LRC/VARG Postgraduate Conference 16-19 March 2012

This will take place from 16-19 March 2012 .  Delegates will include supervisors, guest speakers, programme graduates, and other friends of the network. There will be workshop sessions as well as papers.   All postgraduate students attending will be expected to present a paper.

For further information on the conference, please contact Dr Tess Fitzpatrick (t.fitzpatrick@swansea.ac.uk).

Workshop: The Internationalization of Spanish

A specialist workshop on 'The Internationalization of Spanish: Teaching Applications and the Role of Translation' was held at Swansea University on 22 March 2013. It was organised by LRC members (Professor Nuria Lorenzo-Dus, Dr María Fernández-Parra and Dr Rocío Pérez-Tattam) with the support of Swansea University Research Institute for the Arts and Humanities. It was attended by c. 30 academics and students from the UK, Europe and overseas.  Plenary talks were given by Prof José Santaemilia (Valencia University) on ‘Traducción jurada (Sworn Translation) in Spain: Professional, Legal and Ethical Considerations’, Dr M. Carmen Parafita Coutos (Strathclyde University) on ‘Spanish across Cultures: A National, Minority and Global Language’, and Mr Antonio Martínez Arboleda (Leeds University) on ‘OpenLIVES: From Graduate Employability to Trans-Academic Life Skills and Values’. In addition to invited papers / reports, the workshop supported both a ‘student papers session’ and the interactional session by Veritas Language Solutions Director, Ms Stephen: ‘Employability and Spanish Linguists: What are Employers Looking for?’.

Sketch Engine – Language and Corpora for All

On 13 February, Robyn Woodrow gave a presentation to the LRC about the Sketch Engine: a Corpus Query System designed for anyone wanting to research how words behave. The Sketch Engine has a range of advanced functions suitable for detailed analysis of languages, and these were demonstrated in the presentation. One of most popular functions in the Sketch Engine is the Word Sketch, a tool which creates one-page, automatic, corpus-derived summaries of a word’s grammatical and collocational behaviour. The Sketch Engine is in daily use for lexicography at Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Collins, Macmillan among others. It is also in use for teaching and research at universities and research laboratories around the world and contains 200+ corpora in 60+ languages. This presentation will discuss the importance of corpora in language study, and also how simple using corpora can be. The Sketch Engine's motto is 'Corpora for all'.

Robyn Woodrow studied English Language at Lancaster University and she specialised in corpus linguistics and discourse analysis. Robyn works for Lexical Computing Ltd, a small research company that works at the intersection of corpus and computational linguistics. Lexical Computing Ltd is committed to an empiricist approach to the study of language, in which corpora play a central role. Robyn does presentations and demonstrations of the Sketch Engine, the company's leading Corpus Query Tool, to language researchers, translators and language teachers at many Universities and Language schools.

Click on this link to view the presentation:   Sketch Engine: Language and Corpora for All

FLaRN Conference

Dr Vivienne Rogers and Dr María Fernández-Parra are organizing the next FLaRN (Formulaic Language Research Network) conference at Swansea University on 14-16 July 2014. Please do not hesitate to contact Dr Rogers (v.rogers@swansea.ac.uk) / Dr Fernández-Parra (m.fernandez-parra@swansea.ac.uk) if you would like to find out more about this event or see http://flarn.viviennerogers.info/.

Research into usage and perceptions of language connected to mental health

Current LRC research into the usage and perceptions of language connected to mental health has gained interest from several prominent British organisations, as well as attracting survey participants from 14 countries outside the UK. 

The survey asks fluent English speakers to evaluate their experiences of hearing words/phrases connected to mental health, and also asks for their reactions to images (memes) seen on Facebook.  The research, which includes a separate computer based word test and a corpus/discourse analysis, aims to identify how language use affects the stigma felt by people dealing with mental ill health, and the perceptions of those who have no personal experience of mental illness.  The data should also be able to identify any specific words and phrases connected to mental health which are now in everyday conversational use because the majority of the speech community believe their primary intended meanings have become humorous, benign, or non-discriminatory. 

The survey will be online until January 2015 and can be accessed at: www.JustSpeakYourMind.co.uk

Interested in finding out more about this research?: contact the lead researcher Christina Brannigan c/o riah@swansea.ac.uk.