Denisa Šebestová
Anglo-Czech Fund study stay (visiting PhD researcher)
University of Birmingham, UK
Progress report

My research stay at UoB is scheduled from 6 May to 27 July 2019. At this point in my study stay, I have accomplished the following:

  • gathered data from locally available Bank of English corpus (extracting 3-grams and 4-grams from a subcorpus of newspaper texts) to prepare a study resource for advanced students of English as a L2
  • conducted a preliminary analysis of the data (semantic categorisation of 4-grams, identifying linking expressions and extracting their collocations)
  • regularly consulted my work with Dr Nicholas Groom
  • prepared a co-authored conference paper (ICAME 40 conference, 1-5 June 2019, Neuchatel, Switzerland)
  • attended a summer school to extend my knowledge about statistics and its application to linguistic research (Birmingham Statistics for Linguists Summer School 2019, 17-21 June)
  • attended 3 sessions of PG Tips (regular meetings of local PhD students providing platform for junior researchers to present and discuss their research), sharing and consulting my work with local PhD students and learning about their projects (this has proved insightful as some of them are part of a project working on Polish, facing related issues stemming from the typological character of Slavic languages)
  • found opportunities for networking with other visiting researchers at UoB, discussing our projects (another research visitor is also investigating phraseology using quantitative methods, he has supplied some useful methodological comments)

    So far, I consider the study stay very fruitful in terms of networking and gaining inspiration and feedback. I have encountered some issues with my data, but was able to overcome these by restructuring the dataset. A detailed description of these methodological issues will be provided in the final report.

    For the remainder of my stay, I intend to:

    finish work on the study resource which will be the outcome of my stay (specifically: analyse the collocations of linking expressions, analyse them identifying constructions, taking into account their textual functions and semantic prosodies if relevant, create an overview of these)

  • extract data from a corpus of European Parliament documents and proceedings, conducting an analogous analysis resulting in an overview of multi-word expressions frequent in this text type
  •  potentially, this analysis could be the basis for a similar study resource-oriented towards English for specific purposes (e.g. students aiming to work as translators or interpreters in the area of public administration or politics, or more broadly for teaching stylistics with focus on administrative texts)
  • the results will also be presented as a conference paper at the International Corpus Linguistics 2019 conference, held at Cardiff University between 22-27 July

    In Birmingham, 20 June 2019
    Denisa Šebestová