SCOPIC Workshop

November 14-November 18, 2016

Engma Room, H. C. Coombs, ANU

Project Background

This project aims to produce an annotated, typologically calibrated cross-linguistic corpus of over 20 languages from every continent of the world, representing a wide typological spectrum, that can be used for the cross-linguistic study of how social cognition is represented and managed linguistically, with a special focus on grammar. It grows out of the project ‘Language and social cognition: the design resources of grammatical diversity’, funded by the Australian Research Council, and continued support comes from two further sources: the award of an Anneliese Maier Forschungspreis to Nick Evans by the Alexander von Humboldtstiftung and the Germany Ministry for Education and Research, and a project line within the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL). The project will be led by Nick Evans, with Danielle Barth responsible for overall corpus development and harmonisation.

            The protocol for gathering materials for this corpus is described in San Roque et al (2012), and participants in the project should have gathered material on the relevant language using the guidelines and materials set out there, and transcribed and translated them by the time of the first workshop they attend. Specific details on expectations from workshop participants can be found at the end of this document.

            The project will run over three years, involving workshops of approximately one week per year over the three years, during which issues of analysis and typological calibration will gradually be refined. This will culminate in a publicly available annotated multilingual corpus and several appropriate publications, as inspired by e.g. Wally Chafe’s Pear Stories and Berman & Slobin’s Frog Stories.

The Canberra Workshop

The 2016 Australian Social Cognition Parallel Interview Corpus (SCOPIC) workshop will be held in Canberra, for the five days from 14 November (12:00pm) to 18 November (1:30pm).

            The 2016 Canberra workshop will feature:

(a)          presentation of project goals and an introduction to features of social cognition in Dalabon by Nick Evans.

(b)          presentation of corpus-building and analysis issues by Danielle Barth and an initial description of findings from the Bamberg 2016 Workshop.

(c)          brief overviews of how categories relevant to social cognition are encoded in Kriol by Greg Dickson, in Auslan by Gabrielle Hodge, and in Vera'a by Stefan Schnell (the others being held over to the 2017 workshop).

(d)          the meat of the workshop will be hands-on workshop going through our corpora, coding up 3 relevant categories and developing a closed set of choices for the labelling of these categories. In the 2016 workshop, categories will be: 1) reported speech and thought, 2) reference to person and social relationships, and 3) social ramifications of depicted events including benefactives, ethical datives, reciprocals, volitionality, violation of social norms, commitatives and expressions of joint action.

(e)          Overview and planning of the 2017 session plus overall comparative problems.

Participation in the workshop is by invitation, but non-participants in the workshop are welcome to attend the presentations by Nick Evans, Danielle Barth, Greg Dickson, Gabrielle Hodge and Stefan Schnell.


San Roque, Lila, Alan Rumsey, Lauren Gawne, Stef Spronck, Darja Hoenigman, Alice Carroll, Julia Miller & Nicholas Evans. 2012. Getting the story straight: language fieldwork using a narrative problem-solving task. Language Documentation and Conservation 6:134-173.

Example coded ELAN file for Matukar Panau

  • Australian Government
  • The University of Queensland
  • Australian National University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • Western Sydney University

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