|Full Title:||From Methodology Back to Theory|
|Start Date:||11-Sep-2014 - 14-Sep-2014|
|Meeting Email:||click here to access email|
Theme session at the 47th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea
11-14 September 2014, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland
Title: From methodology back to theory: How do current empirical methods feed back into linguistic theory?
Recent work in cognitive-functional linguistics has increasingly turned towards a usage-based understanding of language, and it treats its object of study as heterogeneous, usage-conditioned, semantically motivated, and context-dependent (e.g., Geeraerts 2010). Given these assumptions, variation and change, along dimensions such as semantic structure, sense relations, grammatical patterns, or socio-cultural and contextual profiling, constitute an inherent characteristic of language. This development has brought with it the adoption of variationist corpus methods, which yield descriptively precise, predictive, and falsifiable findings. The proposed theme session addresses the question how these methodological innovations feed back into cognitive-functional theory. Are the empirical results being taken up to refine theoretical notions, or to rethink linguistic concepts?
The organizers of this theme session hold that the answer to this question is in the affirmative. The empirical tools currently employed in usage-based linguistics are extensive and have been successfully applied in synchronic and diachronic variational linguistics (e.g., Geeraerts et al. 1994; Heylen 2005; Gries 2006; Divjak & Gries 2006; Gries and Hilpert 2008, 2010; Hilpert 2008, 2011, 2013; Hilpert and Gries 2009; Glynn 2009, 2010; Divjak 2010; Szmrecsanyi 2013; Fabiszak et al. 2013). Methods such as Correspondence Analysis (Glynn In press), Cluster Analysis (Divjak & Fieller In press), Multidimensional Scaling (Cox & Cox 2001), Motion Charts (Hilpert 2011), Logistic Regression Analysis (Speelman In press) are well-suited to address many of the open questions in usage-based linguistics: What is the exact role of frequency and repetition? How is knowledge of abstract syntactic constructions organized? How do we model lexical variation in a usage-based, socio-cognitive framework? What is the relation between conceptual structure and socio-cultural profiling? Questions such as these are commonly touched on by empirical studies, but perhaps the link to theoretical issues could be stressed more prominently than it has been done to date.
|Linguistic Subfield:||Historical Linguistics; Linguistic Theories; Semantics; Sociolinguistics; Syntax; Text/Corpus Linguistics|
This is a session of the following meeting:
47th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea
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