CorLing (Corpus Linguistics Group)

CorLing (Corpus Linguistics Group) is a research group founded at HINN (then HH) in 2012. The group comprises both younger and more experienced researchers in the English Dept. at the Faculty of Teacher Education and Natural Sciences, in cooperation with researchers from the Norwegian Dept. and scholars from other institutions, both in Norway and abroad.

Corpus linguists investigate authentic oral and written language using data from corpora, i.e. collections of machine-readable and searchable texts. In recent decades corpus linguistic research has led to several new and exciting insights in general linguistics, as well as in the fields of language acquisition and foreign language teaching.

CorLing’s areas of research

The research activities of the CorLing group are mainly concentrated on learner English, where the aim is to chart the skills possessed by, and challenges faced by, learners of English, and to identify factors that may influence their linguistic development.

Several of the members have also conducted contrastive linguistic research, comparing parallel texts in multilingual corpora with a view to identifying structural similarities and differences between several languages. Monolingual corpora have also been employed in various other studies, such as studies of textual coherence, of metaphor use and of Anglicisms in Norwegian.

The members of CorLing are at present working on the compilation of several new corpora, as well as carrying out theoretical and methodological research, with both linguistic and pedagogical goals. Thus, in addition researching existing corpora, the group are involved in several exciting corpus projects, such as:

  • The international corpus LINDSEI (Louvain International Database of Spoken English Interlanguage). S. Nacey supervised the collection of the Norwegian contribution to this corpus, consisting of interviews in English of Norwegian students of English;
  • NEST (Norwegian-English Student Translations) –  a bilingual corpus containing translated texts written by Norwegian students of English, compiled by A.-L. Graedler;
  • A large-scale pioneering project: TraWL (Tracking Written Learner language), directed by A.-L. Graedler. This project will examine school texts written in English by Norwegian schoolchildren from 5th class primary up to the upper secondary level, over a period of at least three years. The collected data will form the basis for research on the development of written competence in schoolchildren from various angles. Since there is at present no suitable corpus of student texts, the CorLing group has begun working on the compilation of a longitudinal corpus of authentic pupil texts and relevant metadata, in cooperation with colleagues at UiO, NTNU, UiA in Norway and CECL in Belgium.
  • Postgraduate Academic Writing in Norway (PAWN)

The main goal of the research group is to develop new research methods and areas of research, through national and international collaboration, and to establish a national centre for learner corpus research and didactic corpus linguistics. CorLing members will continue to attend international conferences together and to publish in international fora, with an emphasis on co-authored papers. The group will also apply to arrange a large-scale international conference on learner corpus research, the Learner Corpus Research Conference (LCR), in 2019.