Converging and diverging evidence: corpora and other (cognitive) phenomena?
Dagmar Divjak (University of Sheffield) and Stefan Th. Gries (UCSB).
Proposal for a theme session at the Corpus Linguistics Conference 2009, Liverpool, 20-23 July 2009 [http://www.liv.ac.uk/english/CL2009/]
Over the last decade, it has become increasingly popular for (cognitive) linguists who believe that language emerges from use to turn to corpora as a source of authentic usage data (for an overview, see Gries & Stefanowitsch 2006). Recently, a trend has emerged to supplement such corpus analyses with experimental data that presumably reflect aspects of cognitive representation and/or processing (more) directly. If converging evidence is obtained, the cognitive claims made on the basis of corpus data are supported (Gries et al. 2005, to appear; Grondelaers & Speelman 2007; Divjak & Gries 2008; Dąbrowska in press) and the status of corpora a legitimate means to explore cognition is strengthened. Yet, recently, diverging evidence has been made available, too: frequency data collected from corpora sometimes make predictions that conflict with those made by experimental data (cf. Arppe&Järvikivi 2007, McGee to appear, Nordquist 2006, to appear) or do not quite as reliably approximate theoretical concepts from cognitive linguistics such as prototypicality and entrenchment as one would have hoped (cf. Gilquin 2006; Divjak to appear; Gries to appear; Wiechmann to appear). This crushes hopes that the linguistic properties of texts produced by speakers can reveal the way linguistic knowledge is represented in their heads.
In this workshop, we want to focus on the question to what degree corpora can (or should) be up to the task of predicting cognitive phenomena. Despite the importance attributed to frequency in contemporary linguistics, the relationship between frequencies of occurrence in texts on the one hand, and status or structure in cognition as reflected in experiments on the other hand has not been studied in great detail, and hence remains poorly understood. It is the aim of this workshop to explore the relationship between certain aspects of language and their representation in cognition as mediated by frequency counts in both text and experiment. Do certain types of experimental data fit certain types of corpus data better than they fit others? Which established corpus-derived statistics correlate best with experimental results? Or should corpus data be analyzed radically differently, i.e. by means of advanced multifactorial techniques, in order to make them reveal the wealth of cognitive information they (might) contain?
For this workshop we invite papers that report on converging as well as diverging evidence between corpus data and experimental data and interpret the implications of this from a cognitive-linguistic or psycholinguistic perspective. Contributions from all domains (e.g., language acquisition, processing, or representation) and linguistic subdisciplines (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics) will be considered.
Please submit: what: your 500-word abstract (1'' margins, Times New Roman, size 12 font) as .odt, .rtf, or .doc file when: by 1 December 2008 to whom: <d.divjak at sheffield.ac.uk> and <stgries at linguistics.ucsb.edu> how: in an email with the subject heading "Corpora 2009 theme session"
Please include: - title of paper - name(s) of author(s) - affiliation(s) - contact e-mail address(es)
Contact person: Dagmar S. Divjak d.divjak at sheffield.ac.uk
Arppe, A. & J. Järvikivi. 2007. Every method counts - Combining corpus-based and experimental evidence in the study of synonymy. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory 3(2):131-59. Divjak, D.S. to appear. On (in)frequency and (un)acceptability. In: B. Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk (ed.). Corpus linguistics, computer tools and applications - state of the art. Frankfurt a.M.: Peter Lang, p. 1-21. Dąbrowska, E. (in press). Words as constructions. In: V. Evans & S. Pourcel (eds.). New directions in cognitive linguistics. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Divjak, D.S. & St.Th. Gries. 2008. Clusters in the Mind? Converging evidence from near-synonmymy in Russian. The Mental Lexicon 3(2):188-213. Gilquin, G. 2006. The place of prototypicality in corpus linguistics. In: St.Th. Gries & A. Stefanowitsch (eds.), p. 159-91. Gries, St.Th. to appear. Dispersions and adjusted frequencies in corpora: further explorations. Gries, St.Th., B. Hampe, & D. Schönefeld. 2005. Converging evidence: bringing together experimental and corpus data on the association of verbs and constructions. Cognitive Linguistics 16(4):635-76. Gries, St.Th. & A. Stefanowitsch (eds.). 2006. Corpora in cognitive linguistics: corpus-based approaches to syntax and lexis. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter. Grondelaers S. & D. Speelman. 2007. A variationist account of constituent ordering in presentative sentences in Belgian Dutch. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory 3(2):161-93. Hoffmann, T. 2006. Corpora and introspection as corroborating evidence: the case of preposition placement in English relative clauses. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory 2(2):165-95. McGee, I. to appear. Adjective-noun collocations in elicited and corpus data: similarities: differences and the whys and wherefores. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory. Nordquist, D. 2004. Comparing elicited data and corpora. In: M. Achard & S. Kemmer (eds.). Language, culture, and mind. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications, p. 211-23. Nordquist, D. to appear. Investigating elicited data from a usage-based perspective. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory. Wiechmann, D. to appear. On the computation of collostruction strength. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory. Wulff, S. to appear. Converging evidence from corpus and experimental data to capture idiomaticity. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory.