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Conference Information

Full Title: Workshop ICAME: Perfect and Perfectivity Re-Assessed through Corpus Studies

Location: Nottingham, United Kingdom
Start Date: 30-Apr-2014 - 04-May-2014
Contact: Cristina Suarez-Gomez
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: Perfect and Perfectivity Re-Assessed through Corpus Studies
Elena Seoane (University of Vigo,
Cristina Suárez-Gómez (University of the Balearic Islands,
Valentin Werner (University of Bamberg,

While the area of the present perfect has always been a hotly contested ground, recent corpus-analyses have shown that grammatical variation in this realm in English is far more pervasive than has been assumed. This is particularly true when non-native and learner Englishes are taken into account (cf. Davydova 2011; Elsness 2009a, 2009b; Hundt and Smith 2009; Miller 2000, 2004; Seoane and Suárez-Gómez 2013; Suárez-Gómez and Seoane 2013; van Rooy 2009; Werner 2013; Yao and Collins 2012). These studies have addressed the issue from diverse theoretical perspectives and methodologies and using different approaches, both function-to-form and form-to-function, in an attempt to account for the envelope of variation under scrutiny.

This workshop is open to synchronic, diachronic and contrastive corpus-based research on the expression of the present perfect and the perfective in both native and non-native varieties of English. We especially welcome contributions which go beyond the traditional ascription of the perfect to the construction have + past participle for the expression of perfect meaning (Quirk et al. 1985: 192-195; Biber et al. 1999: 467; Huddleston and Pullum 2002: 143) and observe variation determined by sociolinguistic variables such as mode, dialect, style, register, genre as well as by the individual interpretation of what the ‘perfect time span’ means (Rothstein 2008), especially in cases in which there is no explicit time frame specification from a temporal adverbial.

We also want to motivate participants to foster discussion about how these new findings from data analyses help to shed light on theoretical issues such as the grammaticalization of some adverbs as perfect markers (e.g. just, yet, (n)ever, cf. Miller 2004), the implications behind the apparent reversal of the long-term shift towards analyticity of other Germanic languages observed in the retreat of the present perfect in English (cf. Ten Cate 2005: 5; Elsness 2009b: 242; Van Rooy 2009: 311-312; cf. Hundt and Smith 2009), the role of register in historical variation and change (cf. Elsness 2009b; Biber and Gray 2013), the potential role of language contact as a driving force in the innovations attested in the use of the present perfect and its different variants (Mair 2013) and the repercussions of corpus linguistics research on the teaching of English as a second language.
Linguistic Subfield: Historical Linguistics; Sociolinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics; Applied Linguistics
Subject Language: English
LL Issue: 24.5027

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