Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Primo semestre

Primo semestre – a.a. 2014-2015

22 ottobre, ore 10, aula 329 – via Necchi 9
Alexander Geyken - Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and the Humanities
Corpus based analysis of collocations: a short history of the past 25 years of corpus linguistics.

Electronic corpora have been used in lexicography and in the domain of language learning for more than two decades (cf. Sinclair (1991), Braun et al. (2006)). Traditionally, computer platforms exploiting these corpora were based on concordances that present a word in its different contexts. However, concordances hit their limits for very large corpora where the result sets are generally too large for manual evaluation. To answer questions like 'which attributive adjectives are used for the noun book' or 'is the adjective groundbreaking more typical for book than pioneering', would require one to look at several thousand concordance lines, a quite impracticable task to do by hand. Likewise, the exclusive use of concordance lines in an attempt to answer a question like 'which objects does a verb like hit typically take' would be unsuitable, since one would not only have to find all the different objects of hit but it would also be necessary to discard all the false positives. These types of questions involve counting of co-occurrences, and, if they are linguistically motivated, collocations. The cases above are examples for collocations of a certain syntactic type, i.e. adjective-noun and verb-object collocations. The importance of describing collocations has long been acknowledged both for language learning (e.g. Hausmann (1984)) as well as for lexicographic purposes (e.g. Harris (1968), Sinclair (1991)). Church & Hanks (1989) were the first to show that lexical statistics are useful to summarize concordance data by presenting a list of the statistically most salient collocates. More recently, databases have been built for large corpora that make use of this abstraction of concordance lines. A well-known example is the Sketch Engine (Kilgarriff (2004)) that produces so called word-sketches for languages as different as Czech, Italian or Chinese.

23 ottobre, ore 10:30-13:30, aula 329 – via Necchi 9
L'insegnamento di una L2 in contesti plurilingui

  • 10h45 - 11h30: Aline Gohard-Radenkovic - Université de Fribourg
    Analyse critique des approches plurielles au service de l'éducation plurilingue du Conseil de l'Europe: à partir d'exemples contextualisés
  • 11h30-11h45: discussione
  • 11h45 - 12h30: Tiziana Protti - Université de Fribourg
    Il ruolo dei Corsi di lingua e cultura italiana nella trasmissione intergenerazionale dell'"italianità". Il caso della Svizzera Romanda
  • 12h30 - 13h15: Nicoletta Gazzana - Université de Fribourg
    Esiste una didattica specifica per la lingua "d'origine"? Il caso dei Corsi di lingua e cultura italiana all'estero
  • 13h15-13h30: discussione

La giornata si colloca nell'ambito di un ciclo di conferenze sul tema del plurilinguismo, organizzate dal 20 al 24 ottobre tra le università di Bologna, Milano Cattolica e Genova. Le relatrici, esperte di didattica delle lingue straniere, presenteranno tre relazioni aventi come filo conduttore l'insegnamento di una L2 in un contesto plurilingue. Aline Gohard-Radenkovic si soffermerà in particolare sugli approcci plurali (tornati all'attualità dopo la pubblicazione online del “Carap, Cadre de référence des approches plurielles”), proponendone un'analisi critica alla luce di esempi concreti; Tiziana Protti e Nicoletta Gazzana esporranno invece i risultati delle loro ricerche di dottorato nell'ambito dell'insegnamento e dell'apprendimento dell'italiano come seconda lingua con particolare attenzione al contesto svizzero.

7 novembre, ore 9-13, aula Cripta – Largo Gemelli 1
Vanessa B. Beasley – Vanderbilt University
Rhetoric as a formative influence in the English-speaking world

Intervengono: Guido Milanese, Arturo Cattaneo, Amanda Murphy – Università Cattolica

Il simposio è incentrato sul ruolo della retorica nella sfera pubblica dei paesi di lingua inglese, con particolare riferimento alla politica. La Prof. Beasley parlerà della funzione della retorica nei discorsi inaugurali dei Presidenti degli Stati Uniti d’America. Il prof. Milanese seguirà gli sviluppi della retorica classica attraverso l’evoluzione culturale e politica dell’Europa moderna. Il Prof. Cattaneo tratterà del ruolo della retorica nella formazione dell’uomo pubblico in Inghilterra, dal Rinascimento al Novecento, e della sua funzione ‘imperiale’. La prof. Murphy esaminerà l’uso che la comunicazione moderna fa della retorica, nei suoi aspetti pubblici come in quelli socio-economici.

20 novembre, ore 15, aula 329 – via Necchi 9
Wolfgang Behr – Università di Zurigo
Vagueness in Chinese: some clichés and clarifications

Throughout the history of European linguistic alterity constructions, probably no other language has been labeled "vague", "imprecise", "ambiguous" or "underspecified" as much as Chinese since the beginning of its description in missionary accounts in the 16th century. While it can be readily shown that many of such observations are mere clichés, stemming from the failure to distinguish between writing and language or from the subliminal projection of typological expectations informed by the model of Indo-European languages, some serious linguistic questions remain: what is the place of vagueness – deliberate or unintentional – in the historical development of Chinese? How is ambiguity in different linguistic domains influenced by categorial elaboration and its loss? Is grammaticality a graded rather than a binary phenomenon, and if so, is the is the underlying scale calibrated differently in Chinese than in other typologically similar languages? What is the relationship between vagueness, ambiguity and grammaticality (universally and in Chinese)? Setting aside the implications of such questions for the periodically resurging discourse on linguistic relativity, the talk will draw upon on a number of examples from pre-imperial, medieval and contemporary Chinese in order to delineate the role of vagueness in Chinese more precisely, especially by looking at areas where it is correlated with covert obligatory marking and definiteness.