Monday, 25 January 2016

Free one-day workshop: Introduction to using corpora to analyse discourse



‘Research is too important to be left to researchers alone’: An introduction to using corpus tools to analyse discourse

University of Sussex, Friday 26 February 9.15-15.30


Do you work with lots of texts?
Do you get asked about language?
Would you like to learn new ways of managing your language data?

The linguists at University of Sussex are offering a free one-day workshop on using language corpora for text analysis. Corpus linguistics is essentially the use of large databases to identify language patterns. The tools of corpus analysis can be used for many different kinds of research which rely on texts as their main source of data. 

So, for instance, if you have an archive of letters and they have been converted into electronic format, corpus tools would allow you to see which topics dominated in different periods. Similarly, if you have a collection of transcribed interviews with witnesses of a particular historical event, you could see what words keep recurring and what ideas are shared by all. Alternatively, if you have a set of texts about the same topic, for instance by campaigners who are for / against a particular piece of legislation, then corpus tools could highlight which words and phrases are used most frequently by each group. Corpus tools are also very useful for teaching about language and for translation purposes, especially when it comes to topics like connotation.   

We envisage that the workshop could be useful for:

  • Journalists
  • People working on (local) history projects
  • People working in activist groups who need to process large amounts of language data
  • English language teachers (especially at A-Level)
  • Modern foreign language teachers / teachers of English as a foreign language
  • Translators
  • Anyone who works with language data!

The aim of the workshop is to show attendees how we use different corpus tools in our own language research and then to give some hands-on practice, with lots of support, so you can see how the tools work. These are all tools which you can use from home too. You will also have the opportunity to talk to us about the kind of data you have collected, or want to collect, and what you use your texts for. We will be able to offer advice and will use this to develop further workshops in the series.

You are not expected to bring your own data to this taster workshop and it's fine to come along and find out what it's all about if you are just in the early stages of a project.

A light lunch and refreshments will be provided to participants.

Places are limited, so, if you would like to attend the workshop, please email charlotte.taylor@sussex.ac.uk It would be helpful if you could explain what kinds of language data you use. For this event, priority will be given to people who do not currently work in an academic role at a university.

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