Sheffield Linguistics Big Data meets Big Theory symposium 2018

The Sheffield Linguistics Big Data meets Big Theory symposium will take place on 26-27 April, 2018. This is coordinated with our sister conference, the fifth annual meeting of the ShefLing Postgraduate conference, on 25 April. 

Call for Papers

Call for Papers

Abstracts are invited for 20-minute presentations (followed by 10 minutes of discussion) and posters on research that uses 'big data' to investigate fundamental questions in Phonetics, Phonology, Morphology, Syntax, Semantics, Psycholinguistics, Sociolinguistics, or Historical Linguistics. 'Big data' is understood to be defined differently across linguistic subfields, and includes, but is not limited to: typological analysis, corpus research, computational modeling, meta-analysis, and a range of quantitative or qualitative experimental methods.

Abstracts must not exceed 1 page in length, with 2.5 cm margins on all sides, single spacing, and 12pt font. This excludes examples, figures, and references, which should appear on a second page.

Abstracts must be anonymous, and submission is limited to one single-authored and one co-authored abstract per author, or two co-authored abstracts.

Plenary Speakers

  • Prof Sharon Goldwater (University of Edinburgh)
  • Dr Florent Perek (University of Birmingham)

Abstract Submission

  • Deadline for submission: 15 February, 2018 (5pm GMT)
  • Notification of acceptance: Early- to Mid-March, 2018
  • Submit an Abstract

Workshop Contact: Dr Robyn Orfitelli (


Sheffield Linguistics Symposium: Big Data meets Big Theory

Day 1 - 26th April, 2018     

Location: Humanities Research Institute conference room

9:00 - 9:45     Registration

9:45 - 10:00     Opening remarks

First session

10:00 - 10:30     Tom Rankin (WU Vienna), Elaine Lopez (Newcastle), and Lauren Ackerman (Newcastle)

                            Subject realisation in L2 English: a corpus study of expletive it and there in three learner groups

10:30 - 11:00     Rebecca Woods (University of Huddersfield)

                            Non-adult questions in English child language corpora

11:00 - 11:30     Coffee break

11:30 - 12:30     Plenary talk: Sharon Goldwater (University of Edinburgh)

12:30 - 14:00     Lunch break

Second session

14:00 - 14:30     William Johnson (Ohio State University)

                            Variable-based Neighbor Clustering refines understanding of variation in Old French Negation

14:30 - 15:00     Mark Faulkner (Trinity College Dublin)

                            ‘Bigger’ Data Approaches to the Problem of ‘Standard Old English’

15:00 - 15:30     Coffee break

Third session

15:30 - 16:00     Robyn Orfitelli (University of Sheffield)

                            Third factor effects in language acquisition: The telegraphic stage

16:00 - 16:30     Emilia Molimpakis (University College London)

                            Informing linguistic theory through large-scale web-based studies: the case of preposition-stranding under sluicing in Modern Greek

16:30 - 17:00     Sara Benduhaish (University of Leeds)

                            The location of interpretable and uninterpretable gender values in the DP: A lexical decomposition approach

Day 2 - 27th April, 2018

Location: Arts Tower Lecture Theatre 9

First session

10:00 - 10:30     Seth Mehl (University of Sheffield)

                            Linguistic DNA

10:30 - 11:00     Sophie Whittle (University of Sheffield)

                            The development of the verb 'promise' and its connection to theories of language change

11:00 - 11:30     Coffee break

11:30 - 12:30     Plenary talk: Florent Perek (University of Birmingham)

12:30 - 14:00     Lunch break

Second session

14:00 - 14:30     James White (UCL), Mário Coelho Da Silva (UNICAMP), and Andrew Nevins (UCL)

                            Revisiting Maxakalí nasal harmony: Evidence from loanwords and modeling

14:30 - 15:00     Christopher Montgomery (University of Sheffield)

                            Evaluating S(c)illy Voices: The effects of salience, stereotypes, and co-present language variables on real-time reactions to regional speech

15:00 - 15:30     Coffee break

Third session

15:30 - 16:00     Valerie Hobbs (University of Sheffield)

                            Men Talking to Men: Gender in Christian Sermons

16:00 - 16:30     Reem Fattani (University of Sheffield)

                            Profiling lexical bundles in academic writing materials on an EAP course

16:30 - 17:00     Omar Alomoush

                            English in the linguistic landscape of a northern Jordanian city: visual monolingual and multilingual practices carried out on shopfronts


Online registration for the Big Data meets Big Theory Symposium has now closed. If you wish to attend, you may register on the first day of the conference from 9:00-9:45. Full registration is £30, student registration is £0, and the conference dinner is £15. 

Traveling and Accommodation

How to travel to and within Sheffield.  

Where to stay in Sheffield, including on- and off-campus accommodation. 

What to see and do while you are in Sheffield.