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(searched for: doi:10.1075/ijcl.22.3.02lov)
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, , , Abi Hawtin, , Claire Dembry
Register Studies, Volume 1, pp 296-317; https://doi.org/10.1075/rs.18013.lov

Abstract:
This article focuses on how register considerations informed and guided the design of the spoken component of the British National Corpus 2014 (Spoken BNC2014). It discusses why the compilers of the corpus sought to gather recordings from just one broad spoken register – ‘informal conversation’ – and how this and other design decisions afforded contributors to the corpus much freedom with regards to the selection of situational contexts for the recordings. This freedom resulted in a high level of diversity in the corpus for situational parameters such as recording location and activity type, each of which was captured in the corpus metadata. Focussing on these parameters, this article provides evidence for functional variation among the texts in the corpus and suggests that differences such as those observed presently could be analysable within the existing frameworks for analysis of register variation in spoken and written language, such as multidimensional analysis.
, , Helen Baker
International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, Volume 24, pp 413-444; https://doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.18096.mce

Abstract:
This article introduces a methodology for the diachronic analysis of large historical corpora, Usage Fluctuation Analysis (UFA). UFA looks at the fluctuation of the usage of a word as observed through collocation. It presupposes neither a commitment to a specific semantic theory, nor that the results will focus solely on semantics. We focus, rather, upon a word’s usage. UFA considers large amounts of evidence about usage, through time, as made available by historical corpora, displaying fluctuation in word usage in the form of a graph. The paper provides guidelines for the interpretation of UFA graphs and provides three short case studies applying the technique to (i) the analysis of the word its and (ii) two words related to social actors, whore and harlot. These case studies relate UFA to prior, labour intensive, corpus and historical analyses. They also highlight the novel observations that the technique affords.
Linguistic Innovations, Volume 5, pp 126-158; https://doi.org/10.1075/ijlcr.19001.gab

Abstract:
This paper introduces a new corpus resource for language learning research, the Trinity Lancaster Corpus (TLC), which contains 4.2 million words of interaction between L1 and L2 speakers of English. The corpus includes spoken production from over 2,000 L2 speakers from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds at different levels of proficiency engaged in two to four tasks. The paper provides a description of the TLC and places it in the context of current learner corpus development and research. The discussion of practical decisions taken in the construction of the TLC also enables a critical reflection on current methodological issues in corpus construction.
Published: 30 June 2022
by MDPI
Applied Sciences, Volume 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12136648

Abstract:
Arabic has recently received significant attention from corpus compilers. This situation has led to the creation of many Arabic corpora that cover various genres, most notably the newswire genre. Yet, Arabic novels, and specifically those authored by Saudi writers, lack the sufficient digital datasets that would enhance corpus linguistic and stylistic studies of these works. Thus, Arabic lags behind English and other European languages in this context. In this paper, we present the Saudi Novels Corpus, built to be a valuable resource for linguistic and stylistic research communities. We specifically present the procedures we followed and the decisions we made in creating the corpus. We describe and clarify the design criteria, data collection methods, process of annotation, and encoding. In addition, we present preliminary results that emerged from the analysis of the corpus content. We consider the work described in this paper as initial steps to bridge the existing gap between corpus linguistics and Arabic literary texts. Further work is planned to improve the quality of the corpus by adding advanced features.
Niall Curry, Robbie Love, Olivia Goodman
Published: 1 April 2022
Corpora, Volume 17, pp 1-38; https://doi.org/10.3366/cor.2022.0233

Abstract:
While the role of corpus linguistics (cl) in language teaching and learning continues to evolve, its use in the language teaching industry remains somewhat unclear. The specific ways in which elt publishers use cl research to inform materials development are under-studied, meaning that it is not known whether cl is being used by publishers to its full potential. This study investigates the use of cl research by a major international elt publisher by conducting research into recent change in adverbs in casual spoken British English and sharing the findings with editors from the publisher. Through our analysis, we find evidence of major recent changes in the use of frequent adverbs. Following the corpus analysis, we conducted in-depth interviews with the editors and a review of the materials they subsequently produced using the corpus findings. In so doing, we find some evidence of effective use of corpora in materials development but reveal limitations in current corpus research which prevent editors from employing cl research more effectively.
Luke Collins, Andrew Hardie
Published: 1 April 2022
Corpora, Volume 17, pp 123-135; https://doi.org/10.3366/cor.2022.0237

Abstract:
In this paper, we reflect on the process of re-operationalising transcript data generated in an ethnographic study for the purposes of corpus analysis. We present a corpus of patient–provider interactions in the context of Emergency Departments in hospitals in Australia, to discuss the process through which ethnographic transcripts were manipulated to generate a searchable corpus. We refer to the types of corpus analysis that this conversion enables, facilitated by the rich metadata collected alongside the transcribed audio recordings, augmenting the findings of prior qualitative analyses. Subsequently, we offer guidance for spoken data transcription, intended to ‘future proof’ such data for subsequent reformatting for corpus linguistic analysis.
Tatjana Winter, Elen Le Foll
Linguistic Innovations, Volume 8, pp 31-66; https://doi.org/10.1075/ijlcr.20021.win

Abstract:
English as a foreign language (EFL) textbooks typically present a prescriptive typology of three or four conditional types. We examine the extent to which this long-established English Language Teaching (ELT) typology is reflected in four varieties of English by comparing the forms and functions of four samples of 620 if-conditionals from French school EFL textbooks (TEC-Fr), French L1 Learner English (OpenCLC-Fr), Web English (EnTenTen15-S) and British English (BNC-S). The ELT typology accounts for considerably less than half of if-sentences in the reference data. Even in the EFL textbooks, only 57% of if-conditionals match the typology explicitly taught in their grammar sections. For many formal and functional features, the learner data sits halfway between the distributions of the textbook and reference data. We conclude that the ELT typology needs to be adapted to provide a more representative account of if-conditionals that focuses on L1 and L2 usage and meaning over form.
Hung Tan Ha
Published: 21 February 2022
Frontiers in Psychology, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.831684

Abstract:
The article presents a methodological update on the lexical profile of informal spoken English with the emphasis on movies, television programs, and soap operas. The study analyzed Mark Davies’s mega-corpora with data containing approximately 625 million words and employed Paul Nation’s comprehensive and up-to-date British National Corpus/Corpus of Contemporary American English (BNC/COCA) wordlists. Data from the analyses showed that viewers would need a vocabulary knowledge at 3,000 and 5,000 words frequency levels to understand 95 and 98% of the words in scripted dialogs, respectively. Soap operas were found to be less lexically demanding compared to TV programs and movies. Findings are expected to fill in the methodological gaps between vocabulary assessment and vocabulary profiling research.
Published: 1 January 2022
Abstract:
This study demonstrates how native and learner corpora can enhance modal verb treatment in English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) textbooks used in mainland China. Data analysis compares modal verbs in the textbook and native corpus by referring to distributional features, semantic functions and co-occurring constructions; and the analysis of the learner corpus refers to the use/misuse of modal verbs. A corpora comparison considers the authenticity of textbook language; and examination of learner use/misuse of modal verbs provides a learner perspective for textbook presentation that is applicable to learning difficulties. In this regard, this study highlights discrepancies between textbook treatment of modal verbs and authentic modal use in constructions, distributions and semantic functions, and its application of error analysis reveals inter/intra-linguistic interference in the use of modal verbs. This study can thus contribute to a corpus-informed and learner-centered design of grammar presentation in EFL textbooks that enhances the authenticity and appropriateness of textbook language for target learners.
, David Wright
Published: 22 December 2021
Frontiers in Communication, Volume 6; https://doi.org/10.3389/fcomm.2021.797448

Abstract:
Covert audio recordings feature in the criminal justice system in a variety of guises, either on their own or accompanied by video. If legally obtained, such recordings can provide important forensic evidence. However, the quality of these potentially valuable evidential recordings is often very poor and their content indistinct, to the extent that a jury requires an accompanying transcript. At present, in many international jurisdictions, these transcriptions are produced by investigating police officers involved in the case, but transcription is a highly complex, meticulous and onerous task, and police officers are untrained and have a vested interest in the influence of the transcript on a case, which gives rise to potential inaccuracy. This paper reports the design and results of a controlled transcription experiment in which eight linguistically trained professional transcribers produced transcripts for an audio recording of a conversation between five adults in a busy restaurant. In the context of covert recordings, this recording shares many of the typical features of covert forensic recordings, including the presence of multiple speakers, background noise and use of non-specialist recording equipment. We present a detailed qualitative and quantitative comparison of the transcripts, identifying areas of agreement and disagreement in (a) speaker attribution and (b) the representation of the linguistic content. We find that disagreement between the transcriptions is frequent and various in nature; the most common causes are identified as (i) omission of speech that is included in other transcripts, (ii) variation in the representation of turns, (iii) orthographic variation seemingly motivated by phonetic similarity, and (iv) orthographic variation seemingly not motivated by phonetic similarity. We argue that the variable nature of the transcription of “challenging” audio recordings must be considered in forensic contexts and make recommendations for improving practice in the production of forensic transcriptions.
Elen Le Foll
Published: 23 November 2021
Register Studies, Volume 3, pp 207-246; https://doi.org/10.1075/rs.20009.lef

Abstract:
This study applies additive Multi-Dimensional Analysis (MDA) (Biber 1988) to explore the linguistic characteristics of ‘school English’ or ‘textbook English’. It seeks to find out how text registers commonly featured in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) textbooks differ from comparable registers found outside the EFL classroom. To this end, a Textbook English Corpus (TEC) of 43 coursebooks used in European schools is mobilised. The texts from six textbook register subcorpora and three target language corpora are mapped onto Biber’s (1998) ‘Involved vs. Informational’ dimension of General English. Register accounts for 63% of the variance in these dimension scores in the TEC. Additional factors such as textbook level, series and country of publication/use only play a marginal role in mediating textbook register variation. Textbook dialogues score considerably lower than the Spoken BNC2014, whereas Textbook Fiction scores closest to its corresponding reference Youth Fiction Corpus. Pedagogical and methodological implications are discussed.
, Jeremy Robson, Helen Murray-Edwards,
Published: 17 November 2021
Journal of Pragmatics, Volume 187, pp 1-12; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2021.10.028

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Josip Batinić, Elena Frick, Thomas Schmidt
Published: 1 November 2021
Corpora, Volume 16, pp 417-445; https://doi.org/10.3366/cor.2021.0229

Abstract:
In this paper, we present an overview of freely available web applications providing online access to spoken language corpora. We explore and discuss various solutions with which the corpus providers and corpus platform developers address the needs of researchers who are working with spoken language. The paper aims to contribute to the long-overdue exchange and discussion of methods and best practices in the design of online access to spoken language corpora.
Dawn Knight, Steve Morris, Laura Arman, Jennifer Needs, Mair Rees
Published: 9 October 2021
The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Dawn Knight, Steve Morris, Laura Arman, Jennifer Needs, Mair Rees
Published: 9 October 2021
The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Dawn Knight, Steve Morris, Laura Arman, Jennifer Needs, Mair Rees
Published: 9 October 2021
The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Dawn Knight, Steve Morris, Laura Arman, Jennifer Needs, Mair Rees
Published: 9 October 2021
The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
English Language and Linguistics, Volume 25, pp 459-483; https://doi.org/10.1017/s1360674321000186

Abstract:
This article describes and critically examines the challenging task of compiling The London–Lund Corpus 2 (LLC–2) from start to end, accounting for the methodological decisions made in each stage and highlighting the innovations. LLC–2 is a half-a-million-word corpus of contemporary spoken British English with recordings from 2014 to 2019. Its size and design are the same as those of the world's first machine-readable spoken corpus, The London–Lund Corpus of Spoken English with data from the 1950s to 1980s. In this way, LLC–2 allows not only for synchronic investigations of contemporary speech but also for principled diachronic research of spoken language across time. Each stage of the compilation of LLC–2 posed its own challenges, ranging from the design of the corpus, the recruitment of the speakers, transcription, markup and annotation procedures, to the release of the corpus to the international research community. The decisions and solutions represent state-of-the-art practices of spoken corpus compilation with important innovations that enhance the value of LLC–2 for spoken corpus research, such as the availability of both the transcriptions and the corresponding time-aligned audio files in a standard compliant format.
Andreas Liesenfeld, Gábor Parti, Chu-Ren Huang
Mensch und Computer 2021; https://doi.org/10.1145/3473856.3474012

Abstract:
Conversational AI such as smart speakers placed in home environments can accidentally activate and record people’s talk for a short time. What can such devices learn about people by listening in on ongoing conversations? Taking two commonly used speaker traits as an example, we present the results of an experiment that simulates Conversational AI eavesdropping on ongoing talk using transcriptions of naturalistic conversations in private settings. We show that a currently popular type of deep learning-based system can reliably predict if a speaker is “young”, “old”, “female” or “male” (age=99%, gender=82%) based on what they say in around 30 seconds. Our results exemplify how powerful current big data language models are when it comes to data-driven predictions of personal information based on how people talk, even when listening only for a short time. We conclude the experiment with a critical comment on the increasingly pervasive use of such user modeling technology to compute speaker traits, touching upon some potential ethical concerns, bias, and privacy issues.
English Language and Linguistics, Volume 25, pp 537-562; https://doi.org/10.1017/s1360674321000265

Abstract:
Studies in modality comprise a complex canon of functional, formal, sociological and diachronic analyses of language. The current understanding of how English language speakers use modality is unclear; while some research argues that core modal auxiliaries are in decline, they are reported as increasing elsewhere. A lack of contemporary and representative spoken language data has rendered it difficult to reconcile such differing perspectives. To address this issue, this article presents a diachronic study of modality using the Spoken BNC2014 and the spoken component of the BNC1994. We investigate the frequency of core modal auxiliaries, semi-modals, and lexical modality-indicating devices (MIDs), as well as the modal functions of the core modal auxiliaries, in informal spoken British English, between the 1990s and 2010s. The results of the analysis are manifold. We find that core modal auxiliaries appear to be in decline, while semi-modals and lexical MIDs appear relatively stable. However, on a form-by-form basis, there is significant evidence of both increases and decreases in the use of individual expressions within each modal set. As a result, this study problematises form-based studies of change, and illustrates the value and coherence that functional analyses of modality can afford future work.
English Language and Linguistics, Volume 25, pp 563-580; https://doi.org/10.1017/s1360674321000253

Abstract:
This study reports on recent changes in the use of the hedges kind of and sort of in spoken British English over the past twenty years. A quantitative analysis of these features within subsets of the original BNC 1994 (BNC Consortium 2007) and BNC 2014 (Love et al. 2017) suggests a systematic encroaching of kind of into contexts that are traditionally occupied by sort of. This is highlighted in apparent-time patterns in which younger speakers are leading in use as well as real-time patterns that show a significant increase in use between 1994 and 2014.The hedges sort of and kind of are often treated as semantically equivalent, yet show distributional differences across different varieties of English. This article reports on an ongoing shift in the use of kind of as well as a relatively stable use of sort of. Its main focus is a detailed sociolinguistic analysis of both variants, which, in addition to social factors involved, teases apart some of the linguistic aspects of this shift.In line with the theme of this special issue, the article draws attention to the usefulness of comparable, or comparably made, corpora that allow for focused studies of linguistic change across speakers, generations, registers and communities.
Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Volume 69, pp 321-328; https://doi.org/10.1515/zaa-2021-2025

Abstract:
This brief discussion paper is concerned with the sequence [have NP Vpp] and its distinction into a causative and a passive construction, which hinges on the (non-)agentivity of the subject participant, so that the sequence can be seen as ambiguous in that respect. Instead of analyzing these uses as two different constructions, I propose a unified analysis as instances of the affactive construction. This construction has the functional potential of putting primary focus on secondary participants, so-called afficiary participants. The potential ambiguity with regard to the agentivity of these participants is not an issue in usage, as it is only evoked as part of the conceptual content in the background.
Yi An, Hang Su, Mingyou Xiang
Pragmatics. Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA), Volume 32, pp 28-53; https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.19029.an

Abstract:
This study presents a corpus-based sociopragmatic investigation into apology responses (ARs) and gender differences in ARs in spoken British English. Using data taken from the recently released Spoken BNC2014, the investigation leads to an adjusted taxonomy of ARs which comprises five categories and several sub-categories. The investigation shows that ‘Lack of response’ is the most typical response, followed by ‘Acceptance’, ‘Rejection’, ‘Evasion’, and ‘Acknowledgement’. The results are discussed in relation to the process of attenuation that apologies have undergone (e.g. Jucker 2019), i.e. apologies are becoming more routinised and less meaningful. The proposed taxonomy is subsequently used to examine the extent to which male and female recipients respond to apologies differently. While the investigation suggests no significant differences in ARs across genders, it has been observed that there is some correlation between ARs and the gender of the apologiser. Finally, the implications and applications of the study are briefly discussed.
Published: 13 August 2021
Text & Talk, Volume 41, pp 739-762; https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2020-0051

Abstract:
This paper investigates changes in swearing usage in informal speech using large-scale corpus data, comparing the occurrence and social distribution of swear words in two corpora of informal spoken British English: the demographically-sampled part of the Spoken British National Corpus 1994 (BNC1994) and the Spoken British National Corpus 2014 (BNC2014); the compilation of the latter has facilitated large-scale, diachronic analyses of authentic spoken data on a scale which has, until now, not been possible. A form and frequency analysis of a set of 16 ‘pure’ swear word lemma forms is presented. The findings reveal that swearing occurrence is significantly lower in the Spoken BNC2014 but still within a comparable range to previous studies. Furthermore, FUCK is found to overtake BLOODY as the most popular swear word lemma. Finally, the social distribution of swearing across gender and age groups generally supports the findings of previous research: males still swear more than females, and swearing still peaks in the twenties and declines thereafter. However, the distribution of swearing according to socio-economic status is found to be more complex than expected in the 2010s and requires further investigation. This paper also reflects on some of the methodological challenges associated with making comparisons between the two corpora.
, Stacey Wizner, Daniel Keller, Douglas Biber, , Paul Baker
Published: 13 August 2021
Text & Talk, Volume 41, pp 715-737; https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2020-0053

Abstract:
On the surface, it appears that conversational language is produced in a stream of spoken utterances. In reality conversation is composed of contiguous units that are characterized by coherent communicative purposes. A large number of important research questions about the nature of conversational discourse could be addressed if researchers could investigate linguistic variation across functional discourse units. To date, however, no corpus of conversational language has been annotated according to functional units, and there are no existing methods for carrying out this type of annotation. We introduce a new method for segmenting transcribed conversation files into discourse units and characterizing those units based on their communicative purposes. In this paper, the development and piloting of this method is described in detail and the final framework is presented. We conclude with a discussion of an ongoing project where we are applying this coding framework to the British National Corpus Spoken 2014.
Published: 12 August 2021
Text & Talk, Volume 41, pp 595-615; https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2020-0052

Abstract:
The British National Corpus 2014 is a major project led by Lancaster University to create a 100-million-word corpus of present day British English. This corpus has been constructed as a comparable counterpart of the original British National Corpus (referred to as the BNC1994 in this article), which was compiled in the early 1990s. This article starts with the justification of the project answering the question of ‘Why do we need a new BNC?’. We then provide a general overview of the construction of the Written British National Corpus 2014 (Written BNC2014); we also briefly discuss some issues of data collection before looking in detail at the design of the corpus. Compiling a large general corpus such as the Written BNC2014 has been a major undertaking involving teamwork and collaboration. It also required generosity on the part of the many individuals and organisations who contributed to the data collection.
Alice Deignan, Robbie Love
Published: 1 August 2021
Corpora, Volume 16, pp 165-189; https://doi.org/10.3366/cor.2021.0216

Abstract:
Many education professionals in Britain believe that school pupils have difficulty accessing academic texts because of inadequate knowledge of vocabulary. Previous research has suggested that some high frequency words used in non-specialised contexts have academic meanings that can cause problems for school pupils. We take corpus techniques used in the study of higher education texts and apply them to a corpus of texts designed for school pupils aged 11 to 14, attempting to identify such words automatically. We use the Spoken BNC2014 as a reference corpus. We identify a list of semi-technical words ( Baker, 1988 ), many of which are polysemous, having everyday meanings and related school subject meanings that may not be familiar to pupils. We investigate how semi-technical vocabulary can be identified and distinguished from both specialised and general vocabulary. Some supplementary qualitative analysis was needed, using collocation and concordance analysis. While time-consuming, the potential benefits for pupils struggling with school language make this a worthwhile exercise.
English Language and Linguistics, Volume 25, pp 449-457; https://doi.org/10.1017/s1360674321000174

Abstract:
The idea of this special issue on Spoken language in time and across time emerged at an international symposium on this topic that we organised at Lund University on 20 September 2019. The purpose of the symposium was to celebrate important past and present achievements of spoken language research as well as past and present corpora available for such research. Some speakers reported on academic and technical advances from the past, while others offered information about state-of-the-art research on spoken language and spoken corpus compilation. Our idea with the symposium was also to bring together early career scholars, somewhat more senior scholars as well as senior scholars – the latter actually active when interest in spoken language and spoken corpus compilation was in its infancy. The type of spoken corpora in focus extended from the world's first publicly available, machine-readable spoken corpus, The London–Lund Corpus of Spoken English (Svartvik 1990), nowadays referred to as LLC–1, through to the spoken parts of The British National Corpora (BNC) from 1994 (BNC Consortium 2007) and 2014 (Love et al. 2017), The Diachronic Corpus of Present-Day Spoken English (DCPSE) consisting of LLC–1 and the British component of The International Corpus of English (ICE–GB), Santa Barbara Corpus of Spoken American English (SBCSAE) (Du Bois et al. 2000–5), The Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) (Davies 2008–) and finally the most recent one, The London–Lund Corpus 2 (LLC–2) (Põldvere, Johansson & Paradis 2021a). The symposium thus covered approximately half a century of data from publicly available corpora compiled for multipurpose use by the academic community for research on spoken English in different contexts.
Published: 27 July 2021
Text & Talk, Volume 41, pp 763-785; https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2020-0039

Abstract:
Comparing early and current corpus-based work on ongoing grammatical change in English, the present study argues that progress tends to manifest itself in the more comprehensive and systematic coverage of changes known to be under way rather than in the discovery of genuinely new diachronic processes. As will be shown in two case studies on modal/semi-modal verbs and the progressive, there are three reasons for this. First, corpus research on ongoing change has been helped by increases in the size of available corpora and even more so by better coverage of spoken English. Secondly, researchers have a much wider range of statistical methods to choose from. Thirdly, conceptual advances have been made in theoretical models of change, particularly with regard to the impact of language ideologies and prescriptivism. In the study of ongoing changes, the corpus-based approach remains indispensable because it remedies the errors of impressionistic observation and helps shift attention from a small number of shibboleths important to prescriptivists to the groundswell of grammatical change that generally proceeds below the level of speakers’ conscious awareness.
Ole Schützler,
English Language and Linguistics, Volume 26, pp 133-159; https://doi.org/10.1017/s1360674321000071

Abstract:
This article investigates differences between Scottish Standard English (SSE) and Southern British Standard English (SBSE) in the semantic domain of strong obligation. Focusing on the modal verbs must, have to, need to and (have) got to, we use new corpus material from nineteen written and spoken genres in the Scottish component of the International Corpus of English (ICE-SCO) and corresponding texts from ICE-GB. Data are analysed using a mixed-effect multinomial regression model to predict the choice of verb. Language-internal factors include mode of production (written/spoken), grammatical subject (first/second/third person) and source of obligation (objective/subjective). Our results show that, as previous research suggests, SSE is much more likely to employ need to for the expression of strong obligation, and less likely to employ must and (have) got to. This general pattern remains essentially unaffected by language-internal factors. To account for our findings, we draw on the sociologically motivated process of democratisation and the language-internal process of grammaticalisation.
Published: 8 July 2021
Journal of Pragmatics, Volume 182, pp 92-103; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2021.06.008

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Hang Su
Pragmatics and Society, Volume 12, pp 410-436; https://doi.org/10.1075/ps.18031.su

Abstract:
This paper presents a local grammar based diachronic investigation of apology in spoken British English, aiming to offer an alternative approach for diachronic speech act analysis and to further explore what the changing patterns of apology would suggest about the social-cultural changes happened and/or happening in the British society. The paper shows that the proposed local grammar approach can contribute to a more delicate and finer-grained speech act annotation scheme, which in turn facilitates a more reliable quantification of speech act realisations across contexts or time. The subsequent investigation shows that apologies in spoken British English are becoming more formulaic and less explicit, which suggests that either social distance has been reduced or that Britain might have become an even more stratified society.
, Ludivine Crible, Kate Beeching
Published: 24 May 2021
Language and Speech, Volume 65, pp 263-289; https://doi.org/10.1177/00238309211011201

Abstract:
The current paper presents three studies that investigated the effect of exposure on the mental representations of filled pauses (um/uh). In Study 1, a corpus analysis identified the frequency of co-occurrence of filled pauses with words located immediately before or after them in naturalistic spoken adult British English (BNC2014). Based on the collocations identified in Study 1, in Study 2, 22 native British English-speaking adults heard sentences in which the location of filled pauses and the co-occurring words were manipulated and the participants were asked to judge the acceptability of the sentences heard. Study 3 was a sentence recall experiment in which we asked 29 native British English adults to repeat a similar set of sentences as used in Study 2. We found that frequency-based distributional patterns of filled pauses (Study 1) affected the sentence judgments (Study 2) and repetition accuracy (Study 3), in particular when the filled pause followed its collocate. Thus, the current study provides converging evidence for the account maintaining that filled pauses are linguistic items. In addition, we suggest filled pauses in certain locations could be considered as grammatical items, such as suffixes.
Vittorio Tantucci, Aiqing Wang
Applied Linguistics, Volume 43, pp 115-146; https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amab012

Abstract:
In Dialogic syntax (cf. Du Bois 2014; Tantucci et al. 2018), naturalistic interaction is inherently grounded in resonance, viz. the catalytic activation of affinities across turns (Du Bois and Giora 2014). Resonance occurs dynamically when interlocutors creatively coconstruct utterances that are formally and phonetically similar to the utterance of a prior speaker. In this study, we argue that such similarity can inform the machine learning prediction of linguistic and cross-cultural diversity. We compared two sets of 1,000 exchanges involving (dis)-agreement from the two balanced Callhome corpora of naturalistic interaction in Mandarin Chinese and American English. We found a correlation of overt use of pragmatic markers with resonance, indicating that priming does not occur as an exclusively implicit mechanism (as it is commonly held in the experimental literature e.g. Bock 1986; Bock et al. 2007), but naturalistically underpins dialogic engagement and cooperation among interactants. We fitted a mixed effects linear regression and a hierarchical clustering model to show that resonance occurs formally and functionally in different ways from one language to another. The applied results of this study can lead to a novel turn in AI research of conversational interfaces (McTear et al. 2016; Klopfenstein et al. 2017), as they reveal the fundamental role played cross-linguistically by resonance as a form of engagement of human-to-human interaction and the importance to address this mechanism in machine-to-human communication.
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