Survey of English Usage
Annual Report 2018


1. News

1.1 New grant awarded to UCL’s Institute of Education and the Survey of English Usage

With Professors Dominic Wyse and Bas Aarts as Principal Investigators, researchers at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) and at UCL’s Survey of English Usage and at have been awarded a grant by the Nuffield Foundation to examine whether teachers using the Survey’s Englicious website ( to teach six- and seven-year-olds about grammar can help pupils’ writing. This is an exciting new project which combines the expertise of scholars in two UCL faculties. Its outcomes will have implications for the way that children are taught grammar during Key Stage 1 of the National Curriculum for England.

More information

1.2 Memorial event for Randolph Quirk

We warmly invite colleagues to come to the British Academy to celebrate the life of the eminent linguist and scholar, Professor Lord Randolph Quirk CBE (1920-2017).

Randolph Quirk was born on 12 July 1920 on the Isle of Man. He studied at University College London, where he later became Quain Professor in English Language and Literature. He was Vice-Chancellor of the University of London from 1981 to 1985.

Randolph Quirk became a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1976 and was knighted in 1985. He was President of the British Academy from 1985 to 1989 and became a life peer as Baron Quirk of Bloomsbury on 12 July 1994.

Quirk is well-known for founding the Survey of English Usage at UCL in 1959, but most of all for the monumental Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (1985), which he co-authored with Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech and Jan Svartvik. This book, which became known as Quirk et al. is one of the great standard reference grammars of English.

As can be seen by the tributes on this page, Randolph was well-respected and much-loved in equal measure.

If you knew Randolph personally, were inspired by him, or simply would like to learn more about his impact on linguistics and the university, you are more than welcome to attend.

Provisional programme

13:30–14:00 Registration

14:00-14:15 Welcome and introduction: Professor Bas Aarts
14:15-14:45 Professor Dick Hudson
14:45-15:15 Professor Jenny Cheshire
15:15-15:45 Professor Liliane Haegeman

15:45-16:15 Tea

16:15-16:45 Professor David Denison
16:45-17:15 Professor David Crystal

17:15- Drinks and canapés

More information and how to register for the event

1.3 New book: How to teach grammar

How to Teach Grammar

Bas Aarts, Ian Cushing and Richard Hudson published How to teach grammar (Oxford University Press), a book which offers accessible and authoritative advice and guidance to teachers on teaching grammar. It covers both subject knowledge and classroom practice, providing practical recommendations to help English teachers improve their own depth of understanding of grammar, and their confidence and ability to deliver successful grammar teaching. The book:

  • combines detailed grammatical knowledge with practical classroom strategies, all in one easy-to-read format;
  • caters for both experienced and newer teachers by covering a broad range of strategies;
  • creates an invaluable resource for trainees, teachers, heads of department and senior leaders, particularly in light of the increased focus on grammar in English lessons and across the curriculum

The book will be launched, together with the redesigned Englicious website (see below), on 20 March 2019.

Book on EventBrite

The ISLE 5 Conference
1.4 ISLE 2018

The Survey organised the fifth bi-annual conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE5) which was held at UCL from Tuesday 17 July – Friday 20 July 2018. The event attracted a large number of international scholars discussing a range of aspects of the English language, both historical and modern.

For more information, including the programme and abstracts of the talks, see the ISLE conference site.

1.5 English Grammar Day 2018

Jointly organised by the Survey of English Usage, the University of Oxford and the British Library, the fifth English Grammar Day took place on Monday, 9 July 2018 at the British Library in London. The event is aimed at members of the public, and especially teachers. The programme was as follows:

10.15 – 10.45 Jonnie Robinson, British Library, ‘Evolving English GrammarBank’
10.45 – 11.15 Lynne Murphy, University of Sussex, ‘Separated by a common grammar: differences between the UK and US’
11.45 – 12.15 Rebecca Woods, University of Huddersfield, ‘Questions in and on child language acquisition’
12.15 – 12.45 Suzannah Ferguson, Broke Street Primary School, Ipswich, ‘Teachers’ perspectives on teaching and learning grammar’
14.00 – 15.00 David Crystal, ‘How Poppy fell in love with grammar: the indispensable role of semantics and pragmatics’
15.30 – 16.45 Any Questions-style panel discussion, Chair: John Mullan, University College London

More information

The next English Grammar Day will take place on Monday 8 July 2019, again at the British Library. You will be able to book on the BL Events page during the spring.

For a brief video impression of an earlier English Gramar Day, see below.

1.6 Englicious

On 20 March 2019 the Englicious website will be relaunched with a completely new design adding new functionality and improved navigation.

Book on EventBrite

EngliciousIf you haven’t yet heard of Englicious, here’s some information about the site:

What is Englicious?

  • an entirely free online library of original English language teaching resources, especially grammar.
  • closely tailored to the linguistic content of 2014 National Curriculum for England.
  • relevant for students and teachers at Key Stages 1-5.
  • includes grammar, punctuation and spelling test practice material.
  • uses examples from natural language corpora.

Englicious will help students:

  • learn about English grammar in a fun way, using interactive online resources, including exercises, projects and games, all of which can be projected onto an interactive whiteboard develop their literacy skills, with a focus on spelling, punctuation and writing
  • stimulate their enjoyment of (using) language, both in spoken and written form
  • enhance their confidence
  • improve their test scores, especially the Year 2 and Year 6 Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling tests in UK schools

Englicious offers teachers:

  • a year-by-year overview of the new programmes of study and attainment targets in the 2014 UK National Curriculum
  • hundreds of fully prepared lesson plans, including everything from bite-sized starters to larger projects, for use in the classroom
  • assessments for evaluating student attainment and progress
  • a complete and rigorous overview of English grammar
  • the entire 2014 National Curriculum Glossary, enhanced with new terminology enabling teachers to use terminology consistently throughout the Key Stages
  • professional development materials for teachers to brush up on their own knowledge

The Englicious project now has over 10,000 registered users and an ever-growing number of free resources for teaching aspects of grammar and language in schools. In 2018, we visited 10 schools (including one in the Netherlands) to teach Continuous Professional Development (CPD) courses, and hosted 7 courses here at UCL, engaging with hundreds of teachers from primary schools through to post-16 level. A publication arising from Ian Cushing’s work with teachers who came on the Teaching English Grammar in Context course was published in Language and Literature (Cushing 2018).

You can follow Englicious on Twitter and Facebook.

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2. Research


ICECUP IIIAmazingly, our software for research with parsed corpora, ICECUP turned 20 this year!

ICECUP was first released as a 3.0 version back in 1998 with the first release of ICE-GB. A second release followed in 2006, when we created a new release of ICE-GB and also published the sound recordings aligned with the text, and released DCPSE.

In 2016 we first released the latest version, ICECUP 3.1.1. The program was rebuilt, from the ground up, with a new compiler. It is compatible with versions of Windows from XP to 10 and is fully 64-bit compatible. It also contains a number of additional enhancements over ICECUP 3.1 documented on our website.

As a service to the Corpus Linguistics research community, the software is available as a download 'release candidate' from here. This means that if you have already got a licence for ICE-GB Release 2 or DCPSE you can upgrade to the latest version of the software from our website for free.

If you have never used ICECUP before and would like to try it out, you can download a sample corpus and get all the software and help files for free.

To celebrate 20 years of ICECUP we have decided to dispense with CDs for this release. We have moved over to online ordering and digital download of corpora.

How to order ICE-GB

How to order DCPSE

2.2 Blogs

Bas Aarts continues his blog for teachers of English grammar in schools, GRAMMARIANISM.

Sean Wallis continues his blog on statistics for corpus linguistics at corp.ling.stats.

We have also launched a Survey blog.

2.3 Survey seminars and other events

The following seminars took place during 2018:

  • Wednesday 31 October, Billy Clark, Pragmatics and Literature.
  • Wednesday 28 November, Lynda Mugglestone, Rethinking history and historical principles: Andrew Clark and the language of the First World War.

For the 2019 seminars, see our website.

The first publication of the Keywords Project, of which Kathryn Allan is a member, came out this year, in October. Keywords for Today updates Raymond Williams’ work for the twenty-first century and for new generations of readers, exploring the shifting senses and uses of words that are culturally and socially significant or contested.

Kathryn Allan organised a launch event in the Institute of Advanced Study, UCL, on the 12th October 2018, which featured the panellists Marc Alexander (Glasgow), UCL's John Mullan, Lynne Murphy (Sussex), Terttu Nevalainen (Helsinki), Antoinette Renouf (Birmingham City University) and Louise Sylvester (Westminster).

2.4 Research publications and presentations

For an overview of research publications, presentations, etc. by members of the Survey, see section 4.

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3. Teaching

3.1 Summer School in English Corpus Linguistics

Summer School

Our sixth Summer School in English Corpus Linguistics ran from Monday 2 July to Wednesday 4 July 2018. It attracted a record number of participants from all over the world, including a large contingent of students from Meiji University in Tokyo.

Bas Aarts and Sean Wallis will teach a tailored version of the Summer School at the University of Brescia on 19 June 2019.

The seventh Summer School will take place from 1-3 July 2019.

For details, see here.

3.2 MA in English Linguistics

Our MA program in English Linguistics (with pathways in English Corpus Linguistics and English in Use) continues to attract students from all over the world.

Our graduates have gone on to PhD scholarships in the UK and abroad, as well as careers in teaching, publishing, and public relations.

For more information, see this prospectus.

3.3 Continuous Professional Development

As noted above, the Survey has begun offering Professional Development courses on the National Curriculum Grammar requirements for teachers in UK primary and secondary schools.

English Grammar for Teachers
Teaching English Grammar in Context

We also offer ‘Inset Teaching’ where we provide training to teachers in schools. For more information, email the Survey.

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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, B. and E. Smith-Dennis (2018) ‘Using corpora for English language teaching and learning’. In: D. McIntyre and H. Price (eds.) Applying linguistics: language and the impact agenda. Abingdon: Routledge. 163-175.

Aarts, B., S. A. Wallis and J. Bowie (2018) ‘–Ing clauses in spoken English: structure, usage and recent change’. In: E. Seoane, C. Acuña-Fariña and I. Palacios-Martínez (eds.) Subordination in English: synchronic and diachronic perspectives. Topics in English Linguistics. Berlin: De Gruyter. 129-154.

Aarts, B. (2018) ‘The English progressive construction: how it is changing.’ Spread the Word Blog. Oxford University Press. 2018.

Aarts, B. (2018) ‘Nouns as adjectives: one of the funnest changes in English’. Spread the Word Blog. Oxford University Press.

Aarts, B. (2018) ‘How to learn about English grammar the fun way’. Lecture presented at the China Three Gorges University, Yichang, China.

Aarts, B. (2018) ‘Changing English’. Lecture presented at the China Three Gorges University, Yichang, China.

Aarts, B. (2018) ‘English corpus linguistics: using real data to study English’. Paper presented at the Beijing International Studies University, Beijing, China.

Aarts, Bas (2018) ‘English corpus linguistics: using real data to study English’. Beijing Foreign Studies University.

Aarts, B. (2018) ‘Methodology in Corpus Linguistics’. Plenary lecture at the Postgraduate Linguistics Conference, University of Sussex.

Aarts, B. (2018) ‘Long read: do teachers really hate teaching grammar?’ Times Educational Supplement, ePublished.

Aarts, B. (2018) ‘Methodology in Corpus Linguistics’. Plenary lecture at the Postgraduate Linguistics Conference University of Sussex.

Aarts, B. (2018) Workshop on methodology in Corpus Linguistics. University of Sussex.

Aarts, B. (2018) (With R. De Felice.) ‘Practical applications of corpus linguistics’, University of Brescia, Italy.

Aarts, B. (2018) ‘How to translate successfully: three things you need to know about the English Language’. Lecture for the Huawei Technologies Company.

Allan, K. (2018) (With M. Alexander, F. Dallachy, S. Mehl, J. Robinson and L. Sylvester.) ‘Historical Semantics in the 21st Century’, workshop at the Fifth conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE5), University College London.

Allan, K. (2018) 'The Semantics of Loanwords in Early Modern English’. Paper presented at the International Conference on English Historical Linguistics, Edinburgh.

Allan, K. (2018) 'Metaphor, Metonymy and Polysemy’. Plenary lecture at the 4th International Conference on Figurative Thought and Language, Braga, Portugal.

Allan, K. (2018) 'Borrowing metaphor in early English: new forms, new metaphors?’, lecture delivered at the Charles University, Prague.

Allan, K. (2018) 'Metaphor, metonymy and polysemy: how word histories can complicate and inform cognitive semantics’, talk at Goldsmith's, University of London.

Axelsson, K. (2018) ‘Canonical tag questions in contemporary British speech’. In: V. Brezina, R. Love and K. Aijmer.

Brezina, V., R. Love and K. Aijmer (2018)(eds.) Corpus approaches to contemporary British speech: sociolinguistic studies of the spoken BNC2014. New York: Routledge.

Cushing, I. (2018). Language Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cushing, I. (2018). Text Analysis and Representation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cushing, I. (2018). ‘“Suddenly, I am part of the poem”: texts as worlds, reader-response and grammar in teaching poetry. English in Education 52(1): 7-19. DOI: 10.1080/04250494.2018.1414398

Cushing, I. (2018). ‘Stylistics goes to school’. Language and Literature 27(4): 271-285. DOI: 10.1177/0963947018794093

Cushing, I. (2018). ‘Grammar policy and pedagogy from primary to secondary school’. Literacy. DOI: 10.1111/lit.12170

Dash, N. S. and S. Arulmozi (2018) History, Features, and Typology of Language Corpora. Singapore: Springer.

De Felice, R. (2018) (With B. Aarts.) ‘Practical applications of corpus linguistics’, University of Brescia, Italy.

De Felice, R. (2018) ‘The Hillary Rodham emails: politeness, status, and gender in the workplace’. Paper presented at the Anglistisches Seminar, Ruprecht-Karls- Universität Heidelberg, Germany.

De Felice, R. and Garretson, G. (2018) ‘Politeness at work in the Clinton Email Corpus: a first look at the effects of status and gender’. Corpus Pragmatics 2(3). 221- 242.

De Felice, R. and Garretson, G. (2018). ‘Discourse-pragmatic concepts in corpus linguistics: the notion of ‘problematic talk’’. Paper presented at Corpus Linguistics in the South, Sussex University.

De Felice, R. (2018) ‘What’s Really Going On in Hillary Clinton’s Emails?’ Lecture at University College London. ePublished

Filppula, M. (2018) ‘Deontic and possessive HAVE (GOT) in British and Irish English and beyond’. Paper presented at the Fifth conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE5), University College London.

Gries, S. Th., T. Bernaisch and B. Heller (2018) ‘A corpus-linguistic account of the history of the genitive alternation in Singapore English’. In: S. Deshors (ed.), Modeling World Englishes: assessing the interplay of emancipation and globalization of ESL varieties. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 245- 279.

Hansen, B. and R. Fuchs (2018) ‘“You musn’t say that”: recent change in the meaning of modal must in spoken British English 1994-2014’. Paper presented at the Fifth conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE5), University College London.

Haselow, A. (2018) Spontaneous spoken English: an integrated approach to the emergent grammar of speech. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Keizer, E. (2018) ‘Modal adverbs in FDG: putting the theory to the test’. Open Linguistics 4. 356–390.

Kirk, J. and G. Nelson (2018) ‘The International Corpus of English project: a progress report’. World Englishes 37.4. 1–20

Lange, C. (2018) ‘“So basically that’s it lah” – The development of a discourse marker in Singapore English’. Paper presented at the 39th ICAME conference, Tampere, Finland.

Lastres-López, C. (2018) ‘On the use of modal verbs in conditional clauses in English’. Paper presented at the Fifth conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE5), University College London.

Li, L. and P. Siemund (2018) ‘From phrasal polarity expression to aspectual marker: grammaticalization of already in colloquial Singapore English’. Paper presented at the Fifth conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE5), University College London.

Lindquist, H. and M. Levin (2018) Corpus linguistics and the description of English. Second edition. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Olmen, D. van (2018) ‘A three-fold approach to the imperative’s usage in English and Dutch.’ Journal of Pragmatics 139. 146-162.

Poldvere, N., R. De Felice and C. Paradis, C. (2018) ‘“Why don’t you go and do something different for a year?” Tracking change in constructions expressing advice in informal conversation.’ Paper presented at the 39th ICAME Conference, Tampere, Finland.

Siemund, P. (2018) Speech acts and clause types: English in a cross-linguistic context. Oxford Textbooks in Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Smith, N. (2018) ‘Variation and change in the past perfect in British spoken English: an exploration of Spoken Demographic BNC1994 and BNC2014’. Paper presented at the 39th ICAME conference, Tampere, Finland.

Wahl, A. and S. Th. Gries (2018) ‘Multi-word expressions: a novel computational approach to their bottom-up statistical extraction. In: P. Cantos-Gómez and M. Almela-Sánchez (eds.), Lexical collocation analysis: advances and applications. Berlin and New York: Springer. 85-109.

Wallis, S. A. (2018) ‘Comparing χ² tables for separability of distribution and effect: meta-tests for comparing homogeneity and goodness of fit contingency test outcomes. Journal of Quantitative Linguistics. DOI: 10.1080/09296174.2018.1496537 (In print: 2019)

Wallis, S. A. (2018) ‘What are the tasks of statistics in linguistics?’ Paper presented at the Fifth conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE5), University College London as part of the workshop ‘The “quantitative crisis”, cumulative science, and English linguistics’.

Wallis, S. A. (with B. Aarts and J. Bowie (2018) ‘–Ing clauses in spoken English: structure, usage and recent change’. In: E. Seoane, C. Acuña-Fariña and I. Palacios-Martínez (eds.) Subordination in English: synchronic and diachronic perspectives. Topics in English Linguistics. Berlin: De Gruyter. 129-154.

Willimann, S. (2018) ‘Omission of subject complements in written English’. Paper presented at the Fifth conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE5), University College London.

Wu, Z. (2018) ‘The relative adverbs when and where reclassified: a reanalysis of the restrictive relative construction’. Paper presented at the Fifth conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE5), University College London.

Wulff, S., S. Th. Gries and N. Lester. (2018) ‘Optional that in complementation by German and Spanish learners’. In: A. Tyler, L. Huan and H. Jan (eds.), What is Applied Cognitive Linguistics? Answers from current SLA research. Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter Mouton. 99-120.

Zevenbergen, E., E. Haman and J. Zevenbergen (2018) ‘ “Do you remember going to the beach?”: references to internal states in Polish and American mother- preschooler shared narratives’. Psychology of Language and Communication 21.1. 441-466.

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Spontaneous Spoken English Speech Acts and Clause Types Corpus Linguistics and the Description of English

Bas Aarts

January 2019

This page last modified 28 January, 2021 by 7Survey Web Administrator.