Language, linguistics and the data explosion

Posted on April 23, 2014 by

On Friday 9th May, Manchester’s Nigel Vincent will be chairing a panel session on Language, linguistics and the data explosion at the British Academy in London. The event is co-organized with the Philological Society, and you can read more about it here.

The panellists are the OED‘s principal etymologist Philip Durkin, Language Log‘s Mark Liberman, and prolific variationist Sali Tagliamonte. From the British Academy’s page:

The creation of very large bodies of facts and figures – so-called ‘big data’ – challenges existing methods and theories in many fields of enquiry. Is bigger always better? How, in the words of Nate Silver, do we distinguish between the signal and the noise? Does change of empirical scale fundamentally redefine the nature of research? How can the results of traditional scholarship be integrated with those derived by digital methods? This panel considers the impact of such challenges on diverse areas of language-study: the history of words and meanings, the social determinants of language variation and change, and the annotation and mining of digital texts.

Manchet suspects the event will be excellent, but without analysing vast quantities of empirical data that’s really just speculation.

Posted in: conferences, staff