The UCREL Corpus Research Seminar (CRS) is a forum for all staff, visiting academics, and postgraduate research students interested in corpus-based research in any area of linguistics. CRS is run by UCREL (University Centre for Computer Corpus Research on Language), a research centre between the Department of Linguistics and English Language and the School of Computing and Communications.
CRS meetings offer an opportunity to present work in progress and receive helpful feedback, discuss relevant research, approaches and methods, get experience in using corpus interfaces and tools, and stay up to date with corpus-based research at Lancaster University. We welcome anyone who is a newcomer to this exciting and growing area of linguistics. We welcome presentations from researchers of other departments and universities.
On this site, along with general information, you will find a list of upcoming seminars and an archive of past seminars. If you have any suggestions of things to add to the site, then please get in touch.
In 2016/2017 CRS meetings will be on Thursdays at 3pm during term time, unless otherwise indicated.
Notifications of seminars are sent to the UCREL Mailing List, sign up if you would like to receive them and other UCREL related messages. You can also follow us on Twitter, where we post updates on upcoming seminars.
If you need more information or want to give a presentation, please contact one of the CRS organisers:
The previous website has an archive of past seminars.
We acknowledge the following funding for external speakers: CASS and UCREL research centres, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the Department of Linguistics and English Language and the School of Computing and Communications.
The UCREL Corpus Research Seminars this academic year (2016/17) will be on Thursdays 3pm-4pm during term time, unless otherwise indicated, please check our upcoming page for the time and location of any future presenations. If you would like to give a talk or have a suggestion for an external speaker to invite, then please get in touch.
Thursday 19th January 2017
Management school LT9
Heads and adjuncts in the recent history of English: syntax and processing on the move
University of Vigo, Spain
This talk examines the syntactic structure of verb, noun and adjective phrases, focusing both on the diachronic tendencies observed in the data in Middle English, Early Modern and Late Modern English, and on their synchronic design in Present-Day English. The approach is corpus-based and the data, representing different periods and text types, is taken from a number of corpora (the Penn-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Middle English, the Penn-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Early Modern English, the Penn Parsed Corpus of Modern British English and the British National Corpus, among others). The aim of this talk is to look at the consequences that the placement of adjuncts (or modifiers) and complements has for the parsing of phrases in which they occur. First, I examine whether the data are in keeping with two determinants of word order, complements-first (complement plus adjunct) and end-weight in the periods under investigation. Second, I consider the connection between the type of head and the distribution of its adjuncts and complements in the phrase. The findings show that the more verbal the head is, the more likely the structure of the phrase is governed by specifically the principle of complements-first. On theoretical grounds, this claim has consequences for considerations of prototypicality affecting, in particular, verbal and nominal heads. Third, on diachronic grounds, I show that a significant increase of complement-first phrases takes place when word order has become fixed in the language and is thus in keeping with the process of syntacticisation of English word order.