[Corpora-List] A small favour
mag.nusson at bredband.net
Fri Sep 7 16:17:27 CEST 2007
Dear Ramesh, Amanda, Moneesha, Geoffrey and others on the list,
No offence! I’m grateful for the interest and kindness that my simple
request met with and besides I’m happy it also created some comment on
corpora and elicitation. I have indeed received a great number of
suggestions from numerous scholars. I feel I have to write you all a short
note already before I have sorted out the answers I got. Thank you Ramesh,
for the time you spent on my little request. I have, in fact, been on the
list for a couple years by now, and I am working with the BNC. It just
struck me, as some of you have remarked, that a primitive elicitation
experiment might throw additional light on the valuable information I
retrieved from my corpus data.
I will be back on the list with information on the data you spent time on
offering me. And, again, there are no hard feelings whatsoever on my part.
After all, we all “seek the truth” don’t we? There’s no room for prestige
All the best
Fran: Krishnamurthy, Ramesh [mailto:r.krishnamurthy at aston.ac.uk]
Skickat: den 7 september 2007 15:46
Till: Geoffrey Sampson
Kopia: Ulf Magnusson; corpora at uib.no
Ämne: RE: A small favour
Dear Professor Magnusson, Geoffrey, and all on the list
1. I'm really sorry if I sounded harsh, and apologize unreservedly.
I tried very hard to word my email carefully:
Dear Professor Magnusson
Please forgive me, but it seems strange to post an elicitation request on
2. The last thing I wanted to do was to scare anyone away
from using corpora. I was trying to do the opposite, by
providing some corpus examples myself and offering transitivity analyses.
3. The questions I asked are of genuine interest to me:
a) what purposes can elicitation serve that corpora cannot?
(and you Geoffrey have made one suggestion yourself: to compare
introspection with performance)
b)‘spontaneous’ (like ‘authentic’) can be contextualized in different ways;
it might be useful to discuss the idea of spontaneity in the context of
c) what is current psycholinguistic opinion on our degree of
d) how do we incorporate phrasal verbs into grammar systems?
(and how reliable are current parsers in identifying phrasal verbs?)
e) if transitivity is binary, where does ‘ergativity’
(by which I mean ‘I stopped the car. The car stopped.’)
fit in? Or am I confusing syntax and semantics?
Many apologies again for any offence caused.
From: Geoffrey Sampson [mailto:grs2 at sussex.ac.uk]
Sent: 07 September 2007 13:13
To: Krishnamurthy, Ramesh
Cc: Ulf Magnusson; corpora at uib.no
Subject: A small favour
I thought Ramesh's response to a harmless-seeming request seemed a touch
harsh. I had taken it that Ulf Magnusson might well be interested in
comparing the actual usage of SLIP as revealed by corpora to what
native-speaker linguists imagine the usage is (and I gave him a few
examples I dreamed up, as evidence for the latter). It would be a pity
to scare off newcomers to the corpus-linguistics world!
Prof. Geoffrey Sampson MA PhD MBCS CITP FHEA
author of "The 'Language Instinct' Debate"
Department of Informatics, University of Sussex
Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QJ, England
www.grsampson.net +44 1273 678525
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