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AusBrown: A new diachronic corpus of Australian English

Abstract

This paper presents a newly-compiled diachronic corpus of Australian English (AusBrown). With four sampling time points (1931, 1961, 1991 and 2006), Aus-Brown is designed to match the current suite of British and American ‘Brown-family’ corpora in both sampling year and design. We provide details of the composition and compilation of AusBrown, and explore the broader context of its ‘Brown-family background’ and of complementary Australian corpora. We also overview research based on the Australian corpora presented, including several AusBrown-based papers.

Open access
Corpora and lexis
Open access
Early Modern Multiloquent Authors (EMMA): Designing a large-scale corpus of individuals’ languages

Abstract

The present article provides a detailed description of the corpus of Early Modern Multiloquent Authors (EMMA), as well as two small case studies that illustrate its benefits. As a large-scale specialized corpus, EMMA tries to strike the right balance between big data and sociolinguistic coverage. It comprises the writings of 50 carefully selected authors across five generations, mostly taken from the 17th-century London society. EMMA enables the study of language as both a social and cognitive phenomenon and allows us to explore the interaction between the individual and aggregate levels.

The first part of the article is a detailed description of EMMA’s first release as well as the sociolinguistic and methodological principles that underlie its design and compilation. We cover the conceptual decisions and practical implementations at various stages of the compilation process: from text-markup, encoding and data preprocessing to metadata enrichment and verification.

In the second part, we present two small case studies to illustrate how rich contextualization can guide the interpretation of quantitative corpus-linguistic findings. The first case study compares the past tense formation of strong verbs in writers without access to higher education to that of writers with an extensive training in Latin. The second case study relates s/th-variation in the language of a single writer, Margaret Cavendish, to major shifts in her personal life.

Open access
From Arkngthand to Wretched Squalor: Fictional place-names in The Elder Scrolls universe

Abstract

In this article we would like to examine an area of onomastics that has not received much scholarly attention. We aim to provide an adequate linguistic analysis of the place-names found in The Elder Scrolls (ES) video game series. For our analysis, we rely chiefly on the methods of linguistic statistics, which have not yet gained widespread use in onomastic research. Our goal is to give a boost to linguistic and onomastic research into video games and to develop related aspects of its research methodology. Two main methods of place-name formation can be observed in our results: one is when the fictional names are coined on the basis of the lexical elements of already existing non-fictional languages (we call these mimetic names), and the other is when the game developers create so-called speaking names. In our article we demonstrate that the toponyms of the ES universe in part conform to the conventions of non-fictional place-name formation (e.g. they can be sorted into the two main categories of habitative names and topographical names), and in part they contradict such conventions, because around 14 percent of the names we analyzed are purposefully coined as semantically obscure toponyms, which does not happen in the case of non-fictional names.

Open access
Shakespeare and his contemporaries: Designing a genre classification scheme for Early English Books Online 1560–1640

Abstract

The language of Early Modern texts can potentially reveal a lot about Shakespeare’s language. In this paper I describe the creation of a genre classification scheme for a segment of Early English Books Online – Text Creation Partnership (EEBO-TCP), covering the period 1560–1640. This categorisation permits meaningful comparison of the language of Shakespeare with that of his contemporaries and makes an integral contribution to The Encyclopaedia of Shakespeare’s Language project at Lancaster University. I outline the rationale behind the scheme, describe preliminary automatic genre classification work and present the prototype approach adopted for this categorisation. I also provide specific examples of classification in practice and discuss internal and external factors which influenced genre selection. I finish by suggesting how a range of scholars might benefit from this research.

Open access
An Action-Oriented Approach to Translation and Translation Studies

Abstract

The topicalisation of the social nature of language stems from the idea that to use language is to perform an action. The overriding criterion for evaluating language use in translation is meaningoriented since translators, as privileged language users, display norm-governed behaviour in particular socio-cultural contexts, agency refers to the socio-culturally mediated capacity to act, and praxis is the action itself.

Open access
CLIL4CHILDREN: Teaching Materials for CLIL Lessons in Maths, Geography and Science for Primary School

Abstract

This article describes the didactic principles underlying the creation of a ready-made fifteen lesson plan package for primary CLIL (for Maths, Geography and Science) for pupils aged 5 to 12, developed through the collaboration of an international group of English and primary teachers, teacher educators, researchers and teaching materials developers across four European countries in the framework of the CLIL for Children (C4C) project (2015-2018) on educating teachers for CLIL teaching environments. These principles are presented in the framework of a brief state-of-the art discussion on the lack of ready-made teaching materials for CLIL, their importance for teacher development and quality teaching and learning in CLIL classrooms, and criteria they should conform to. The article proceeds by summarising the findings of two C4C surveys, one on best CLIL teaching practice through national reports of four European countries (Italy, Portugal, Poland and Romania) and the other on Open Educational Resources (OER) available for CLIL Maths, Science and Geography, as well as by drawing on C4C Guidelines. The article then demonstrates these principles in practice through a module of a three lesson plan sequence for CLIL Science on the topic “The World of Plants” by showing how language (vocabulary or content-specific terminology and language functions), specific communication skills, content and culture are integrated and developed through a child-centred, holistic (Brooks and Brooks), constructivist approach. Digital technologies are included as everyday learning processes for access to knowledge and playfulness in learning. Methodologies for active, experiential, discovery, problem solving and cooperative learning are foregrounded. The article further highlights how teacher cooperation and teacher identities (English and primary education teachers) as individuals with multilingual repertoires, expectations, and expertise are crucial for producing quality CLIL materials and resources.

Open access
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