LINGUIST List 32.2636

Fri Aug 13 2021

Confs: Computational Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Text/Corpus Linguistics/Belgium

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

Date: 11-Aug-2021
From: Anne Breitbarth <>
Subject: Taal & Tongval 2021: Big Data -- Perspectives for Research on Language Variation and Change
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Taal & Tongval 2021: Big Data -- Perspectives for Research on Language Variation and Change

Date: 26-Nov-2021 - 26-Nov-2021
Location: Ghent, Belgium
Contact: Anne Breitbarth
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL:

Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics; Sociolinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics

Meeting Description:

Increasingly, ever larger data collections become available for research into language variation and change, both of existing and new data, structured as well as unstructured. At the same time, surprising combinatorial possibilities arise in the diversity of data collections. Next to the increasing digitization of existing data in research on language and speech, also new types of data emerge. Digital communication for instance gives rise to new forms of networks forming and influencing language, and in large amounts. Does this lead to new research questions and techniques, and does it afford new insights? Or can also the classic fundamental questions be answered in a more directed way using larger amounts of data?

At the same time, new techniques are being developed to process and analyse (large amounts of) language data. Recent years have seen a rapprochement between computer science, computational linguistics, and historical variation linguistics. Computational methods, for instance, make large amounts of language data more easily accessible for further analysis, and facilitate the identification of patterns of variation and change in them. Besides methods imported from other scientific fields, this also concerns specific techniques for the analysis of language and speech, such as Natural Language Processing or acoustic analysis. New approaches in dialectometry with large and diverse data collections, and research on variation based on large language corpora and computer-mediated communication (CMC) have in recent years led to numerous new findings. What is the current state of art, and what new insights may we expect into the rise and spread of language variation, both looking back into the past and forward into the future? How do we deal with variation in space (diatopic) and time (diachronic)? How do we treat structural and semantic (both onomasiological and semasiological) features? The availability of big data clearly forces us to return to the basic questions of linguistic research.

Meanwhile, different types of research have already delivered a number of promising results. The 2021 edition of the Taal & Tongval symposium (postponed from 2020) therefore focuses on the budding perspectives that ‘big data’ affords for research on language variation and change.

Program Information:

Keynote Speakers:
Jack Grieve
Miriam Bouzouita
Dirk Speelman (together with Stef Grondelaers & Robbert De Troij)

More information will be available closer to the conference date on our website:

Registration link:

Page Updated: 13-Aug-2021