Saint-Louis University - Bruxelles

GERM1354 - English: Corpus-assisted discourse studies


Credits : 5

Lecturer :
Mode of delivery :
Face-to-face , second term, 30 hours of theory.

Timetable :
Second term
Wednesday from 13:30 to 15:30 at 119 Marais 2300

Language of instruction :

Learning outcomes :
By the end of the course, the student will be able to :
- situate corpus-assisted discourse studies (CADS) within the wider domain of computer-assisted text analysis and vis-à-vis other methods and disciplines such as text mining, sentiment analysis, critical discourse analysis (CDA), culturomics, and corpus linguistics ;
- identify the main strengths and weaknesses of the aforementioned methods and disciplines ;
- read, describe and critically review research articles pertaining to the fields of discourse analysis, critical discourse analysis and corpus-assisted discourse analysis ;
- master some basic principles of quantitative reasoning and evidence-based research ;
- report quantitative data according to the generally-accepted standards ;
- use ready-made corpora and build their own DIY corpora ;
- undertake concordance analyses, collocation/collocation network analyses, dispersion/distribution analyses and keyword analyses;
- extract keywords/N-grams/key N-grams for the purpose of plagiarism detection and idiolect identification ;
- develop their own research question and make an informed choice of tools, methods and theoretical concepts to serve their study ;
- report and discuss (in writing and orally) their research question, methods, and results ;
- identify the main limitations of their research project

Prerequisites :
For the Bachelor in Modern Languages and Letters: German, Dutch and English :

Co-requisites :

Course contents :
The course will be split between theoretical sessions, hands-on sessions, and flipped classroom activities.
The course will be divided into 8 main chapters :
Chapter 1 : setting the scene (situating CADS within the wider domain of computer-assisted text analysis)
Chapter 2 : collocations
Chapter 3 : frequency and dispersion
Chapter 4 : concordances
Chapter 5 : N-Grams and plagiarism detection
Chapter 6 : keywords
Chapter 7 : Key N-Grams
Chapter 8 : Wrapping things up

Planned learning activities and teaching methods :
Lectures, hands-on sessions, flipped classrooms, case-studies and group activities, discussions, interactive quizzes.

Assessment methods and criteria :
Formative assessment:
The various activities and exercises organised during the class sessions should make it possible to evaluate the students' progress.

Certificate-based assessment:
The course will be evaluated on the basis of the following activities :
Class-session activities: 30% (The students will be informed as to which activities count towards the 30%)
Research project and presentation (Individual term paper): 70%

Recommended or required reading :
Slides, exercises, scientific articles available on course website.
Angier, N. 2007. The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science. New York: First Mariner.
Baker, P. 2006. Using Corpora in Discourse Analysis. London: Continuum.
Brezina, V. 2018. Statistics in Corpus Linguistics: A practical Guide. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
McEnery, T. Xiao, R. and Yukio, T. 2006. Corpus-based Language Studies: An Advanced Resource Book. New York: Routledge.
Vincent, A. 2020. The Religious Rhetoric of U.S. Presidential Candidates: A Corpus Linguistics Approach to the Rhetorical God Gap. New York: Routledge.