The conference will feature five plenaries, which will look at different disciplinary, interdisciplinary and methodological perspectives in order to discuss the meaning of corpus linguistics for describing language and its relation to society in general.

With Douglas Biber and Laurel Brinton we have invited two senior corpus linguists who present their research of both historical and contemporary English language data as well as corresponding software and statistical challenges of quantitative investigations. Laurence Anthony specifically stands for the computational as well as the software angle of corpus linguistics. Miriam Meyerhoff combines corpus linguistics and the social dimension of language. Finally, Berenike Herrmann is a respected junior researcher who works in the interdisciplinary field of digital humanities.

Plenary Speakers

Laurence Anthony

Waseda University, Japan | Website | @antlabjp

Laurence Anthony (© Anthony)

Laurence Anthony is a professor in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Waseda University, Japan. He received his B.Sc. in mathematical physics from the University of Manchester, UK. He went on to pursue his M.A. degree in TESL/TEFL and completed his PhD in Applied Linguistics at the University of Birmingham in 2002. Anthony then worked as a lecturer at the Department of Information and Computer Engineering at Okayama University of Science in Japan. In 2004, he became an associate and, in 2009, a full professor at the Center for English Language Education in Science and Engineering (CELESE) at Waseda University, where he also functions as the coordinator of the CELESE technical English program.

His research interests include corpus linguistics, educational technology, natural language processing (NLP), and genre analysis. He has published widely and also developed software for the automatic analysis of texts and at the sentence and discourse level as well as educational software for researchers, teachers and learners in corpus linguistics, some of which have since become integral parts of the corpus linguistic toolkit. In true interdisciplinary fashion, he has participated in various joint projects in the fields of science and engineering and taken on a variety of different roles, from technical advisor to technical writer. These have touched on topics in organic chemistry, mechanical engineering, and applications of machine learning techniques in computer security systems, and web search systems. In addition, he develops commercial software applications with Japanese companies and functions as a consultant on technical writing.

Douglas Biber

Northern Arizona University, USA | Website

Douglas Biber
Douglas Biber
(© Pearson)

Douglas Biber is currently Regents’ Professor in the Applied Linguistics Program (English Department) at Northern Arizona University. After an undergraduate degree in geophysics, he coordinated a 3-year project on Somali literacy in Kenya, which spurred his interest in Somali phonology, and linguistics more generally. Upon his return, Biber pursued a postgraduate degree in linguistics and received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Southern California in 1984. In 2000, he was awarded an Honorary Ph.D. from the University of Uppsala. He has since held numerous visiting professorships around the world, including at the Universities of Copenhagen, Hamburg, Zurich, Helsinki, Uppsala, Bergen, Stockholm, Temple University Japan, Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (Chile), Michigan State University (LSA Summer Institute), and the Norwegian Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Biber has worked extensively on issues in corpus linguistics and English grammar, with a primary focus on register and genre variation from a synchronic, diachronic and cross-linguistic perspective. With a background in programming, Biber’s work has always pushed boundaries in linguistic research. As one of the first scholars to employ statistical methods in linguistics, Biber and colleagues developed a multidimensional statistical analysis for register detection, which is now widely used across the discipline. Douglas Biber has published and co-authored a variety of books with Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Longman, and John Benjamins. In addition, he published over 150 journal articles and book chapters. His publications have addressed a wide range of issues including corpus linguistics, discourse structure and register variation.

Miriam Meyerhoff

Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand | Website

Miriam Meyerhoff
Miriam Meyerhoff
(© VUW)

Miriam Meyerhoff is professor of linguistics at Victoria University of Wellington and an honorary fellow at the School of Psychology at the University of Auckland. She received an MA in Linguistics at Victoria University of Wellington in 1985, and returned there for a Diploma in Teaching English as a Second Language in 1990. In 1997, she completed a PhD in linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania under the supervision of Gillian Sankoff, William Labov, Terry Crowley and Howard Giles. She worked at the universities of Hawai‘i at Manoa and Edinburgh, where she became a professor in sociolinguistics in 2006. In Edinburgh, Meyerhoff co-founded the Language in Context Research Group, which functioned as an interdisciplinary research center for staff, students and international visitors working on issues related to language in use and language in society. Meyerhoff is also co-editor of several journals and published widely on sociolinguistics, language variation and change, gender and language as well as language contact phenomena.

Her main research focus is on qualitative and quantitative approaches to language variation and change. As a sociolinguist, she has worked extensively on gender and language, pidgins and creoles in the Pacific area and the variety of New Zealand English. Recent work led her back to Vanuatu, where she investigates language variation as part of the Endangered Languages Research Project. She is also involved in several corpus-based projects that focus on language contact and creolization, one of which explores the creole spoken in Bequia on St. Vincent and the Grenadines (with James Walker, York University, Canada). Another one of her projects analyses the acquisition of language variation of teenage migrants in Edinburgh and London (with Erik Schlee, University of Manchester, UK).

Laurel Brinton

University of British Columbia, Canada | Website

Laurel Brinton
(© UBC)

Laurel Brinton is professor of English language with a focus on the history of English at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Her research interests lie in the realm of English historical linguistics, historical pragmatics (discourse markers), grammaticalization and lexicalization, phrasal verbs and composite predicates, as well as corpus linguistics. She received her PhD in English Language and Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1981 and has since worked and taught at UBC. She was awarded the Izaak Walton Killam Research Prize in 1999 and an Izaak Walto Killam Faculty Research Fellowship in 2006.

Laurel Brinton is a proliferous writer and has published monographs on aspect, pragmatic markers, comment clauses, and lexicalization. She has also co-authored two textbooks on the structure of modern English and the history of English and has edited several collections of papers, including the two-volume English Historical Linguistics: An International Handbook. She is co-editor of English Language and Linguistics (with Bernd Kortmann (Freiburg University), Patrick Honeybone (University of Edinburgh), and Elena Seaone (University of Vigo)) and editorial board member of Transactions of the Philological Society, Anglia, Journal of Historical Pragmatics, Journal of English Linguistics, and WPEELEX.

Berenike Herrmann

University of Basel, Switzerland | Website | @Jberenike

Berenike Herrmann
(© University of Basel )

Berenike Herrmann is postdoctoral research associate at the Digital Humanities Lab and assistant lecturer of German Philology at the University of Basel, Switzerland. Previously, she has held a position as assistant professor at the Department of German Philology (chair of Prof. Dr. Gerhard Lauer) at Georg-August-University of Göttingen, where she also was a postdoc member of the Courant Research Centre “Text Structures” and the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities. Herrmann received her PhD at VU University Amsterdam, where she worked on the NWO Vici research project “Metaphor in Discourse“ in 2011. In her PhD project, she worked on “Metaphor in Academic Discourse”. During her PhD, she was a visiting scholar at the Department of Psychology, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, USA and a trainee at the Department of Developmental Psychology, Max-Planck-Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig (Research Assistant).  A scholar of German Language, Literature, and Spanish, Herrmann’s research is rooted in digital humanities and corpus stylistics, with an emphasis on digital text analysis and the empirical study of reading.

Berenike Herrmann is board member of the International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature (IGEL), the Goettingen Dialog for Digital Humanities (GDDH) and founding member of the Special Interest Group Digital Literary Stylistics (SIG-DLS) of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO). In 2014, she was awarded the Prize for Humanities 2014 of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities. She works on the interface of corpus linguistics and digital humanities and has published on a variety of mixed-method approaches to digital stylistics, such as the operationalization of metaphor in literary texts and quantitative analyses in digital literary stylistics more generally.

ICAME41 Plenaries