iGEThe Survey of English Usage
Annual Report 2011

News
Research
Publications, conference presentations, etc.

The Annual Report for 2011 incorporates the newsletters published during the year.

1. News

1.1 Release of iPhone Grammar App

In August 2011 the Survey and UCL Business PLC (UCLB) launched an innovative iPhone App (the interactive Grammar of English, “iGE”) which provides a complete course in English grammar with extensive exercise materials, enabling English language students to develop their knowledge and skills more effectively. The SEU/UCLB App is targeted at students studying the English language at secondary school, high school or university, as well as those who are studying English as a second or foreign language. Indeed, it is aimed at anyone who is interested in clear, plain English.

The SEU/UCLB App distinguishes itself from other English grammar learning materials in several ways:

  • The course materials have been developed by UCL researchers who are established leaders in the area of English grammar and have significant experience in developing English language training materials for use in schools, colleges and universities.
  • The exercise materials are taken from the SEU’s spoken and written English language databases (corpora), which means that all the examples are authentic. Importantly, in contrast with student textbooks, which often use fixed (‘hard-wired’) and artificial examples, the examples used in the App are continually changed, providing users with a dynamic and exciting learning environment.

The SEU team developed the App in response to students and teachers who say that many existing learning tools, whether they are paper-based or interactive, often fail to meet their English language learning needs. Teachers and students are given advice about Grammar that is often dated, confusing and, in some cases, highly misleading. This App offers students the opportunity to practise their language skills and study English whenever they want and wherever they are. Further Apps for e.g. punctuation and spelling are planned for the near future.

Dr Steven Schooling from UCLB notes that “the market for English Language learning tools is worth hundreds of millions of pounds per annum, with significant growth in overseas markets such as South-East Asia, driven by mobility and employment trends, and we expect the App to be a valuable resource for both students and teachers across the world.” Dr Schooling further adds that “the release of the App demonstrates UCLB’s commitment to knowledge transfer in UCL departments such as English, and will provide a bridgehead for further developments across the Arts and Humanities.”

Click here for more information.

1.2 Proof of Concept Funding

The Survey has been awarded funding for a Proof of Concept project entitled Mobile Device Apps: Piloting new Knowledge Transfer routes for UCL. This funding offers the following opportunities:

  • to translate the App into languages such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean;
  • to develop spin-off Apps for English, e.g. to study irregular verbs, sentence patterns, etc.
  • to develop Apps for other languages taught at UCL (Apps to practise irregular verbs in French, gender in German nouns, etc.).

1.3 Enterprise Award

EPSRCWe’re delighted to announce that the Survey has also been awarded a UCL Enterprise Award for a project entitled Marketing the resources of the Survey of English Usage by the BEAMS Knowledge Transfer and Enterprise Board and the Vice-Provost (Enterprise). The project’s aims are to commercialise the AHRC-funded Web-based platform for English Language Teaching and Learning. Further details can be found here.

Staff working on this project are Sean Wallis, Jill Bowie and Dan Clayton.

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2. Research

The Changing English Verb Phrase
2.1 Changing Verb Phrase in Present-day English Project (AHRC)

This project was completed at the end of March 2011.

An important result of this project is an edited book of research papers bringing together current work on this topic, including articles by Survey team members and contributors to the 50th Anniversary Survey Symposium. The English Verb Phrase (Aarts, Close, Leech and Wallis forthcoming) will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2012/13.

Click here for more information.

Grammar Teaching KT Project
2.2 Creating a Web-Based Platform for English Language Teaching and Learning (AHRC)

This project was completed at the end of November 2011. Further funding was obtained through the Enterprise Award mentioned above.

Click here for more information.

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

3.1 Survey Seminars

The following seminars took place during 2011:

Kathryn Allan (UCL) An academic question? Exploring the meaning of a contemporary keyword through historical text resources.

Justyna Robinson (University of Sheffield) An awesome talk: Exploring recent changes in the meaning of words.

Bas Aarts and Sean Wallis (Survey of English Usage, UCL), Teaching grammar to the iPhone generation.

Seth Mehl (UCL) Making sense of English varieties: the syntax and semantics of make in Singapore English, Hong Kong English and British English

3.2 Publications

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 (2011) Oxford modern English grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press. » Published

Aarts, Bas (2011) ‘Creating corpus-driven teaching and learning resources for secondary school grammar teaching’. Plenary lecture at the conference Practical Applications in Language and Computers (PALC), Łódź University, Poland.

Aarts, Bas (2011) ‘Exploring English syntax using parsed corpora’, presentation at the Corpora Galore conference, Newcastle University, Newcastle.

Aarts, Bas (2011) ‘Methods for researching changes in verbal syntax’. Lecture presented in the Approaches to Corpus Linguistics series, Erlangen Centre for Research on Lexicography, Valency and Collocation, Erlangen, Germany.

Aarts, Bas (2011) ‘Shifts in English modal verb usage in recent times’. Plenary lecture at the 44th Annual Conference of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, Universidad de La Rioja, Logroño, Spain.

Aarts, Bas (2011) ‘Typical and atypical change in modal usage over time’ (With Jill Bowie and Sean Wallis.) Paper presented at the second conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE), Boston, USA.

Aarts, Bas (2011) ‘Mission improbable’. (With Dan Clayton.) Presentation at the annual conference of the National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE), London 2011.

Allan, Kathryn (2011) ‘An academic question? Exploring the meaning of a contemporary keyword through historical text resources’. Digital techniques for studying words session, Keywords at Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh.

Allan, Kathryn (2011) ‘Lost in transmission? The sense development of borrowed metaphor’. Metaphor across time and genre. RaAM Seminar, Almagro, Spain.

Allan, Kathryn (2011) ‘Seminars, semesters and semantics: exploring the changing lexicon of academia’. Historical semantics, etymology, and lexicography: a symposium marking the publication of the Historical Thesaurus of the OED (Philological Society Meeting, Glasgow).

Allan, Kathryn (2011) ‘Lost in transmission? The sense development of borrowed metaphor’. Lecture at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Eichstätt.

Allan, Kathryn (2011) ‘An inquest into metaphor death: the semantics of historical metaphors in English’. Lecture at the Otto-Friedrich-Universität, Bamberg.

Allan, Kathryn (2011) ‘An academic question? Exploring the meaning of a contemporary keyword through historical text resources’. Graduate Research Seminar Series, Ludwig Maximilans University, Munich.

Bowie, Jill (2011) ‘Typical and atypical change in modal usage over time’ (With Bas Aarts and Sean Wallis.) Paper presented at the second conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE), Boston, USA.

Bowie, Jill (2011) ‘Recent change in the English verb phrase: findings from a spoken corpus’. Seminar presentation, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Reading.

Clayton, Dan (2011) ‘Mission improbable’. (With Bas Aarts.) Presentation at the annual conference of the National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE), London 2011.

Clayton, Dan (2011) ‘Grammar: what it is and what it ain’t’. Workshop and presentation at Roehampton University.

Clayton, Dan (2011) ‘Grammar: what it is and what it ain’t’. Paper presented at Middlesex University.

Depraetere, Ilse and Susan Reed (2011) ‘Towards a more explicit taxonomy of root possibility’. English Language and Linguistics 15.1. 1-29.

De Smet, Hendrik and Liesbet Heyvaert (2011??) ‘The meaning of the English present participle’. English Language and Linguistics.

Gonzálves García, Francisco (2011) ‘Looks, appearances and judgements: towards a unified constructivist analysis of predicative alternations in English and Spanish’. In: Guerrero Medina (2011)(ed.). 264-293.

Gries, Stefan Th., John Newman and Cyrus Shaoul (2011) ‘N-grams and the clustering of registers’. Empirical Language Research 5(1). http://ejournals.org.uk/ELR/article/2011/1.

Gries, Stefan Th. (2011) ‘Phonological similarity in multi-word symbolic units’. Cognitive Linguistics 22(3). 491-510.

Guerrero Medina, Pilar (2011)(ed.) Morphosyntactic alternations in English: functional and cognitive perspectives. London: Equinox.

Hampe, Beate (2011) ‘Discovering constructions by means of collostruction analysis: the English denominative construction’. Cognitive Linguistics, 22.2. 211–245.

Nuñez-Pertejo and Ignacio Palacios-Martínez (2011) That’s absolutely crap, totally rubbish. The use of the intensifiers absolutely and totally in the spoken language of British adults and teenagers. Paper presented at the 44th Annual Conference of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, Universidad de La Rioja, Logroño, Spain.

Schneider, Klaus P. (2011) Diminuative “-let” across varieties of English. Paper presented at the 44th Annual Conference of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, Universidad de La Rioja, Logroño, Spain.

Seoane, Elena and Cristina Suárez Gómez (2011) The myth of the have+past participle construction across Englishes. Paper presented at the 44th Annual Conference of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, Universidad de La Rioja, Logroño, Spain.

Shank, Christopher (2011) A multivariate approach to that/zero alternation: a diachronic analysis of the grammaticalization of ‘I+know’. Paper presented at the 44th Annual Conference of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, Universidad de La Rioja, Logroño, Spain.

Van Bogaert, Julie and Christopher Shank (2011) That/zero alternation and epistemic parentheticals: a diachronic multivariate constructional study of the grammaticlization of I think and I guess. Paper presented at the 44th Annual Conference of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, Universidad de La Rioja, Logroño, Spain.

Wallis, Sean (2011) ‘Typical and atypical change in modal usage over time’ (With Bas Aarts and Jill Bowie.) Paper presented at the second conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE), Boston, USA.

Wallis, Sean (2011) ‘z-squared: the origin and use of chi-square’. Invited paper presented at the Department of English, University of Vienna, Austria. » PowerPoint paper

Wulff, Stefanie and Stefan Th. Gries (2011) ’Corpus-driven methods for assessing accuracy in learner production’. In: Peter Robinson (2011) (ed.) Second language task complexity: researching the Cognition Hypothesis of language learning and performance. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 61-87.

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Bas Aarts
Director

February 2012

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