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Rhodes > English Language and Linguistics > Latest News

Sally Hunt explores Corpus Ling in the UK

Date Released: Wed, 7 September 2011 00:00 +0200

Sally Hunt, a Rhodes linguistics lecturer, has just returned from a busy visit to the UK where she attended a conference and a week-long summer school, both on Corpus Linguistics. 

The biennial conference was held in Birmingham from the 20th to the 22nd of
July and the theme was 'Discourse and Corpus Linguistics', which suited
Sally perfectly with her current research emphasis on using corpus methods
in Critical Discourse Analysis.  Plenary speakers included Paul Baker of
Lancaster University, whose research also combines these two methods, and
Susan Hunston from the University of Birmingham. Sally's paper on how female
characters are represented physically in children's literature, focusing on
Hermione of Harry Potter fame, was well received and resulted in a number of
promising discussions with potential research collaborators. 

The Summer School a week later at Aston University, also in Birmingham, was
led by Ramesh Krishnamurthy, one of the designers of the Bank of English,
the corpus behind the Collins Cobuild Dictionary, and attracted 26
participants from over a dozen countries (see photograph).  During the week,
participants were able to use various software packages designed for corpus
research in a variety of applications, ranging from diachronic studies and
educational purposes to lexicographical applications and ideological
analysis.  Sally says she has returned with a fresh appetite for the
possibilities of corpus research in linguistics.  This is fortunate as she
has been asked to act as a reviewer for the premier journal in the field,
Corpora, and to submit a book proposal based on her PhD thesis, as well as
two journal articles and a book chapter on related research.  She is also
going to Cape Town in September to present a seminar and facilitate a
workshop on her research and methods at the University of the Western Cape.

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