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Conference Information



Full Title: From Methodology Back to Theory

   
Location: PoznaƄ, Poland
Start Date: 11-Sep-2014 - 14-Sep-2014
Contact: Martin Hilpert
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting Description: 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
LL Issue: 24.4153

This is a session of the following meeting:
47th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea

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