Language in Webcare: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

22-Nov-2018 – 23-Nov-2018, Ghent, Belgium

With the rise of digital business communication, end-users of products and services can now easily communicate positive and negative feedback to other customers and organizations on social networking and (micro)blogging sites, the sheer amount of which is hard for corporations to monitor, let alone respond to. As negative word-of-mouth on both the issue at hand and the way it has been tackled may have detrimental consequences in terms of reputation and sales (Luo 2009), organizations now have to access these social platforms as well and engage in a very delicate type of online service encounter (i.e. webcare) with the prime intention of nursing customer relationships and monitoring reputation management (Van Noort and Willemsen 2011). The success of this type of interaction depends on many different aspects, including the linguistic realization of both the original message by the customer and the ensuing webcare itself. However, context-specific knowledge on what constitutes the most appropriate, effective communicative strategies during critical moments – both from the customers’ and the companies’ perspective – is lacking (Lee and Song 2010) or proves to be somewhat contradictory.

As organizers of this symposium, we believe that research into the communicative challenges of digital business communication would greatly benefit from an interdisciplinary approach, combining theories and methods from linguistics, service-oriented marketing and public relations (see also Holmqvist et al. 2017; Carnevale et al. 2017). Therefore, this symposium aims to bring together scholars in language, communication and marketing studies who all share an interest in the linguistic and communicative intricacies of online service management. We invite papers focusing on consumer reviews, complaints, webcare and/or crisis communication from different theoretical and methodological perspectives.

We invited five speakers with an expertise in discourse- and communication-related approaches to online consumer complaints, reviews, and webcare: Camilla Vasquez (University of South Florida), Valerie Creelman (Saint Mary’s University), Guda Van Noort (University of Amsterdam), Rob Le Pair (Radboud University Nijmegen), An-Sofie Claeys (University of Leuven).

We ask scholars attending the conference (except for BA and MA students) to pay a registration fee of 100€ (excluding dinner on November 22).

For further information please contact sofie.decock@ugent.be, bernard.declerck@ugent.be and/or rebecca.vanherck@ugent.be.

Program:

The program can be found on: http://www.webcare2018.ugent.be/programme/

CogLing8 programme and registration

Dear colleague,

We are pleased to announce you that the registration for CogLing8 is now open. We kindly request you to register before 15 November through the following link (also available via the conference’s webpage): https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdlEROqzjyA44yVDQB7pQxTD60cNFJwlN0y8A-UNmgh3GQxrQ/viewform?usp=sf_link

A provisional programme is now available on the conference website https://cogling2018.wordpress.com/

It is still possible to book a hotel room at the university rate via the link provided on our website https://cogling2018.wordpress.com/travel-and-accommodation/. Please note that it is compulsory to use the link and form mentioned on this page in order to obtain the university rate. A limited number of rooms is available in both hotels (please note that the offer for the Ibis hotel is valid only for bookings made before 12 November). Our website also includes a link to other accommodation options in the numerous B&Bs in Louvain-la-Neuve, as well as travel information.

Kind regards,

The organizing committee

Barbara De Cock, Liesbeth Degand, Gaëtanelle Gilquin, Sara Jonkers, Julien Perrez, Kristel Van Goethem

Advance notice: ‘Corpus Linguistics with R’ and ‘Statistics for linguistics with R’ bootcamps by S.T. Gries

Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, August 2019

The Linguistics Research Unit of the Institute of Language and Communication (Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium) will be hosting two 30-hour bootcamps by Stefan Gries next summer.

The ‘Corpus Linguistics with R’ bootcamp (12-16 Aug 2019) is a hands-on introduction to using the programming language R for the analysis of textual data (mostly corpora, but theoretically also literary works, web data, etc.). It is based on the second edition (2016) of Gries’s textbook Quantitative corpus linguistics with R and introduces a variety of programming constructs required for text processing and corpus exploration including

  • building word frequency lists and computing type-token ratios;
  • computing dispersion and key words statistics;
  • extracting concordance lines.

For that, we will discuss different relevant functions and data structures, control flow structures such as loops and conditionals, and a sizable number of regular expressions; in addition and time permitting, we will also cover very elementary basics of data visualization. The kinds of data dealt with in this course come from a variety of differently formatted/annotated corpora and will also include 1-2 examples of literary works and/or XML processing.

The ‘Statistics for linguistics with R’ bootcamp (19-23 Aug 2019) is a hands-on introduction to statistical methods for both graduate students and seasoned researchers and is based on the second edition (2013) of Gries’s textbook Statistics for linguistics with R. The course is intended for linguists who already have a basic knowledge in statistics and some experience using R, and who wish to improve their proficiency in statistical analysis of linguistic data. Using the open source software and programming language R, we will:

  • briefly recap basic aspects of statistical evaluation as well as several descriptive statistics;
  • briefly discuss a selection of monofactorial statistical tests for frequencies, means, correlations and how they constitute special (limiting) cases of regression methods;
  • explore different kinds of multifactorial and multivariate methods, in particular different kinds of regression approaches (fixed-effects only and mixed-effect modelling) as well as classification trees and random forests.

Details about the previous edition of the ‘Statistics for linguistics with R’ bootcamp in LLN are available at: https://uclouvain.be/en/research-institutes/ilc/cecl/rling2017.html. For info about the prerequisites, visit https://uclouvain.be/en/research-institutes/ilc/cecl/prerequisites.html.

The website of the two events will be online in early 2019 and online registration will start on 1 March 2019. It will be possible to register for one event only but priority will be given to people who register for both. The number of participants is limited. If you would like to participate, mark the date in your diary!

Contact email: magali.paquot@uclouvain.be

Magali Paquot
Convenor

6th International Conference on Statistical Language and Speech Processing

October 15-16, 2018, Mons, Belgium

Co-organized by:

NUMEDIART Institute, University of Mons
LANGUAGE Institute, University of Mons
Institute for Research Development, Training and Advice (IRDTA), Brussels/London

Website: http://slsp2018.irdta.eu/

Program:

Monday, October 15

09:00 – 09:30 Registration

09:30 – 09:40 Opening

09:40 – 10:30 Thomas Hain. Crossing Domains in Automatic Speech Recognition – Invited lecture

10:30 – 11:00 Break

11:00 – 12:15

Amal Houidhek, Vincent Colotte, Zied Mnasri and Denis Jouvet. DNN-based Speech Synthesis for Arabic: Modelling and Evaluation

Antoine Perquin, Gwénolé Lecorvé, Damien Lolive and Laurent Amsaleg. Phone-level Embeddings for Unit Selection Speech Synthesis

Raheel Qader, Gwénolé Lecorvé, Damien Lolive and Pascale Sébillot. Disfluency Insertion for Spontaneous TTS: Formalization and Proof of Concept

12:15 – 13:45 Lunch

13:45 – 14:35 Simon King. Does ‘End-to-End’ Speech Synthesis Make any Sense? – Invited lecture

14:35 – 14:50 Break

14:50 – 16:05

George Christodoulides. Forced Alignment of the Phonologie du Français Contemporain Corpus

Ruei Hung Alex Lee and Jyh-Shing Roger Jang. A Syllable Structure Approach to Spoken Language Recognition

Gueorgui Pironkov, Sean Wood, Stéphane Dupont and Thierry Dutoit. Investigating a Hybrid Learning Approach for Robust Automatic Speech Recognition

16:05 – 16:20 Break

16:20 – 17:30 Poster session I

17:30 – 19:30 Touristic visit

Tuesday, October 16

09:00 – 09:50 Isabel Trancoso. Analysing Speech for Clinical Applications – Invited lecture

09:50 – 10:20 Break

10:20 – 11:35

Jan Vanek, Josef Michalek, Jan Zelinka and Josef Psutka. A Comparison of Adaptation Techniques and Recurrent Neural Network Architectures

Andris Varavs and Askars Salimbajevs. Restoring Punctuation and Capitalization Using Transformer Models

David Awad, Caroline Sabty, Mohamed Elmahdy and Slim Abdennadher. Arabic Name Entity Recognition Using Deep Learning

11:35 – 11:50 Break and Group photo

11:50 – 13:05

Pratik Doshi and Wlodek Zadrozny. Movie Genre Detection Using Topological Data Analysis and Simple Discourse Features

Daniel Grießhaber, Thang Vu and Johannes Maucher. Low-resource Text Classification Using Domain-adversarial Learning

Manny Rayner, Johanna Gerlach, Pierrette Bouillon, Nikolaos Tsourakis and Hervé Spechbach. Handling Ellipsis in a Spoken Medical Phraselator

13:05 – 14:35 Lunch

14:35 – 15:50

Laura García-Sardiña, Manex Serras and Arantza Del Pozo. Knowledge Transfer for Active Learning in Textual Anonymisation

Fernando Gomes and Juan Manuel Adán-Coello. Studying the Effects of Text Preprocessing and Ensemble Methods on Sentiment Analysis of Brazilian Portuguese Tweets

Daniel Lichtblau and Catalin Stoean. Text Documents Encoding through Images for Authorship Attribution

15:50 – 16:05 Break

16:05 – 17:05 Poster session II

17:05 – 17:15 Closing

Discourse Perspectives on Technical Communication

03 Jun 2019 – 05 Jun-2019
Leuven, Belgium

The overarching aim of this panel session of DICOEN 2019 is to advance interdisciplinary research in the field of technical communication. More specifically, this session aims to bring together researchers, practitioners and professionals with an interest in discourse aspects of technical communication, addressing the role of language-in-use and the way in which language is embedded in technical communication settings. Unlike other institutional contexts such as politics, the media, the workplace, healthcare etc. (for other “real-world contexts”, see e.g. Tannen et al. 2018), the study of technical communication discourse has so far received little attention. This is somewhat surprising in view of our highly technologized society and the increasing importance of communicating effectively about technology in order to bridge the gap between users and (the functionalities of) technical products.
Discourse analysis encompasses a broad range of theories, topics and approaches for explaining language-in-use. In line with Bloor and Bloor (2015), we understand discourse as “symbolic human interaction in its many forms”, whether through spoken or written language or via non-linguistic resources such as image, symbol, sound, and gesture. We welcome contributions that address various discourse aspects in technical communication settings. Contributions may focus on a range of linguistic (grammatical, semantic, pragmatic, stylistic, rhetorical, conversational, narrative, intercultural, critical, cognitive discourse) and non-linguistic phenomena that may be used to examine the relationship between form and function in any technical communication genre across the product life cycle (e.g. instructions for use, technical procedures, warning notices, FAQs, training documents, …). For example, contributions may focus on how language is used to communicate and interact in technical communication contexts or on how semiotic modes such as text, speech, image, symbol, graphics, and sound interact in technical communication outputs. Given that discourse does not only refer to actual ‘text’ but may also incorporate the whole communicative act involving production and comprehension, viz. “peoples’ actions, interactions, values, beliefs, and uses of objects, tools and environments within social or institutional settings” (Gee 2011: 181), contributions may also address matters such as context, background information, conventions, or other shared knowledge between the writer and his (increasingly multicultural or international) audience (Bloor and Bloor 2015), hence widening the scope from micro to macro levels of discourse.

Theme session organizers:
Parthena Charalampidou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) and Birgitta Meex (KU Leuven) <birgitta.meex@kuleuven.be>

References:
Bloor, Meriel & Bloor, Thomas (2015). The Practice of Critical Discourse Analysis: An Introduction. London and New York: Routledge.
Gee, James P. (2011). How to do Discourse Analysis: A toolkit. London and New York: Routledge.
Tannen, Deborah, Hamilton, Heidi E. & Schiffrin, Deborah (eds.) (2018). The Handbook of Discourse Analysis. 2nd edition. Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell.

Call deadline:
If you are interested in participating, please send a provisional title or topic proposal by 8 October. Abstracts of 400 words maximum are due by 15 November 2018, if the theme session is accepted.

The Language of Recruiting: Caught between Persuading and Gatekeeping

03 Jun 2019 – 05 Jun-2019
Leuven, Belgium

Recruitment in professional contexts occurs through many different communicative genres, ranging from job ads (e.g. Verwaeren et al., 2017) over CV’s and cover letters (e.g. Waung et al., 2017) to job interviews (e.g. Timming, 2017) and assessments. Focusing on the perspective of the recruiter, an interesting tension is seen in these genres between the need to persuade well-suited candidates to apply for the vacant position and the need for gatekeeping, viz. the need to prohibit unsuited candidates access to the position and the firm.

Although the job ad can be seen as typically tailored to persuading (see e.g. van Meurs et al. 2015) and job interviews are primarily known for their gatekeeping function (Kerekes 2007), both genres nevertheless portray a notable tension between the two communicative goals. As previous research reveals, this tension can be uncovered through quantitative and qualitative analysis of the language variants and varieties used in these genres. For instance, as van Meurs (2010) and Zenner et al. (2013) discuss, gatekeeping can occur in job ads through the use of English as language of communication, restricting the position to applicants who master the language. Additionally, as e.g. Van de Mieroop & Schnurr (2018) and Roberts & Sarangin (1999) discuss, job interviews are hybrid activity types, where more institutionally oriented discourse types (foregrounding the exchange of information) and more relational discourse types (foregrounding personal information) occur. Both discourse types reveal a tension between gatekeeping (only candidates that fit in both in terms of skills and in terms of personality will be considered) and persuading (candidate’s that actually fit in need to be convinced that the firm is a place they want to work).

Theme session organizers:

Eline Zenner (KU Leuven) and Frank van Meurs (Radboud University Nijmegen)

References:

Kerekes, J. A. 2007. The co-construction of a gatekeeping encounter: An inventory of verbal actions. Journal of Pragmatics 29: 1942-1973.
Roberts, C., Sarangi, S. 1999. Hybridity in gatekeeping discourse: issues of practical relevance for the researcher. In: Sarangi, S., Roberts, C. (Eds.), Talk, Work and Institutional Order: Discourse in Medical, Mediation and Management Settings. Berlin/New York. Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 473–503.
Timming, A. R. 2017. The effect of foreign accent on employability: A study of the aural dimensions of aesthetic labour in customer-facing and non-customer-facing jobs. Work, Employment and Society, 31(3), 409-428.
Van de Mieroop, D. & S. Schnurr. 2018. Candidates’ humour and the construction of co-membership in job interviews. Language & Communication 61, 35-45.
van Meurs, F., H. Korzilius & L. Bergevoet. 2015. English words and phrases in Dutch job advertisements: Do they function as peripheral persuasion cues? Dutch Journal of Applied Linguistics 4(1): 21-38.
van Meurs, F. 2010. English in job advertisements in the Netherlands: Reasons, use and effects. Nijmegen: LOT.
Verwaeren, B., Van Hoye, G., & Baeten, X. 2017. Getting bang for your buck: The specificity of compensation and benefits information in job advertisements. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 28(19), 2811-2830.
Waung, M., McAuslan, P., DiMambro, J. M., & Mięgoć, N. 2017. Impression management use in resumes and cover letters. Journal of Business and Psychology, 32(6), 727-746.
Zenner, E., D. Speelman & D. Geeraerts. 2013. Macro and micro perspectives on the distribution of English in Dutch: A quantitative usage-based analysis of job ads. Linguistics 51(5): 1019-1064.

Call for Papers:

This theme session aims to contribute to this line of research that studies the mechanisms for persuading and gatekeeping in the language of recruitment. Contributions ideally pay specific attention to the tension between the two communicative goals described above (see ”Session Description”).

Timeline:

– Submission of abstracts (400 words) to theme session organizers by 24 September
– Notification of acceptance from theme session organizers by 30 September
– Submission of theme session proposal by theme session organizers on 30 September
– If the theme session is accepted: submission of individual abstracts by presenters by 15 November

Failing Identities: Identification and Resistance

20-21 September 2018
University of Liège, Belgium

Dear colleagues,

Our research unit ‘Langues et Lettres’ proudly presents the international conference on “Failing Identities: Identification and Resistance”, which will take place in Liège 20-21 September 2018. The conference programme can be viewed at https://failingidentities2018.wordpress.com/conference-programme/.

Registration for the conference is still open at https://failingidentities2018.wordpress.com/registration/, and will close 12
September 2018.
More information is available at the conference website at https://failingidentities2018.wordpress.com/.

Looking forward to seeing you there,
On behalf on the organizing committee,
An Van linden

Brussels Conference in Generative Linguistics

10-Dec-2018 – 11-Dec-2018, Brussels, Belgium

CRISSP is proud to present the eleventh installment of the Brussels Conference on Generative Linguistics (BCGL), devoted to the syntax and semantics of aspect.

We are pleased to announce that the following invited speakers have agreed to give a talk at BCGL 11:

Berit Gehrke (Humboldt Universität, Berlin)
Roumyana Pancheva (University of Southern California)
Gillian Ramchand (The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø)

Workshop Description:

The properties and representations of aspect have been studied extensively from both syntactic and semantic perspectives, as well as their interfaces. As for the syntax, a central question is how aspectual notions such as telicity, duration, cause and change are represented in syntax. Approaches range from the minimalist structure of Erteschik-shir & Rapoport (2005), to a more fine-grained functional structure as proposed by Ramchand (2008), or with a clear differentiation between outer (external, presentational) and inner (internal, Aktionsart) aspect, as proposed by Travis (2010). The semantics of aspect has also been widely studied. As in the syntax, a distinction is often made between outer and inner aspect, with tense scoping over grammatical (outer) aspect, and grammatical aspect scoping over aspectual class (inner aspect). This layered structure makes it possible to investigate (cross-linguistic variation in) the interaction between the lexical features of the verb, the semantics of the predicate-argument structure, the expression of progressive and perfective/imperfective aspect, and other elements in the sentence which can carry aspectual information (e.g. certain adverbs/adverbial phrases, negation). The aim of this workshop is to explore these and related issues.

2nd Call for Papers:

The submission deadline for abstracts is September 15, 2018.

Abstract Guidelines:

Abstracts should not exceed two pages, including data, references and diagrams. Abstracts should be typed in at least 11-point font, with one-inch margins (letter-size; 8½ inch by 11 inch or A4) and a maximum of 50 lines of text per page. Abstracts must be anonymous and submissions are limited to 2 per author, at least one of which is co-authored. Only electronic submissions will be accepted.

Please submit your abstract using the EasyChair link for BCGL11: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=bcgl11

Web Site: http://www.crissp.be/bcgl-11-first-call-for-papers/

CFP: Vocab@Leuven

The third Vocab@ conference will be hosted by KU Leuven from 1 to 3 July 2019.

Previous Vocab@ conferences were held at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo in 2016 and Victoria University Wellington in 2013.

The Vocab@Leuven conference aims to bring together researchers from different disciplines who investigate the learning, processing, teaching, and testing of second/foreign language vocabulary.

Confirmed plenary speakers:

Batia Laufer (University of Haifa)
Marc Brysbaert (Ghent University)

Organizing committee:

Elke Peters
Paul Pauwels
Maribel Montero Perez
Eva Puimège
Ann-Sophie Noreillie
Thao Duong

We will invite abstracts for paper and poster presentations about any topic related to second/foreign language vocabulary:

Strands:

– vocabulary teaching (classroom-based research, technology-based, formal/informal learning, …)
– vocabulary assessment
– vocabulary and the skills of reading, listening, TV viewing, writing and speaking
– formulaic language
– corpus approaches to vocabulary
– psycholinguistic approaches to vocabulary
– neurolinguistic approaches to vocabulary
– vocabulary for specialized use (academic, business, technical, etc.)
– vocabulary resources (word lists, dictionaries, …)
– vocabulary and genre/register

Types of presentations will include:
– individual paper (20 + 10 minutes)
– poster

Submission deadline will be: December 15, 2018

Website : https://vocabatleuven.wordpress.com

10th Discourse, Communication and the Enterprise Conference

03-Jun-2019 – 05-Jun-2019, Leuven, Belgium

The DICOEN conference brings together researchers, practitioners and professionals who are interested in discourse and communication in organizational settings. These settings are broadly defined, self-evidently including prototypical businesses and for-profit organizations, but also non-profit organizations, such as legal, governmental and healthcare settings.

Call for Papers:

Research addressing discourse, communication and the role of language in a wide variety of organizational contexts is typically scattered across a range of disciplines. Remaining within the confines of the various scholarly traditions has two major drawbacks. Firstly, it prevents the cross-fertilization of ideas, and prevents research from gaining full momentum. Secondly, it prevents the scholarly developments and research findings to make their way into teaching and training, whether it concerns communication in the professions, business communication or management curricula. Therefore, DICOEN 10 offers an interdisciplinary forum for all those interested in the language-enterprise interface, bringing together a broad range of academic disciplines (including, but not limited to organizational and management studies, discourse analysis, conversation analysis, pragmatics, cognitive linguistics, forensic linguistics, teacher education, communication studies, social psychology, discursive psychology, anthropology), focusing on discourse and communication in a broad range of profit and non-profit organizations.

General Submission Guidelines:

The submission of proposals opens on 1 September 2018. We welcome the submission of proposals for panels and/or individual presentations.
Deadline call for panel proposals: 1 October 2018
Deadline call for papers: 15 November 2018

Panels:

We invite proposals for panels that address a common theme, method or theoretical topic and that bring together at least 3 individual papers. Panel proposals should be no longer than 800 words and should include:

– An overall description explaining the panel’s theme and objectives;
– A list of potential speakers and, if possible, provisional titles of their presentations.

Abstracts for individual papers in the panel (of up to 400 words each) will have to be submitted separately.

Individual paper presentations:

We invite proposals for individual paper presentations of up to 400 words (including references). All panel contributions have to be submitted as individual paper presentations as well, with an indication of the intended panel in which the paper will be presented. The time allotted to oral presentations will be 20 mins + 10 mins for questions and discussion.

The conference policy is ”one main oral presentation per author”. One may at the same time also be a panel organizer or a co-author of other oral presentations. It is important to note that the first author of each presentation always has to be (co-)presenting and thus has to be registered in order for the presentation to be included in the conference program.

Please see: https://www.arts.kuleuven.be/ling/dicoen2019/call