Author Archives: Linguistic DNA

Anthology cover

Talk About Change: LDNA at Festival of the Mind

Last weekend, Linguistic DNA & friends took over the Spiegeltent in Sheffield city centre, as part of the University’s Festival of the Mind. Spiegeltents are a Belgian invention–tents decorated internally with mirrors, creating the perfect space to share myriad reflections. 

Over the course of two hours, we hosted a performance of new writing that emerged from collaboration with Our Mel (a Sheffield-based social enterprise dedicated to exploring cultural identity) and novelist Désirée Reynolds. Each of the pieces performed have also been published as part of a limited edition anthology: “Talk About Change: Writing as Resistance”.

The Researchers’ Introduction outlines a little more of the process that culminated in some extraordinary writing (excerpted from the print anthology):

Talk About Change: Writing as Resistance

Funded by the University of Sheffield’s Festival of the Mind, our collaborative workshops used examples of early modern word use (from the Linguistic DNA project and related research) as a starting point to think about language use today. How can the past speak to the present?  How might the present speak to the past

As reflected in the structure of this anthology, the workshops explored four central themes: diversity, feminism, immigration and race. These were selected by Annalisa and Désirée, who also provided the extra focus on “writing as resistance”. In each case, the Linguistic DNA researchers sought to introduce historic material that might prompt conversation about the themes—and perhaps even fuel the resistance. Some input drew on prior research (especially for feminism and immigration sessions, which drew on Iona’s thesis and engaged also with the 500 Reformations project). As often, it was a basic excursion into early modern material—with a beginners’ introduction to linguistics and studying meaning (courtesy of Seth)

The most inventive work happened when we brought this material into the open sessions

Together with all who attended the workshops, we compared the role of diversity in historic texts to its position in modern culture: what once characterised a multiplicity of opinion is now used paradoxically of something individual. We considered aspects of feminist debate before the word feminism existed, exploring how the power of virtue changed as men (mostly) discussed the role of women in sixteenth-century England. Using texts about strangers, we examined parallels between the way people wrote (and complained) about early modern outsiders and modern discourse about immigrants. We reflected on the roots of race, its links to kinship, descent, and community and the relationship between structures of language and structures of power.

In each session, novelist and creative-writing facilitator Désirée Reynolds recommended other writings to bring out different dimensions of the themes. Wide reading was encouraged, and what you will find in the pages that follow reflects the careful crafting of a range of experience and inspiration drawing on at least five centuries of language use.

Anthology coverIt is Writing as Resistance.

It comes from Talking About Change.

If you would like a copy of the anthology (free!), you can register interest (first come, first served) by filling out a short Google form.

(You can also read some words from the Editor, over on the 500 Reformations website.)

Linguistic DNA at SRS 2018: Abstracts

Knowledge, truth and expertise: experiments with Early English Books Online

Wondering what Linguistic DNA is bringing to the Society for Renaissance Studies? Here are the abstracts for two panels of papers, and information about our hands-on demonstration session (drop in).

United by a common interest in data-driven approaches to meaning and a focus on the transcribed portions of Early English Books Online (EEBO-TCP), this interdisciplinary panel brings together new research from the Linguistic DNA project and the Cambridge Concept Lab. 

What is EEBO anyway? Contextual study of a universe in print
Iona Hine and Susan Fitzmaurice (University of Sheffield)

Since 2015, the Linguistic DNA team has been developing methods for mapping meaning and change-in-meaning in Early Modern English. Our work begins with the hypothesis that meanings are not equivalent with words, and can be invoked in many different ways. For example, when Early Modern writers discuss processes of democracy, there is no guarantee they will also employ a keyword such as democracy. We adopt a data-driven approach, using measures of frequency and proximity to track associations between words in texts over time. Strong patterns of co-occurrence between words allow us to build groups of words that collectively represent meanings-in-context (textual and historical). We term these groups “discursive concepts”.

The task of modelling discursive concepts in textual data has been absorbing and challenging, both theoretically and practically. Our main dataset, transcriptions of texts from Early English Books Online (EEBO-TCP), contains more than 50 000 texts. These include 9000 single-page broadsheets and 162 volumes that span more than 1000 pages. There are 127 items printed pre-1500, and nearly 7000 from the 1690s. The process of analysis therefore requires us to think carefully about how best to control and report on this variation in data distribution.

One particular question that has arisen affects all who attempt to use EEBO: what is in it? To what extent is its material from pre-1500 similar in kind (genre, immediacy, etc.) to that of the messy 1550s (as the English throne shifted speedily between Edward VI and his siblings), the 1610s (era of Shakespeare and the King James Version), or the 1640s (when Civil War raged)? This paper is a sustained reflection on attempts to find out “What’s in EEBO?”

In the beginning was the word?
EEBO-TCP and another universe of meaning

Seth Mehl (University of Sheffield)

When a new idea is conceived, how does it find expression in language? Between 1450 and 1750, the English lexicon expanded dramatically, and literary scholars, philologists, linguists, and historians have sought to document and demonstrate the paths taken by key social and cultural vocabulary, charting the history of what would become key social and cultural ideas, discourses, and concepts. In such cases, the topic and language for investigation has been intuited on the basis of extended qualitative reading, and the objects of investigation tend to be individual words. With the advent of a searchable database of early modern texts, such intuitions can be tested at scale, and the initial object of inquiry can shift from individual words to relationships between sets of words.

What happens when we invert the traditional process, taking the thousands of texts digitised in EEBO-TCP and applying computational techniques to model language change independent of human intuition? Can such techniques indicate meaningful relationships between key words that human researchers had not intuited or observed? To what extent do observations founded on over 1 billion words of early modern English correspond to and diverge from what scholarly readers have already inferred? Is it possible to identify discourses around key ideas even when the apparently related key words are absent? Combining insights from the Keywords Project with tools developed by the Linguistic DNA project, this paper will explore how concept modelling can be applied to re-examine meaning in early modern texts.

Beyond Power Steering:
re-constituting structures of knowledge in 17th-century texts

John Regan (University of Cambridge)

One of the axioms of the Cambridge Concept Lab is that digital means of enquiry should provide qualitatively new kinds of knowledge, if we are to realise their full value. This is to say, that computation should not merely provide ‘power steering for the humanities’, but allow one to discover something different in kind about how knowledge was structured in the past.

Making good on this axiom necessitates judgements on the part of the user of digital technology about how to design one’s modes of address to (for example) natural language data sets such as Early English Books Online- TCP, in order that one is not only adding ‘power steering’ to existing, familiar types of enquiry. It also necessitates making decisions about when to come to rest at results (that is, when to cease enquiry); judgements of where digital data can be said to be producing discrete and unfamiliar forms of knowledge.

This paper will present tentative first signs of what the Cambridge Concept Lab believe are historically-discrete conceptual structures, based on data from the early seventeenth-century portion of EEBO-TCP. Two such structures will be described, one entitled ‘Mutual Dependence’, the other ‘Self-Consistency’. As will be shown, familiar forms of knowledge that are held and expressed in sentences and paragraphs, organised by grammar and understood by readers largely as explicit sense, may be contrasted with this evidence of qualitatively different conceptual structures in the textual record. While this paper does not set out to debunk existing theories of the structuration of knowledge and its transmission in the seventeenth century as have become established through centuries of close reading, it does seek to enrich our understanding of these traditions by attending to conceptual, and not exclusively semantic, thematic or rhetorical, structures.

It appears uncontroversial to assert that concepts are determining with regard to features of language use such as explicit and implicit semantic fields, theme, word order, and syntactic relations at the level of the sentence. Nevertheless, recognising that concepts have lexical and semantic extension is not the same as accepting that the two are identical in kind. This paper’s claims about conceptual structure will be based upon evidence from the early decades of seventeenth-century data from EEBO-TCP.

Our afternoon panel is a little depleted (by ill-health) but features Jose M. Cree (Sheffield) on Neologisms and the English reformation, Lucas van der Deijl (Amsterdam) on The collaborative Dutch translations of Descartes by Jan Hendrik Glazemaker (1620-1682), and a little extra time for discussion.


All SRS delegates are very welcome to drop in to our demo workshop, where we will be providing a 10-15-minute introduction to our tools (3:30pm, repeated at 4:30pm) and the opportunity for hands-on experimentation.  This is in the Hicks Building, Floor G, room 29. (About 2 minutes walk from Jessop West, across the main road and a little uphill. Directions.)

Snapshot from campus map, featuring the Hicks Building.

Under the surface: SHARP, LDNA and sundry sources

This blog post excerpts material Iona wrote reflecting back on her contribution to the SHARP conference in Paris in July 2016, building on the work of her PhD thesis and incorporating material and processes that have formed part of the Linguistic DNA project. The full post can be found on Iona’s personal blog.

In preparation for the paper, I dedicated time to manually extract, compile and refine measurements for some of the early outputs from the LDNA processor. To fit in with the pledges of my abstract, I targeted the associations of valour and valiant in subsets of EEBO-TCP.

During my PhD, I used EEBO-TCP to provide context for my work with early modern bibles. Valour entered the equation as I examined trends in the translation of a Hebrew collocation gibbor chayil. In the King James Version (publ. 1611) most gibbor chayil men are “mighty . . . of valour”. The repetition of this phrase across the translation means that English bible readers could form associations between the group of characters referred to, in a similar manner to those who encounter the Hebrew narrative directly. For this to happen in translation shows that the translators recognised and (sometimes) prioritised the transmission of this connection; in this respect “mighty of valour” is a partial example of a larger trend in favour of a more technical approach to translation, a move likely influenced by the increasing use of precise cross-referencing in bible reading (facilitated by the introduction of verse numbers throughout the Bible, an innovation of the 1550s). Yet the phrase is intrinsically interesting because before that “valour” was not part of the English biblical lexicon.

Collating instances of gibbor chayil demonstrates that the lexically related “valiant” was used in earlier translations, but in a piecemeal manner (illustrated by the changing distribution of black square bullets in the diagram below).


This diagram, extracted from my SHARP presentation, is one of a series colour-coded to highlight consistency within individual versions with a focus on the characterisation of Boaz. The black square bullets are added to highlight where a form of ‘valiant’ (or for KJ ‘valour’) was used.

By exploring the words valiant and valour with the LDNA tools, I was able to corroborate the impression I had formed during my earlier quantitative and qualitative analysis which was conducted via a standard EEBO-TCP interface.

The PhD bit

Searching hits in the population for the first century of English print (to 1570) and comparing that with the next half century (a collection of documents three times the size) I had observed that the frequency of both valiant and valour increased markedly above expectation.


Comparison of word frequency (hits) and distribution (records, hits per record) in EEBO-TCP for 1473-1570 (P1) and 1571-1620 (P2) expressed in ratios.

Scrutinising the data by decade exposed some significant textual influences. To quote from my thesis:

87 per cent of occurrences of “valiant” in the corpus for 1520-1529 (316 of a total 363) appear in a two-volume translation of the French chronicles of Froissart, while two other translated works account for a further 9 per cent; just 4 per cent of hits occur in ‘indigenous’ texts.

For “valour”,

a jump in the decade 1570-1579 is significantly related to the publication in 1579 of a translation from Italian: 403 of the decade’s 501 hits appear in a one-volume translation of The historie of Guicciardin conteining the vvarres of Italie and other partes (London, 1559). Once such scrutiny is imposed, it becomes evident that translation had a significant role in the increased currency of these two Latinate terms. It is also evident that the words normally appear in certain genres: conduct books concerned with warfare and chivalric behaviour; and chronicles of past history. This contributes to the recognisable sense of valour as “The quality of mind which enables a person to face danger with boldness or firmness; courage or bravery, esp. as shown in warfare or conflict; valiancy, prowess.”[ OED s.v. “valour|valor, n.”, §1c.] This sense, cultivated through translation in the course of the sixteenth-century, fits the context in which King James’ translators employ the word.

The LDNA bit

The subsets of EEBO-TCP sent through the LDNA processor earlier in the year were intentionally compatible with the periodisation of my thesis, providing windows onto English discourse that could be cross-referenced with the publication of particular bibles. The subsets thus incorporate all transcribed material from EEBO (TCP update 2015) known to have been printed during the following spans:

  • 1520-1539 (cf. Coverdale Bible 1535, Matthew Bible 1537, Great Bible 1539)
  • 1550-1559 (Geneva Bible 1560, Bishops Bible 1568); and
  • 1610-1611 (Douai Old Testament 1609-10, King James Version 1611).

Taking the first and last of these, measuring PMI in windows of discourse around the word “valour”, we find marked change in the prominent associations. Our approach yields plentiful data, and we are still thinking through the challenges of visualisation. In the slide shown, I have coloured associated terms according to the innermost window in which the cooccurring lemma rises to prominence. Thus red terms occur frequently in the narrowest window around valour (+/-1 words), orange terms in the expanded window (+/-10 words) that might approximate the surrounding sentence, green for +/-50 words (which now form the default window size in our public interface) and blue for the wide discursive window of +/-100 words. (Many lemmas appear in more than one window, and the list shown for the later period does not reach to some relevant low frequency items such as “prowess”.)


What should be visible is a distinction between the use of “valour” as a synonym of value or worth (prominent in the 1520-1539 subset), and the association with conduct in conflict (dominant in the 1610-1611 dataset). Both senses were part of the Latin root “valeo” and, had King James’ translators ventured it, both could have been played upon to make even more “mighty men of valour” in 1611. (One of the exceptions comes at 2 Kings 15:20, where Menachem taxes all gibbor chayil men, “mighty men of wealth” in the KJV.)

Inevitably, the set of observations I could draw from this investigation are not part of the bottom-up process that LDNA strives to achieve. But the exercise has helped me to think through some different ways we will want to be able to interrogate our data and to study the effects of some different baselines for our expectation calculations. And it demonstrates, I think, the valour of conducting semantic enquiries through discursive windows.



Thesis quotations are from: I. C. Hine, “Englishing the Bible in early modern Europe: The case of Ruth”, PhD thesis (University of Sheffield, 2014), p. 163. These numbers reflect searches conducted through the Chadwyck EEBO interface using its variant spelling option.

The datasets employed in my thesis are not quite identical to those used by the project: LDNA uses a slightly expanded version of the EEBO-TCP collection (last updated early 2015) with its spelling regularised and tokens lemmatised locally using MorphAdorner.

The Edge

Text Analytics at Sheffield DH Congress

Earlier in the year (2016), we issued a special call for papers, inviting others to join LDNA panel sessions at the Sheffield Digital Humanities Congress. We were delighted by the responses, and further delighted that the full DHC programme includes plenty of other material relevant to our text analytics’ interests–and a noticeable body of book historical input too.

As a special privilege for those who follow the LDNA blog, here are two bonus abstracts outlining our conception of each LDNA panel:

TA 1: Between numbers and words

Session 4, Friday 9 September
ft. Hine, Shute, Siirtola et al.

Digitisation of texts facilitates kinds of statistical analysis that were previously difficult and perhaps impossible for humans to carry out. This series of papers explores the interface between statistics and close reading, teasing out how these modes of textual analysis can be applied jointly to explore and analyse the material, lexical and semantic form of constitutent texts. We discuss the use of quantitative analysis to reassess hypotheses about the work of compositors in fifteenth-century printing. We scrutinise a blueprint for moving between statistical data and words-in-context within collections too big for human reading (with special attention to concept formation). Lastly, we demonstrate how one newly-enhanced visualisation tool assists exploratory analysis to generate insights about genre and social variables in digital text collections including early modern correspondence and international Englishes.

TA 2: Identifying complex meanings in historical texts

Session 7, Friday 9 September
ft. Mehl, Recchia, Makela, et al.

With recent advances in computational tools and techniques, researchers are moving closer to the goal of identifying and describing complex meanings—semantic, discursive, social, and otherwise—in historical texts. This session approaches that goal from multiple angles. We discuss semantic meaning in terms of distributional semantic techniques, which connect the study of meaning in the humanities with the quantitative study of language in computational linguistics. We discuss discursive meaning via topic modelling techniques, and also explore the theoretical space between distributional semantics and topic modelling. Finally, we discuss social and historical meanings by looking at possibilities for analysing extra-linguistic contexts alongside linguistic data, within carefully annotated, structured data sets.


If that’s whet your appetite, you will find full abstracts for each paper–and for every paper in the Congress–on the main DHC site.

Last registration date is 7 September.

From Spring to Summer: LDNA on the road

June 2016:
For the past couple of months, our rolling horizon has looked increasingly full of activity. This new blogpost provides a brief update on where we’ve been and where we’re going. We’ll be aiming to give more thorough reports on some of these activities after the events.

Where we’ve been

Entrance to University Museum, UtrechtIn May, Susan, Iona and Mike travelled to Utrecht, at the invitation of Joris van Eijnatten and Jaap Verheul. Together with colleagues from Sheffield’s History Department, we presented the different strands of Digital Humanities work ongoing at Sheffield. We learned much from our exchanges with Utrecht’s AsymEnc and Translantis research programs, and enjoyed shared intellectual probing of visualisations of change across time. We look forward to continued engagement with each others’ work.

A week later, Seth and Justyna participated in This&THATCamp at the University of Sussex (pictured), with LDNA emerging second in a popular poll of topics for discussion at this un-conference-style event. Productive conversations across the two days covered data visualisation, data manipulation, text analytics, digital humanities and even data sonification. We hope to hear more from Julie Weeds and others when the LDNA team return to Brighton in September.

Next week, we’ll be calling on colleagues at the HRI to talk us through their experience visualising complex humanities data. Richard Ward (Digital Panopticon) and Dirk Rohman (Migration of Faith) have agreed to walk us through their decision-making processes, and talk through the role of different visualisations in exploring, analysing, and explaining current findings.

Where we’re going

The LDNA team are also gearing up for a summer of presentations:

  • Justyna Robinson will be representing LDNA at Sociolinguistics Symposium (Murcia, 15-18 June), as well as sharing the latest analysis from her longitudinal study of semantic variation focused on polysemous adjectives in South Yorkshire speech. Catch LDNA in the general poster session on Friday (17th), and Justyna’s paper at 3pm on Thursday. #SS21
  • Susan Fitzmaurice is in Saarland, as first guest speaker at the Historical Corpus Linguistics event hosted by the IDeaL research centre, also on Thursday (16th June) at 2:15pm. Her paper is subtitled “Discursive semantics and the quest for the automatic identification of concepts and conceptual change in English 1500-1800”. #IDeaL
  • In July, the Glasgow LDNA team are Krakow-bound for DH2016 (11-16 July). The LDNA poster, part of the Semantic Interpretations group, is currently allocated to Booth 58 during the Wednesday evening poster session. Draft programme.
  • Later in July, Iona heads to SHARP 2016 in Paris (18-22). This year, the bi-lingual Society are focusing on “Languages of the Book”, with Iona’s contribution drawing on her doctoral research (subtitle: European Borrowings in 16th and 17th Century English Translations of “the Book of Books”) and giving attention to the role of other languages in concept formation in early modern English (a special concern for LDNA’s work with EEBO-TCP).
  • In August, Iona is one of several Sheffield early modernists bound for the Sixteenth Century Society Conference in Bruges. In addition to a paper in panel 241, “The Vagaries of Translation in the Early Modern World” (Saturday 20th, 10:30am), Iona will also be hosting a unique LDNA poster session at the book exhibit. (Details to follow)
  • The following week (22-26 August), Seth, Justyna and Susan will be at ICEHL 19 in Essen. Seth and Susan will be talking LDNA semantics from 2pm on Tuesday 23rd.

Back in the UK, on 5 September, LDNA (and the University of Sussex) host our second methodological workshop, focused on data visualisation and linguistic change. Invitations to a select group of speakers have gone out, and we’re looking forward to a hands-on workshop using project data. Members of our network who would like to participate are invited to get in touch.

And back in Sheffield, LDNA is playing a key role in the 2016 Digital Humanities Congress, 8-10 September, hosting two panel sessions dedicated to textual analytics. Our co-speakers include contacts from Varieng and CRASSH.  Early bird registration ends 30th June.

Dr Kris Heylen: Tracking Conceptual Change

In February 2016, Linguistic DNA hosted Dr Kris Heylen as an HRI Visiting Fellow, strengthening our links with KU Leuven’s Quantitative Lexicology and Variational Linguistics research group. This post outlines the scheduled public events.

Next week, the Linguistic DNA project welcomes visiting scholar–and HRI Visiting European FellowDr Kris Heylen of KU Leuven.  

About Kris:

Kris is a researcher based in KU Leuven’s Quantitative Lexicology and Variational Linguistics research group. His research focuses on the statistical modelling of lexical semantics and lexical variation, and more specifically the introduction of distributional semantic models into lexicological research. Next to his fundamental research on lexical semantics, he has also a strong interest in exploring the use of quantitative, corpus-based methods in applied linguistic research with projects in legal translation, vocabulary learning and medical terminology.

During his stay in Sheffield, Kris will be working alongside the Linguistic DNA team, playing with some of our data, and sharing his experience of visualizing semantic change across time, as well as talking about future research collaborations with others on campus. There will be several opportunities for others to meet with Kris and hear about his work, including a lecture and workshop (details below). Both events are free to attend.

Lecture: 3 March

On Thursday 3rd March at 5pm, Kris will give an open lecture entitled:

Tracking Conceptual Change:
A Visualization of Diachronic Distributional Semantics

ABSTRACT (Kris writes):

In this talk, I will present an overview of statistical and corpus-based studies of lexical variation and semantic change, carried out at the research group Quantitative Lexicology and Variational Linguistics (QLVL) in recent years. As a starting point, I’ll take the framework developed in Geeraerts et. al. (1994) to describe the interaction between concepts’ variable lexical expression (onomasiology) and lexemes’ variable meaning (semasiology). Next, I will discuss how we adapted distributional semantic models, as originally developed in computational linguistics (see Turney and Pantel 2010 for an overview), to the linguistic analysis of lexical variation and change.

With two case studies, one on the concept of immigrant in Dutch and one on positive evaluative adjectives in English  (great, superb, terrific, etc.), I’ll illustrate how we have used visualisation techniques to investigate diachronic change in both the construal and the lexical expression of concepts.

All are welcome to attend this guest lecture which takes place at the Humanities Research Institute (34 Gell Street).  It is also possible to come for dinner after the lecture, though places may be limited and those interested are asked to get in touch with Linguistic DNA beforehand (by Tuesday 1st February).


Workshop: 7 March

On Monday 7th March, Kris will run an open workshop on visualizing language, sharing his own experiments with Linguistic DNA data. Participation is open to students and staff, but numbers are limited and advance registration is required. To find out more, please email Linguistic DNA (deadline: 4pm, Friday 4th March). Those at the University of Sheffield can reserve a place at the workshop using Doodle Poll.

Anyone who would like the opportunity to meet with Kris to discuss research collaborations should get in touch with him via Linguistic DNA as soon as possible so that arrangements can be made.

From Data to Evidence (d2e): conference reflections

HelsinkiFraser and Iona report (November 2015):

Six members of the Linguistic DNA team were present at the recent d2e conference held by the VARIENG research unit at the University of Helsinki, Finland. The focus of the conference was on tools and methodologies employed in corpus linguistics, whilst the event took for its theme ‘big data, rich data, uncharted data’. The conference offered much food for thought, raising our awareness of the tools and methods employed by other researchers in similar fields. Frequently it was clear that despite the differences between the goals of, for example, sociolinguistics and historical semantics, the knowledge and approach towards data taken by one could be effectively and productively applied to another.

The conference’s plenary speeches were of particular interest. Tony McEnery delineated potential limitations of corpus data and its analysis. His call for researchers to remain aware of the limitations of their data struck a chord with our findings from close examination of EEBO data in its raw and processed forms. One of his main conclusions was the importance of conducting cyclical researchanalysing the data with software tools and then returning to the data itself to verify the validity of the findings. LDNA is set up to follow this approach, and Professor McEnery’s presentation reaffirmed its importance. Plenaries by Jane Winters and Päivi Pahta looked further into working with historical data andin the latter particularlyhistorical linguistic data, whilst a fascinating presentation by Mark Davies emphasised the importance of corpus size in the type of research which we are undertaking.

LDNA is also taking an active interest in innovative approaches to data analysis and visualisation. Demonstrating software, Gerold Schneider, Eetu Mäkelä, and Jonathan Hope each showcased new tools for representing historical language data and wrangling with metadata. As we progress in our thinking about the kinds of processing which will allow us to identify concepts in our data, we are always on the lookout for ideas and methodological developments which might help us to improve our own findings.

Several research papers connected with the interests of LDNA, especially when they adhered closely to the conference’s theme of exploring large and complex datasets in ways which reveal new patterns in the data. James McCracken’s presentation on adding frequency information to the Oxford English Dictionary was very exciting for the possibilities it could open up to future historical linguistics. (We’ve blogged before about the drawback of not having relevant frequency data when using tools like VARD.) Meanwhile, the techniques used to track change in words’ behaviour, with different dimensions of semantic evolution scrutinised by Hendrik De Smet (for Hansard), Gerold Schneider (in COHA), and Hannah Kermes and Stephania Degaetano-Ortlieb of Saarland University (working with the Royal Scientific Corpus) were not only intrinsically fascinating but provide useful pointers towards the depth and complexity of linguistic features LDNA will need to consider. We will also aim to keep in view Joseph Flanagan’s insistence that linguistic studies should aim for reproducibility, an insistence aided (for those who code with R) by the suite of tools he recommended.

The d2e conference packed a lot into a few days, creating an intense and productive atmosphere in which participants could meet, exchange ideas, and become more aware of the scope of others’ work in related fields. We enjoyed the conversations around our own poster, and much appreciated the hospitality throughout. It was a great opportunity for the LDNA team, providing more invaluable input to our thought and approach to our work.


Abstracts from the conference are available from the d2e pages on the Varieng website.

Anni Aarinen provides a write-up of McEnery’s keynote.

Glasgow-based LDNA member Brian Aitken has written up his d2e experience on the Digital Humanities blog.