Speaker:Tony Berber Sardinha, Professor of Applied Linguistics, Pontifical Catholic University of Sao Paulo (PUCSP), Brazil. 

Tony has published numerous books and research articles, and is on the board of several journals and book collections. He is the editor-in-chief for the linguistics journal DELTA (https://www.scielo.br/j/delta), and the current corpus linguistics area editor for the multi-volume Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (2nd ed., ed. Carol Chapelle). His interests include corpus linguistics, discourse analysis, cultural studies, multimodality, metaphor analysis, and applied linguistics. 

Title: Going multimodal in corpus linguistics: The case of social media.

Abstract: Most—if not all—language use is multimodal, meaning it involves more than one semiotic mode. Even printed text is multimodal, because the different fonts and colors as well as the way the text is laid out on the page or a screen all convey meaning and impact the way the text is both produced and received. Spoken language is also multimodal, as the speaker’s voice and appearance carry particular meanings. However, with very rare exceptions, most language research in linguistics, including corpus linguistics, has been monomodal, focusing exclusively on the verbal/textual component. There are conceptual reasons for this, including the fact that the hard epistemological border drawn around linguistics has kept scholars immune to multimodal research, pushing the interest in multimodal expression into fields like semiotics, which have undertaken the task of theorizing about and analyzing visual and acoustic signs for meaning. Nevertheless, sweeping multimodality under the rug has not made the problem disappear; rather, quite the opposite is true, as communication has increasingly gone multimodal, especially in the last few years with the explosion of social media use, resulting in greater scrutiny of linguists’ lack of engagement with multimodal analysis. In corpus linguistics, the situation has not been much different and, in fact, has possibly been worse, given the practical issues involved in collecting, annotating, and analyzing multimedia corpora.

In this talk, I want to show how it is possible to collect, automatically annotate, and analyze multimodal corpora—more specifically, a corpus of social media postings comprising both textual and visual components. I will talk about using computational tools to scrape social media, and I will illustrate how to perform an automatic annotation of images attached to posts using Google Cloud Vision, which enables various types of content analysis of visual content.

Time zones: 9pm (Brisbane), 8am (Sao Paulo), 11am (UK)

About International Perspectives on Corpus Technology for Language Learning - Seminar Series

Given the challenges to language education posed by COVID-19, increasing collaborative development in online pedagogies and resources ensures continuity of language education throughout the pandemic, while preparing students to succeed in an uncertain post-COVID-19 world. This seminar series is a global initiative spanning multiple time zones, with participants from Brazil, the UK, France, Poland and Australia, discussing the latest online language learning technologies. Topics include the use of corpora for language education, corpus pragmatics, text analytics for classroom use, digital Portuguese language learning applications and much more, with a range of famous international speakers including Prof. Alex Boulton (Editor of ReCALL) and Prof. Michael Haugh, a leading expert in pragmatics.

The seminars will take pace in the following time zones: 9pm (Brisbane), 8am (Sao Paulo), 11am (UK)


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