workshop on
Corpus-Based & Processing Approaches to Figurative Language

Thursday 29th March 2001 (all day)

as part of


main programme 30th March - 2nd April 2001
Lancaster University, England

Corpus Linguistics 2001 conference webpage


A list of accepted abstracts is now available here.


The workshop will accommodate both figurative-language research that is centred on corpora and figurative-language research that is centred on AI or psychological processing models that make some use of corpora or throw light on the use of corpora.

Figurative language (including, but not limited to, metaphor, metonymy, idioms and irony) is pervasive in discourse, both mundane and literary, and has attracted considerable interest from linguists, computational linguists, psychologists and others for a long time. In most cases these studies have worked with a small amount of artificial data or textbook examples. In recent years the rising interest in and availability of large-scale natural language corpora has made it possible to broaden these studies, and several researchers in figurative language have started to make use of corpora, both large and small. This movement involves computational, theoretical, applied and cognitive linguists.

However, the linkage between corpora and figurative language is still a relatively new one, in need of greater interaction between, and mutual awareness among, the interested parties. With the workshop we aim to provide a forum that will contribute to such interaction and awareness, both within individual disciplines such as applied linguistics, AI and psychology and between different disciplines. We also want to provide a forum for mapping out similarities and interactions between different strands of research within or across disciplines to encourage future collaborations.

One focus of the workshop is that of mapping out desiderata for and problems with corpora for figurative language research. Here the inclusion of different types of researcher -- theoretical linguists, applied linguists, computational linguists, cognitive linguists, psychologists, etc. -- will bring a valuable mix of different perspectives.

Topics covered by the workshop include:

We also follow the theme of the main conference in not limiting the kinds of corpora the contributions use too strictly, allowing different kinds and sizes of collections of speech or text, including dictionaries and literary works.

There is plenty of scope for lively, interdisciplinary debate at the Workshop, as well as opportunities for taking stock of the current situation and the prospects for the next few years.


The workshop will occupy a full day. We expect about 10 talks of 30 minutes including 10 minutes of discussion time each. We will enforce the discussion time strictly. The workshop will also include two discussion sessions on topics identified as salient during the day. In addition, we will allow posters to be set up at the beginning of the day as well as software demonstrations, viewable during breaks.

A collection of accepted abstracts will be made available to all participants at the workshop. A proceedings of full papers will be published after the event. The separate possibility of creating an edited collection (book or journal special issue) will be entertained at or after the workshop.

Please note that the full papers for the workshop will not be part of the main conference proceedings. However, the conference organizers are planning to make electronic versions of main-conference papers on a CD Rom, and it is likely that accepted *abstracts* for the workshop will also be on it.

We assume that software demos will normally be on laptops brought by authors. However, if some other arrangement is required, we will need to confer with the main conference organizers.

There will be some space for non-presenting participants. Please contact one of the organizers if interested.


Abstract submission deadline: Monday 19 February 2001
Notification of acceptance or rejection: Wednesday 28 February 2001
Deadline for receipt of full papers for inclusion in WORKSHOP proceedings: Wednesday 28 March 2001 (i.e. the day before the workshop)


John Barnden School of Computer Science
University of Birmingham
Birmingham B15 2TT
Mark Lee School of Computer Science
University of Birmingham Birmingham B15 2TT
Katja Markert Division of Informatics
University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh EH8 9LW

last modified 30th January 2001 by