running ICECUP for 64 bit versions of Windows. A number of new PCs are now running 64 bit versions of Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7. Due to a decision by Microsoft, the ICECUP codebase is one of a large number of programs that are blocked by “Win64”. ICECUP will run on a 32 bit version of Windows running on a 64 bit PC, so one solution is to “dual-boot” the PC. We do intend to address this problem in the future, but if you have any success on running ICECUP on a 64 bit Windows PC, do let us know.

1.5 For UCL staff and students: ICE-GB and DCPSE are now on the managed system

Both the British component of the International Corpus of English (ICE-GB) and the Diachronic Corpus of Present-Day Spoken English (DCPSE) are now available for registered users on the UCL student and staff managed computer system.

Back to top

2. Research projects

2.1 Proof of Concept funding from UCL

Work has been ongoing on a project entitled A proof of concept for developing a web-based English language teaching and learning platform funded by UCL, supported by UCL Business. The strategic aim of this Proof of Concept (PoC) is to make the Survey’s resources available much more widely and to initiate a route to market. In order to do this we will create an English Language Teaching and Learning Platform based on the existing corpora housed at the SEU. The plan is to source example sentences used in classroom settings dynamically from a corpus database on a web server, rather than use static, hard-coded and invented examples. The platform would be specifically designed for teachers and students at secondary schools.

The Proof of Concept project concentrates on developing a viable technology. Our new AHRC project, Creating a web-based platform for English language teaching and learning (see section 1.1 above) aims to take this technology and apply it to the UK National Curriculum. Sean Wallis has been working on the server-side technology, which is based on our ICECUP database, and experimenting with a number of different ways for examples to be extracted from the corpus and presented.

This Proof of Concept process has also allowed us to look at a number of practical pedagogical issues regarding how we choose to present examples to students. These then raise further questions of appropriate technology.

With a dynamic web-based corpus teaching platform it is very easy to generate a large number of examples to illustrate a point or to provide refresher exercises. Control over the selection process is therefore extremely important. The following were dynamically extracted from ICE-GB and presented as an exercise to a student who is asked to identify nouns in each example.

  1. Dear John, [W1B-007 #36]
  2. In order for him to proceed to the third round what will he have to achieve in the second bearing in mind he’s obviously not going to win it. [S2B-009 #87]
  3. Coming up to three laps to go now in this five thousand metres. [S2A-007 #79]
  4. In the order in which they occur here right. [S1B-017 #84]
  5. And will the Chancellor confirm that the underlying rate of inflation will remain high throughout next year that inflation minus mortgage interest relief will be high throughout next year? [S1B-052 #21]

One can attest to the apparent “authenticity” and sheer number of examples. Students can be left in little doubt that nouns are commonplace and they may discern how to recognise them – by sheer repetition if by no other means.

However, automatically generated examples are of varying length and “readability” by default. The second example is grammatically complex, but lexically simple, whereas example 5 contains adult political jargon and would score highly on a ‘smog’ score for a large number of tri-syllables. Finally, from the point of view of the task set, some examples contain compound nouns such as “mortgage interest relief” which may cause particular problems.

Secondly, the generation of feedback to the student requires some thought. Since we cannot handcraft examples we must be able to automatically provide feedback relevant to each particular example and the answers given.

The project is developing a demonstration system which will allow teachers to obtain course material for their own lessons or students to carry out self-study in grammar. This system will be shown to school teachers and students as well as potential commercial partners.

2.2 The changing verb phrase in present-day British English

As noted above the Survey organised a one-day symposium both to celebrate the fiftieth birthday of the Survey and as part of the project The changing verb phrase in present-day British English. The programme of the symposium included the following speakers:

  • Bas Aarts, Jo Close and Sean Wallis ‘Choices over time: methodological issues in current change’
  • Christopher Williams: ‘Changes in the verb phrase in legal English’
  • Alexander Bergs and Meike Pfaff ‘I was just reading this article: Is the present perfect of recent past on its way out?’
  • Manfred Krug ‘Recent change and grammaticalization in constructions marking intention’
  • Magnus Levin ‘Progressives changing in time’
  • Stig Johansson ‘Modals and semi-modals of obligation in American English: some aspects of developments from 1990 until the present day’
  • José Ramón Varela Pérez ‘Negative and operator contraction with present tense be: a study of change in progress in Spoken British English’
  • Marcus Callies ‘The spread of bare infinitival complements in present-day English’
  • David Denison ‘A new class of verbs taking that-clause complements’
  • Geoffrey Leech and Nicholas Smith ‘Verb constructions over fifty+ years of written English’

The talks were followed by a panel discussion on the topic of change in English chaired by Geoffrey Leech. The participants were: David Crystal, David Denison, Manfred Krug, and Sali Tagliamonte.

The day ended with a keynote lecture on the history of the Survey delivered by David Crystal entitled ‘Surviving Surveying’.

Dr Jo Close has left the Survey and has taken up a teaching post at the University of Leeds. She will still be working closely with Bas Aarts, Sean Wallis and Geoffrey Leech on an edited book of papers based on papers presented at the symposium.

We have made a new appointment on this project. See section 1.2 above.

Back to top

3. 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 (2009) ‘Categorial and functional fusions in English’. Plenary lecture at the Symposium on linguistic categorization and the nature of linguistic categories. April 2009, University of Tromsø, Norway.

Aarts, Bas (2009) ‘Tracking changes in the use of the English progressive with DCPSE’. Research seminar, School of English, University of Liverpool.

Aarts, Bas (2009) ‘Researching the English language, past and present, with parsed corpora’. Research seminar, School of Language, Literature and Communication, University of Brighton.

Aarts, Bas (2009) (with Jo Close) ‘The subjunctive in spoken British English’. Paper presented at the 30th ICAME conference, Lancaster.

Aarts, Bas (2009) (With Jo Close and Sean Wallis.) ‘Choices over time: methodological issues in current change’. Paper presented at the symposium Current Change in the English Verb Phrase, part of the Third International Conference on the Linguistics of Contemporary English (ICLCE3). July 2009, London.

Aarts, Bas (2009) (With Joanne Close and Sean Wallis) ‘Using the Diachronic Corpus of Present-Day Spoken English to investigate changes in the English verb phrase’. Presentation on current change at a workshop entitled Corpus-based advances in historical linguistics organised by the Philological Society. University of York.

Aarts, Bas (2009) ‘Investigating current change in English’. Plenary lecture at the conference English Language and Literature Studies: Image, Identity and Reality. December 2009, University of Belgrade, Serbia.

Aijmer, Karin (2009) ‘Well as a hesitation marker in learner language’. Paper presented at the 30th ICAME conference, Lancaster.

Biermeier, Thomas (2009) ‘Word-formation in new Englishes’. In: Hoffmann and Siebers (2009) (eds.). 331-349.

Biewer, Carolin ‘Passive constructions in Fiji English: a corpus-based study’. In: Jucker, Schreier and Hundt (2009) (eds.). 361-377.

Bogaert, Julie van (2009) ‘A reassessment of the syntactic classification of pragmatic expressions: the positions of you know and I think with special attention to you know as a marker of metalinguistic awareness’. In: Renouf and Kehoe (2009) (eds.). 131-154.

Close, Joanne (2009) (with Bas Aarts) ‘The subjunctive in spoken British English’. Paper presented at the 30th ICAME conference, Lancaster.

Close, Joanne (2009) (With Bas Aarts and Sean Wallis) ‘Choices over time: methodological issues in current change’. Paper presented at the symposium Current Change in the English Verb Phrase, part of the Third International Conference on the Linguistics of Contemporary English (ICLCE3), London, 2009.

Close, Joanne (2009) (With Bas Aarts and Sean Wallis) ‘Using the Diachronic Corpus of Present-Day Spoken English to investigate changes in the English verb phrase’. Presentation on current change at a workshop entitled Corpus-based advances in historical linguistics organised by the Philological Society. University of York.

Collins, Peter (2009) Modals and quasi-modals in English. Language and Computers: Studies in Practical Linguistics 67. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Collins, Peter (2009) ‘Modals and quasi-modals’. In: Peters, Collins and Smith (eds.). 73-88.

Collins, Peter (2009) ‘The progressives’. In: Peters, Collins and Smith (eds.). 115-124.

Collins, Peter (2009) ‘Information-packaging constructions’. In: Peters, Collins and Smith (eds.). 295-316.

Collins, Peter (2009) ‘Information-packing constructions in contemporary English: regional and stylistic variation’. Paper presented at the 30th ICAME conference, Lancaster.

Columbus, Georgie (2009) ‘A corpus-based analysis of invariant tags in five varieties of English’. In: Renouf and Kehoe (2009) (eds.). 401-414.

Dehé, Nicole (2009) ‘Clausal parentheticals, intonational phrasing, and prosodic theory’. Journal of Linguistics 45. 569-615.

Deuber, Dagmar (2009) ‘Standard English in the secondary school in Trinidad: problems - properties - prospects’. In: Hoffmann and Siebers (2009) (eds.). 83-104.

Diaconu, Gabriela (2009) ‘The expression of obligation and necessity in the New Englishes’. Poster presented at the 30th ICAME conference, Lancaster.

Divjak, Dagmar and Stefan Th. Gries, (2009) ‘Corpus-based cognitive semantics: a contrastive study of phasal verbs in Russian and English’. In Katarzyna Dziwirek and Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk (eds.). 273-296.

Dziwirek, Katarzyna and Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk (2009) (eds.). Studies in cognitive corpus linguistics. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

Gesuato, Sara (2009) ‘Encoding of goal-directed motion vs resultative aspect in the COME + infinitive construction’. In: Renouf and Kehoe (2009) (eds.). 382-400.

Gesuato, Sara (2009) ‘Semantic patterns of "HAVE been to": corpus data and elicited data’. Paper presented at the 30th ICAME conference, Lancaster.

Gries, Stefan Th. and Stefanie Wulff (2009) ‘Psycholinguistic and corpus-linguistic evidence for L2 constructions’. Annual Review of Cognitive Linguistics 7. 163-186.

Hoffmann, Thomas and Lucia Siebers (2009) (eds.) World Englishes - problems, properties and prospects. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Hundt, Marianne (2009) ‘Global English - global corpora: a report on a panel discussion at the 28th ICAME conference’. In: Renouf and Kehoe (2009) (eds.). 451-462.

Hundt, Marianne (2009) ‘Concord with collective nouns in Australian and New-Zealand English’. In: Peters, Collins and Smith (eds.). 207-224.

Hundt, Marianne (2009) ‘Gobal feature - local norms? A case study on the progressive passive’. In: Hoffmann and Siebers (2009) (eds.). 287-308.

Jucker, Andreas H, Daniel Schreier and Marianne Hundt (2009) (eds.) Corpora: pragmatics and discourse. Papers from the 29th Conference on English Language Research on Computerized Corpora (ICAME 29). Language and Computers. Studies in Practical Linguistics 68. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Kaltenböck, Gunther (2009) ‘Is that a filler? On complementizer use in spoken object clauses’. Views 18.1, 28-63.

Kaltenböck, Gunther and Barbara Mehlmauer-Larcher (2009) ‘Computer corpora: a useful tool for English language teaching?’ Views 18.3. 71-74.

Leech Geoffrey, Marianne Hundt, Christian Mair and Nicholas Smith (2009) Change in Contemporary English: a grammatical study. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kirk, John M. and Jeffrey L. Kallen (2009) ‘Negation in Irish standard English’. Paper presented at the 30th ICAME conference, Lancaster.

Kortmann, Bernd and Benedikt Szmrecsanyi (2009) ‘World Englishes between simplification and complexification’. In: Hoffmann and Siebers (2009) (eds.). 265-285.

Lüdeling, Anke and Merja Kytö (2009) (eds.), Corpus linguistics: an international handbook, Vol. 2. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

Mair, Christian (2009) ‘Corpus linguistics meets sociolinguistics: the role of corpus evidence in the study of sociolinguistic variation’. In: Renouf and Kehoe (2009) (eds.). 7-32.

Mair, Christian (2009) ‘Infinitival and gerundial complements’. In: Peters, Collins and Smith (eds.). 263-276.

Mair, Christian (2009) ‘Specificational clefts in Late Modern English: corpus-based studies of diachronic trends mostly in real time’. Paper presented at the 30th ICAME conference, Lancaster.

Mair, Christian (2009) ‘Corpus linguistics meets sociolinguistics. Studying educated spoken usage in Jamaica on the basis of the International Corpus of English’. In: Hoffmann and Siebers (2009) (eds.). 39-60.

Meyer, Charles F. Introducing English Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mukherjee, Joybrato and Stefan Th. Gries (2009) ‘Verb construction associations in the International Corpus of English’. English World-Wide 30.1. 27-51.

Mukherjee, Joybrato and Stefan Th. Gries (2009) ‘Lexical gravity across varieties of English: an ICE-based study of speech and writing in Asian Englishes’. Paper presented at the 30th ICAME conference, Lancaster.

Mukherjee, Joybrato and Janina Warner (2009) Highly polysemous verbs in New Englishes: a corpus-based pilot study of Sri Lankan and Indian English. Paper presented at the 30th ICAME conference, Lancaster.

Müller, Frederike (2009) ‘Current changes in modals of obligation - a multivariate analysis’. Paper presented at the 30th ICAME conference, Lancaster.

Olmen, Daniël van (2009) ‘A contrastive look at English and Dutch (negative) imperatives’. In: Jucker, Schreier and Hundt (2009) (eds.). 407-421.

Otani, Naoki and Stefan Th. Gries (2009) ‘Behavioral profiles: a corpus-based perspective on synonymy and antonymy. Paper presented at the 30th ICAME conference, Lancaster.

Ozón, Gabriel (2009) Alternating ditransitives in English: a corpus-based study. PhD thesis, University College London.

Peters, Pam (2009) ‘Irregular verbs: regularization and ongoing variability’. In: Peters, Collins and Smith (eds.). 13-30.

Peters, Pam (2009) ‘The mandative subjunctive in spoken English’. In: Peters, Collins and Smith (eds.). 125-138.

Peters, Pam (2009) ‘Australian English as a regional epicenter’. In: Hoffmann and Siebers (2009) (eds.). 107-124.

Peters, Pam, Peter Collins and Adam Smith (2009) (eds.) Comparative Studies in Australian and New Zealand English: Grammar and Beyond. Varieties of English Around the World G39. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Peters, Pam and Yasmin Funk (2009) ‘No in the lexicogrammar of English’. In: Peters, Collins and Smith (eds.). 225-241.

Renouf, Antoinette and Andrew Kehoe (2009)(eds.) Corpus linguistics: refinements and reassessments. Language and Computers. Studies in Practical Linguistics 69. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Rooy, Bertus van (2009) ‘The shaded core of the perfect across Englishes’. In: Hoffmann and Siebers (2009) (eds.). 309-330.

Smith, Adam (2009) ‘Light verbs in Australian, New Zealand and British English’. In: Peters, Collins and Smith (eds.). 139-155.

Smith, Adam (2009) ‘Non-numerical quantifiers’. In: Peters, Collins and Smith (eds.). 159-181.

Stefanowitsch, Anatol and Stefan Th. Gries (2009) ‘Corpora and grammar’. In Anke Lüdeling and Merja Kytö (eds.). 933-951.

Suoniemi, Paula (2009) ‘The progressive in World English varieties: a corpus-based study. Paper presented at the 30th ICAME conference, Lancaster.

Wallis, Sean (2009) ‘Grammatical Noriegas: modelling case interaction in corpora and treebanks’. Paper presented at the 30th ICAME conference, Lancaster.

Wallis, Sean (2009) (With Bas Aarts and Jo Close) ‘Choices over time: methodological issues in current change’. Paper presented at the symposium Current Change in the English Verb Phrase, part of the Third International Conference on the Linguistics of Contemporary English (ICLCE3), London, 2009.

Wallis, Sean (2009) (With Bas Aarts and Joanne Close) ‘Using the Diachronic Corpus of Present-Day Spoken English to investigate changes in the English verb phrase’. Presentation on current change at a workshop entitled Corpus-based advances in historical linguistics organised by the Philological Society. University of York.

Wallis, Sean (2009) ‘Delivering the vision of the Concordat’. Invited plenary lecture at the Vitae Researcher Development conference, Warwick, 9 September 2009.

Back to top

Bas Aarts
Director

March 2010

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