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Sunday, 5 February 2017

CFP: Corpus Semiotics: Reassessing Context Conference Room (C1. 18), Ellen Wilkinson Building, The University of Manchester 5 June 2017, in association with the DH@Manchester

Corpus Semiotics: Reassessing Context

Conference Room (C1. 18), Ellen Wilkinson Building, The University of Manchester

5 June 2017, in association with the DH@Manchester

Keynote Speaker: Professor Svenja Adolphs (University of Nottingham)

Corpus analysis, in the tradition of Firth, Halliday and Sinclair, proceeds from the assumption that meaning arises from language in use, rather than language as an abstract system of relations, and hence that context is central to the interpretation of patterns revealed through the use of various tools of corpus analysis, especially concordancing software. Arguably, however, the definition of ‘context’ has so far been rather restrictive.
The problem most clearly surfaces in cases where the preparatory work for the construction of a corpus is particularly laborious. Corpora of spoken language, for example, ideally require detailed annotation if the definition of context is to encompass features such as hesitations, pauses, and indeed even body language. Another example relates to compiling corpora of material circulating in the digital space. Here, the analyst must decide whether to restrict him or herself to an artificial linearity of language in use or cater for the non-linear nature of a hyperlinked and visually transformative environment. This is not to suggest that new media require more attention to detail or a more inclusive approach than, say, books or newspapers. Quite the contrary. Ongoing discussions on the material, the virtual and the medial demonstrate that the issue of language study was always already characterised by converging influences, as aptly summarised by Sinclair: ‘There is ultimately no distinction between form and meaning’ (1991: 7).
Consequently, to account for meaning in the sense understood by the pioneers of corpus analysis, such as Sinclair, the technology and expertise developed in the field of corpus linguistics must be expanded to include a wider set of semiotic processes, considered separately or in a combined fashion. If the strength of corpus analysis ultimately consists of the ability to identify patterns on a large scale, and given that patterns recur through all modes of learning and communication, then corpus-based research must embrace all types of pattern recognition: intonation patterns, cohesion and coherence in larger text units, patterns of interaction in digital spaces, and audiovisual translation practices. The innovative research on multimodal concordances carried out by scholars such as Baldry & Thibault (2008) is a good example of the latter. A considerable amount of research will need to be undertaken in the fields of visual rhetoric, sign language, acoustics, and digital interaction to extend the notion of context in corpus analysis as suggested here. The role of annotation remains one of the most interesting challenges in this respect: will images, sounds, and links, for example, be reduced to a textual code, or will technology allow us to map patterns in multiple modalities simultaneously?
Such considerations may come across as holistic science-fiction, but both historical insights and recent advances suggest that there is nothing too futuristic about them. One only has to consider the modernist fascination with typography and concrete poetry, the renaissance love of instruction through emblemata, and the medieval database of iconography to recognise a long history of semiotic entanglements. On the other side of the spectrum, developments in visualization software suggest that if intersemiotic transformations can guide the interpretation of results, the correspondences they presuppose could also guide the analysis of complex sign-systems.
This workshop is therefore envisaged as a forum for discussing a variety of contributions on the intersection of context, medium and methodology in corpus analysis. Possible themes include multimodal analysis, annotation as adaptation, visual and aural corpora, digital rhetoric, semiotic interaction, and intercultural translation.
Selected References

  • Baldry, Anthony & Paul J. Thibault (2008) ‘Applications of Multimodal Concordances’ Hermes 41: 11-41.
  • Sinclair, John (1991) Corpus, Concordance, Collocation, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Abstracts of 300 to 500 words should be sent to by 20 March 2017. Notification of acceptance will be given by 15 April 2017. Talks should take about 30 minutes, including questions.
Registration is free but required. Please register for this event at:
Further Information
If you require any further information about this workshop, please contact Jan Buts (

Friday, 27 January 2017

Call for papers 22nd International Conference of AFRILEX (As part of 2017 Conference of the Language Associations of Southern Africa) 26-29 June 2017, Grahamstown. South Africa

Call for papers
 22nd International Conference of AFRILEX
(As part of 2017 Conference of the Language Associations of Southern Africa)
26-29 June 2017, Grahamstown. South Africa
Invited: papers on the conference theme: multilingualism and transformation in the knowledge agewith a lexicographic focus or any aspect of lexicography or terminology.

Special sessions may be proposed.

All submissions will be adjudicated.

The conference language is English.

Prospective presenters are to submit abstracts to reach AFRILEX before 28 February 2017. The abstract should be formatted according to the template (click here). Abstracts must be between 600 and 800 words long for adjudicators to make informed judgements on the central argument of the paper, especially given that conference proceedings are not published. Abstracts should contain the following elements: a central argument, how the study was conducted and some (preliminary) conclusions. Papers that do not comply with these requirements will unfortunately be rejected.

Abstracts should be sent by e-mail to Prof. Sonja Bosch
E-mail address:

Receipt of abstracts will be acknowledged and feedback will be given to authors as soon as it is received back from the adjudicators. Abstracts of accepted papers will be distributed during the conference. MS Powerpoint Presentation facilities will be available. As a backup, presenters are invited to e-mail their presentation to the organiser ahead of the conference.

Please note: It is compulsory for presenters of papers and special sessions to register in advance (i.e. before 20 May 2017).

Abstract submission format according to the template (click here).

On a separate page, please provide the following information:
Title, initials and surname:
Telephone (cell/mobile or office):
Postal address and postal code:
Full title of the paper:

CFP: Intersections between postcolonialism and translation: Past and Present Special panel dedicated to translation as part of Italian Postcolonialisms: Past and Present

A.P.I. International Conference XIV
Intersections between postcolonialism and translation: Past and Present
Special panel dedicated to translation as part of
Italian Postcolonialisms: Past and Present
13 August 2017 – Johannesburg

A.P.I. (the Association of Italianists in South Africa) in collaboration with the School of Literature Language and Media of the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) invites scholars to participate in a special panel on translation as part of its conference on the subject of Italian Postcolonialisms in August 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The past 25 odd years have seen the formation of a productive partnership between postcolonial studies and translation studies with paradigms from both disciplines contributing to innovative inter-disciplinary research in both fields. 
The aim of this panel is to foreground recent research in this field as well as to interrogate the potential contribution of this inter-disciplinary partnership in the current context of cultural conflict, mass migration and rising nationalism.
Contributions to this special panel should present novel research at the intersection of postcolonial and translation studies. Contributions from a wide range of perspectives and approaches and dealing with diverse national contexts are welcome. In line with the theme of the larger conference contributions concerning themes within Italian studies are particularly welcome. 
Possible themes include:
- translation and adaptation in, and as, colonial discursive practices
- the representation of the colonial subject in translation
- translation and the formation of literary canons
- the ethics and politics of the  translation of postcolonial texts
- translation and verbal violence
- hybridity, cosmopolitanism and globalisation as translation or adaptation
- transnationalism vs. localisation

Contributions may be either in Italian or English. An abstract of 300 words maximum should be sent by 30 March 2017 to with the name, surname, affiliation, title of the paper and short biography of the presenter.
The registration fee for presenters from outside South Africa is $100 (R1000 for SA citizens) if paid before 30 April 2017 or $125 (R1300 for SA citizens) for registrations after that date.
For further information please visit the website or write to