Dr. Vaclav Brezina from ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science, Lancaster University was invited to deliver a lecture entitled “Corpus Linguistics, statistics and data visualization” in the National Key Research Center for Linguistics and Applied Linguistics (CLAL) at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS) on the morning of October 19th, 2016. The talk was chaired by Professor XU Hai, the Deputy Director of CLAL, and attracted a large audience from GDUFS and other universities.
Dr. Brezina mainly addressed three questions in the talk: Why is corpus linguistics useful? How do we analyze quantitative data? What can we see in the data? He started off by introducing the historical development of corpora and some fundamental concepts in corpus linguistics, and highlighted frequency data information obtained through corpora as the unique advantage of corpus linguistics over other research methodologies. He moved on by briefing his own re-conceptualization of the term statistics (Brezina forthcoming), and discussed the application of various corpus statistical techniques in different linguistic sub-disciplines. Then he talked about the necessity and importance of data visualization, and underscored the importance of the principles of focus oncontent, comparison and causality and high data-ink ratio in achieving effective data visualization. He concluded the talk by demonstrating the LancsBox, a new software package for the analysis of language data and corpora developed at ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science, Lancaster University.
The talk lasted about one and a half hour. It brought to the audience new trends incorpus linguistics and greatly aroused their interest.