Possessor NPs and referential choice in English business prose (a corpus research)
The choice of an appropriate referential expression (definite description, proper name or pronoun) depends on multiple factors. This paper focuses on how the possessor position of a referential expression and its antecedent affect referential choice. Other factors, such as syntactical role, form and definiteness of the antecedent, and animacy of the referent are considered. The study is based on a subcorpus of the specially designed RefRhet corpus.
The article deals with pedagogical and psychological grounds for using corpora in the classroom. The description of psychological principles behind data-driven approach and discovery learning with corpus data is given. The cognitive studies such as schemata theory and personal-construct theory are observed to show the advantages of concordance techniques. Some examples of new types of corpus and research-based activities are presented.
The main trends and achievements in corpus linguistics are presented in this collection os abstracts of plenaries, papers and posters presented at the 8th internation conference Corpus Linguistics - 2015 (Lancaster University, UCREL, July 2015)
PRE-CogSci 2013 is a follow-up to two successful earlier workshops on the production of referring expressions. The first, PRE-CogSci 2009, focussed on the interplay between computational and empirical methods, organised as part of the 31st CogSci conference in Amsterdam. The second, PRE-CogSci 2011 in Boston, broadened this theme to include work on dialogue and linguistic theory. We explore new directions for computational and cognitive work (e.g., collaborative reference, nondeterminism in production, interaction between comprehension and production, combinations with research on vision).
Referential choice is the process of selecting an appropriate referential expression for a referent that the speaker/writer intends to mention at some point in discourse. Referential choice is governed by the referent's current status in the speaker's/writer's working memory. This status, in turn, is determined by a number of factors, rooted in discourse context and referent's properties. Activation in working memory is immediately responsible for the coarse choice between full and reduced referential devices, which is the high level distinction in the hierarchical organization of referential choice. Lower levels of granularity correspond to the choice between proper names and description, and still more refined options. Referential choice is a multi-factorial process. We have created a corpus of written texts in which many potentially relevant factors of referential choice are annotated. We also use another corpus in which the same texts are annotated for discourse structure, as it is known that rhetorical distance, measured on the basis of hierarchical discourse structure, is a powerful factor of referential choice. We have modeled referential choice in the corpus with the help of a variety of machine learning algorithms. The accuracy of prediction for the choice between full and reduced referential devices is close to 90%, and for the three-way choice between pronouns, descriptions, and proper names it is close to 80%. We experimented with the reduction of the set of factors and explored the phenomenon of non-categorical that is probabilistic, referential choice.
The article presents English materials for lexical typological research on adjectives denoting surface properties ('smooth', 'slippery', 'slick', 'sleek','flat', 'level', 'even', 'rough', 'coarse', 'rugged', 'tough'). Semantic maps are given for both direct and metaphoric meanings in this domain.
The inflected possessive form of the type of Russian ixnij, its rise and variation across the East Slavic dialects and languages are analyzed. Whereas this form has been long fluctuated on the verge of Standard Russian and nevertheless has not been accepted as normative, it has been successfully adopted into Standard Ukrainian (superseding the older jix form) and widely used in Belarusian, although reluctantly accepted in grammars and dictionaries.
The present paper is a comparative corpus study of the verbal expression of emotional etiquette in American English and Russian. The study is conducted against the backdrop of certain assumptions regarding the cross-cultural centrality and marginality of emotions as formulated in the current research on cross-cultural pragmatics. The paper employs corpus-based methods to test the frequencies of the linguistic expression of different types of emotions in Russian and American English as encountered in diagnostic contexts of first-person reporting. Contrary to many currently-accepted theories, the present study demonstrates no absolute prevalence of positive or ethical over negative or non-ethical emotions in Russian or American English. It also disproves certain more specific claims (the predominance of ‘pity’ in Russian), while confirming others (prominence of ‘shame’ in Russian). Certain tendencies in emotional etiquette lean toward cross-cultural universality (e.g., ‘gratitude’ as the most frequently expressed emotion), while others differ. Overall, Russian speakers tend to report more passive negative emotions (‘fear’), while English speakers prefer reporting active negative emotions (‘anger’). Russian speakers are more “self-deprecating” than English speakers, as they favor expressing ‘shame’ over ‘pride’. At the same time, they show less empathy with the addressee, reporting more ‘contempt’-like and less ‘pity’-like emotions. The results obtained in this study can be useful for understanding and formulating culturally-specific pragmatic peculiarities and hence preferred conversational strategies in the two languages.