CREL runs international conferences and regular events through three main knowledge-exchange and training clusters: the Narrative Series, Linguistics Discussions and the Science Practice Hub - ReproducibiliTea Journal Club and Workshops on Quantitative Analyses

9 July 2021 - CREL-Southampton-Penn State Public Lecture

Linguistic competence and how to measure it​ | Professor Lydia White, McGill University
Friday 9th July 2021

This talk is organised by the Centre for Research and Enterprise in Language and the Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR), University of Southampton, with the collaboration of the Center for Language Science (CLS), Pennsylvania State University (USA).

A distinction between competence and performance (or, more recently, representation and processing) has been adopted, implicitly or explicitly, in many different domains of language acquisition, particularly in research coming from the generative linguistic perspective. At the same time, there are researchers who do not believe in such a distinction. In this talk, I will consider what is meant by linguistic competence and argue for the continuing usefulness of such a concept, as well as discussing different methodologies that are used to assess it.

About the speaker
Professor Lydia White is a linguist and educator in the area of second language acquisition (SLA). She is James McGill Professor Emeritus of Linguistics. Lydia received her BA in Moral Sciences and Psychology from Cambridge University in 1969 and PhD in linguistics from McGill University in 1980. In 2010 she was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in the Academy of Arts and Humanities. In 2012, she received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. She currently serves on the editorial boards of the journals Language Acquisition, Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, and Second Language Research.

16 June 2021 - CREL Open Research Evening, Language & Healthy Ageing

Welcome and reflections on activities and events

Professor Christopher Bailey, Director of Research & Enterprise, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Professor Mark O’Thomas, Pro Vice-Chancellor Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Professor Derek Moore, Pro Vice-Chancellor Faculty of Education, Health and Human Sciences
CREL & Institute for Lifecourse Development (ILD) initiatives’ leads (M. Arche, R. Pacella, J. Baillie, A. Palacios, A. Samara, N. Saunders, K. Stenke)

Guest speaker

University of Greenwich Alumna Dr Caroline Beese, Scientific Researcher at Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
How Language-Specific are the Declines in Language Functioning in Healthy Ageing?

Dr Caroline Beese is a Scientific Researcher at Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences. She has been working on the connection between syntax and neurocognitive factors such as aging and memory for several years, since her undergraduate dissertation in 2012 to the present. She obtained her undergraduate degree in International Studies: Language and Culture from the University of Greenwich. The linguistics modules were her ‘options’ and became her life. She completed an MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at Radboud University in The Netherlands, and PhD from Max Planck Institute at the Department of Neuropsychology. She has recently accepted a new position at the University of Vienna.

It was put into question whether age-related declines in domain-general cognitive functions like verbal working memory (vWM) or inhibitory control have an effect on language processing. First, we examined which language processes are affected later in life when vWM capacity is typically limited. In comparison to younger adults, we found that older adults focused more on what is said (i.e., semantics) rather than how it is said (i.e., syntax) to cope with vWM limitations. We then examined how this wealth of information in sentences is successfully encoded into vWM. To this end, we compared encoding-related electrophysiological activity between sentences that were later remembered and those that were later not remembered by younger, middle-aged and older adults. Age-related declines in encoding success were found related to age differences in the electrophysiological network underlying inhibitory control. We followed this up by examining older adults’ inhibitory functions with a picture-word interference (PWI) task combined with eye tracking. Here pre-activated semantically related but irrelevant words needed to be inhibited in order to subsequently name a picture. Though generally slower and less accurate, older adults were able to speed up picture naming through stronger pre-activation, possibly counteracting inhibitory deficits. Overall, the findings of these studies suggest that age-related declines in domain-general cognitive functions differentially affect some but not all language functions.

27 May 2021 - CREL-ILD Statistics Workshop | Introduction to Bayesian Thinking

Dr Ana Paula Palacios, Senior Lecturer in Statistics

Abstract: Increasingly, researchers from different areas are incorporating more quantitative data into their research. Bayesian methods in particular are becoming more popular and widely used. However, in language research the quantitative analysis has been dominated by frequentist methods for a long time. The goal of this workshop is to introduce the audience to the alternative approach for data analysis, that is the Bayesian framework.  We will present an informal introduction to the foundational ideas of the Bayesian approach and highlight some of the differences with the frequentist methods. By the use of illustrative examples we will demonstrate some of its advantages, which include a more intuitive interpretation, quantification of uncertainty, and its ability to remain useful when sample sizes are small.

About the speaker: Dr Ana Paula Palacios is a Senior Lecturer in Statistics, in the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences. Dr Palacios's primary research interest is in applied statistics, in particular stochastic processes and Bayesian statistics. Her research includes applications to a variety of real-world problems including bacterial growth, software reliability, criminology and degradation data, among others.

14 May 2021 - CREL-ILD ReproducibiliTEA Journal Club | Does qualitative research seek reproducible findings?

Dr Oliver Robinson, Associate Professor of Psychology

Our next and final ReproducibiliTEA session for the academic year will be led by Dr Oliver Robinson, Associate Professor of Psychology, School of Human Sciences. Dr Oliver Robinson will lead a session entitled “Does qualitative research seek reproducible findings?", followed by discussion on reproducibility issues pertaining to qualitative methods of research.

Link to article

12 May - CREL Narratives Webinar | Play texts and poetry pamphlets: stories of print publication in the 17th, 20th and 21st centuries

Join our next Narratives seminar with Ian Heames (Face Press) and Dr Jennifer Young (University of Greenwich) for a panel exploring the narratives embedded in print history – in the work of a little-known Early Modern publisher of Shakespeare, and in the practices of independent poetry presses in the UK and US.

Turning to the past to re-imagine the canonical playwright’s work within a network of print-based communities (Young), and considering what the late twentieth century’s ‘mimeograph revolution’ can teach today’s DIY publishers (Heames), these papers will invite us to consider the stories that material texts can tell and their value in the present.

Dr Jennifer Young, ‘Shakespeare for the ‘Triers’: Richard Hawkins and Q2 Othello at the Serjeants’ Inn’

Abstract: In 1630 the Stationer Richard Hawkins began selling an edition of Shakespeare’s Othello from ‘his shoppe in Chancery-Lane, neere Sergeants-Inne’. This edition, identified by modern scholars as Q2, is remarkable as the first edition to fully conflate existent quarto and folio texts of a Shakespeare play. Scholars have remarked on the process that brought Q2 into being—but the question of why a 17th century publisher/bookseller would invest the time and money to create such an edition remains to be considered. This paper decentres the author to reconsider Q2’s place amongst the people and ideas of the area in which it was published and sold: the Serjeants’ Inn in the heart of the Inns of Court area of London. The paper examines how Hawkins fashioned the books sold in his shop to entice this local readership. Literary and textual evidence from the Quarto is then reconsidered in the light of this new readership, providing new insights into the construction of this unique quarto and its place in modern editorial practice. This paper also highlights the extent to which individual members of the book trade in the early 17th century engaged with local readerships and the value of second-plus editions to that market.

Biography: Jennifer Young is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern English Literature at the University of Greenwich. She is co-author of Shakespeare in London (Arden Shakespeare 2015). Her research focuses on the printers and publishers of Shakespeare’s earliest editions and she is currently working on a monograph exploring the relationship between early modern members of the book trade and Shakespeare. This summer an article inspired by the research in this paper will appear in the Journal of Early Modern Literary Culture.

Ian Heames (Face Press), ‘Some mimeo precedents for contemporary small press poetry publishing’

Abstract: This talk will offer a brief overview of some of the varied independent publishing efforts sometimes collectively styled as the 'mimeo revolution' (circa 1960-80). It will consider how these publishing practices might have shaped the reading and writing of texts originally produced and circulated in such low-key DIY contexts, and how the legacy of these networks of reception and production continues to inform certain cultures of approach to the idea of 'publication', and of the poet's own mooted sense of their own first (or only) audience in 'print'. A couple of case studies of important historical publications (1960s) will be offered, along with some thoughts on what these traditions could offer to poets writing and sharing new work today.

Biography: Ian Heames is the founder of Face Press,, which has published work by poets such as Jeff Keen, J. H. Prynne, and Tom Raworth, as well as his own compositions. He also edits the Earthbound Poetry Series (2020-), the London Review of Bookshop Sampler series (2018-) and the poetry magazine No Prizes, (2012-). He is currently completing a doctoral dissertation on the US poet Stephen Rodefer.

28 April 2021 - CREL Narratives Webinar | Vampire Migration: Searching for Dracula in Stephen King’s Salem's Lot

Connor Long-Johnson, Postgraduate Student, School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Dracula has been inescapable since its publication in 1897. The Count still looms large over popular culture in the twenty-first century and his brethren have spread to all forms of media, with novels and films such as Twilight, The Strain and Buffy the Vampire Slayer finding huge success. In 1975, horror author Stephen King helped to bring the undead from the antiquity of Eastern Europe to the modern suburbs of American New England with Salem’s Lot. The influence of Stoker’s novel is evident throughout King’s second published novel as is Salem’s Lot’s role in bringing the vampire mythos into the modern era. Through comparing Stoker’s work with King’s, we can discover how the latter has not only borrowed from Stoker, but also evolved the figure of the vampire, making it more fit for purpose in the late-twentieth century and beyond.

Connor Long-Johnson completed his English BA and MA English: Literary London at University of Greenwich. He is currently a postgraduate in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, also at the University of Greenwich, researching his PhD thesis on American novelist Stephen King and the gothic tradition. Connor Long Johnson published his short story, ‘Completion’ in The Hollow Vol 6 (Pompona Beach, FL: Breaking Rules Publishing, 2020) and won the award for best debut conference presentation at Children of the Night: International Dracula Congress, hosted by Transilvania University of Brașov, Romania and Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Poland in April 2021.

26 March 2021 - CREL-ILD ReproducilibiTea Journal Club | Low replicability can support robust and efficient science

Dr. Karolina Janacsek, Associate Professor in Human Sciences

This session will be led by Dr. Karolina Janacsek. Karolina is an Associate Professor in Human Sciences with expertise in the psychological and neural basis of procedural memory, and more broadly, Experimental and Clinical Neuroscience. Karolina will discuss a recent paper by Lewandowsky and Oberauer which suggests, based on modelling data, that publication of potentially nonreplicable single studies could help minimize cost (waste of resources) and support efficient science.

Link to article

24 March 2021 - CREL Linguistics Webinar |  Attitudes to accent in Britain: Variation in strength of bias by context

Professor Devyani Sharma & Dr Yang Ye

Abstract: Accent is one of the most salient signals of social background in Britain, yet its role in unequal professional outcomes remains under-examined, with no large-scale survey of British attitudes using audio stimuli. We present results from a set of recent studies ( attitudes to accent labels, attitudes to accented voices, attitudes among legal professionals, and perceived opportunities for success in relation to different professional sectors. Together the studies show continuing bias in Britain, particularly against working-class accents, but also incremental attenuation of bias by context. Drawing on psychological and sociolinguistic models, we interpret this not as a reduction of biased attitudes themselves but rather an effect of context on the extent to which individuals permit attitudes to influence their behavioural outcomes.

Professor Devyani Sharma (Queen Mary University of London)  is a world renowned expert in Sociolinguistics. Her research focuses on how languages and dialects vary, and what that variation can tell us about cognitive and social systems.

Dr Yang Ye is a lecturer in Psychology at the University of Greenwich. His research focuses on topics in the area of social psychology such as automatic and implicit forms of attitudes, stereotypes and bias.

10 March 2021 - CREL Linguistics Webinar |  Maths & Linguistics Puzzles

Tony Mann & Katie Steckles

Tony Mann, University of Greenwich - ‘What is the point of this puzzle?’

Mathematical puzzles have been a source of fascination to many over the centuries. But what is the point of a puzzle? Is it just about an elegant piece of mathematics, or to find out what would happen in a real-world situation, or is it really about something else entirely? Does the enjoyment come from solving, or from understanding the solution? This informal talk will look at examples, simple and difficult, abstract or “real-world”, going back to the first printed mathematics book in English (1536) and up to puzzles presented to the public during lockdown in 2020.

Tony is Director of the Greenwich Maths Centre. His research interests lie in the history of mathematics with particular interest in the uses of mathematics in fiction. He was President of the British Society for the History of Mathematics from 2009 to 2011 and editor for the Newsletter of the London Mathematical Society from 2007 to 2017.

Katie Steckles -  ‘Logic puzzles: ambiguity and language’

Many popular recreational maths puzzles involve logic - liars and truth-tellers, known and unknown facts and deduction from given statements. However, these types of puzzles can offer opportunities for ambiguity, especially given the precise nature of mathematical thinking and the frustratingly inexact English language. I’ve collected some examples of such puzzles and the traps you can fall into while writing them, and offer some general advice to improve wording and close any logical loopholes.

Katie studied maths at the University of Manchester, completing a PhD in 2011 and has since worked in public engagement with mathematics — giving talks and workshops, writing about maths, delivering events at science festivals, talking about maths on YouTube, TV and radio.

05 March 2021 - CREL Linguistics Webinar | What can we learn from cross-syndrome comparisons? Grammar comprehension in children with ASD, Developmental Language Disorder and Williams syndrome

Speaker: Dr Alexandra Perovic, Associate Professor in Linguistics, UCL

Alexandra is an expert on the development of different aspects of language in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down syndrome, Williams syndrome and Specific Language Impairment, in English and cross-linguistically. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Greenwich, did a PhD in Linguistics at UCL and later on obtained a postdoctoral position at the department of Brain and Cognitive Science of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Alexandra teaches clinical linguistics on the MSc Speech and Language Sciences, a professional degree leading to a qualification in speech and language therapy at UCL.

Abstract: Cross-syndrome comparisons between populations that share some general characteristics such as language or intellectual impairments are particularly valuable in revealing the extent to which these characteristics may affect the course of language acquisition. In this talk, I will present experimental studies investigating linguistic constraints governing the comprehension of personal vs. reflexive pronouns (‘principles of binding’), in children with three distinct developmental disorders: Williams syndrome (WS), known for reasonably spared grammar but significant intellectual limitations, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), known for pragmatic, as opposed to grammatical deficits, in the presence of heterogeneous language and cognitive abilities, and DLD, known for primarily grammatical deficits. The results will reveal important differences in the linguistic profiles of these populations, which cannot be attributed to the presence of cognitive impairments or an overall language delay.

05 March 2021 – CREL-ILD ReproducilibiTea Journal Club Replication in Second Language Research

The session will be led by Luigi Palumbo, PhD student co-supervised by Dr Maria Arche. Luigi will summarize and discuss a paper by Emma Marsden and colleagues that makes interesting reflections on the replication crisis and how it affects second language acquisition research.

Link to article

03 March 2021 -  CREL Narratives Webinar | Poetry, Narratives & Creative Translation

Four global experts explore the issues at stake in the developing narratives of poetry in translation. Leo Boix, Edward Doegar, Jèssica Pujol Duran, Richard Parker

10 February 2021 - CREL Narratives Webinar | Gender Politics in Writing Shame: an evening with Kaye Mitchell & Nuar Alsadir

Senior academic and feminist scholar, Dr. Kaye Mitchell, will be discussing her book Writing Shame: Contemporary Literature, Gender and Negative Affect (EUP, 2020) in conversation with poet and psychoanalyst, Nuar Alsadir, author of (among other works) Fourth Person Singular (Liverpool University Press, 2017) and Dr. Emily Critchley, poet and senior lecturer. This seminar will take shame as its object of investigation – a condition at once private and social, inhibiting as well as productive, ‘narrative’ as well as ‘disjunctive’ - and seek to understand ‘the peculiar, ineluctable, persistent entanglement of femininity and shame’ (Mitchell).

09 December 2020 - CREL Linguistics Webinar | What the linguistics of “if” could teach social psychology, health psychology, and the study of rationality.

Speaker: Dr Peter Collins, Lecturer in Psychology, School of Human Sciences

Presentation Slides

Abstract: We are famously prone to framing effects: we tend, for example, to make difference choices when a treatment is described in terms of lives saved rather than lives lost. On the dominant view, these effects are irrational but effective ways to persuade, but this view largely neglects language. I argue that, to understand or predict such effects, we should investigate their linguistic content. I focus on the goal-framing effect: the alleged persuasive difference between messages such as “If you give up smoking, you’ll reduce your risk of lung cancer” and “If you don’t… you won’t”. I will show how a large literature in social and health psychology neglects the meaning of “if”, contributing to inconsistent findings, and will sketch the basis of an alternative account.

25 November 2020 - CREL Linguistics Webinar | How (and why) to research multilingually? Challenges and opportunities.

Speaker: Dr Erika Kalocsanyiova, Research Fellow, Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences

Presentation Slides

Abstract: An important part of mainstream research is currently being conducted in more than one language, especially where marginalised and disadvantaged communities are concerned. The role and impact of interpreters and translators on knowledge generation, as well as issues of access, power, and language bias, require an active and careful consideration from planning, through implementation to dissemination of research findings.

In this talk, I will introduce the concept of "researching multilingually" (Holmes et al. 2013) as an emerging dimension of research training and practice. Drawing on examples from a linguistic ethnographic research conducted with refugees in Luxembourg, I will discuss ways of engaging with multilingual research data and outputs.

The focus will be on two common aspects of qualitative research: interviewing and transcription. Through the microanalysis of an interpreter-mediated research interview, I will first show how to tackle some of the complexities of cross-language interviewing and meaning construction. The second part of the talk will focus on the processes and politics of multilingual transcription. I will explore transcripts that capture mixed language practices and/or the voices of refugees who are striving to be themselves in a foreign language to shed light on the analytical and ethical consequences of transcription decisions.

18 November 2020 -  CREL-ILD Quantitative Analyses Workshop

Frequentist statistical analysis: foundational ideas and common mistakes

Speaker: Dr Malgorzata Wojtys, University of Plymouth

Presentation Slides

Abstract: Adherence to standards of rigor and transparency when performing statistical analyses in linguistic research is crucial in obtaining reliable and trustworthy results. In recent years, many systematic reviews pointed out a number of problems in this area such as experiments not being reproducible, statistical assumptions not being carefully checked or misinterpreting results of statistical procedures and drawing unjustifiable conclusions. In this talk, we focus on fundamental ideas underlying some of the most popular frequentist statistical methods used in linguistic research with an aim to improve and deepen participants' understanding of those methods. We will review concepts related to hypothesis testing such as the significance level, the p-value, the power, Type I and Type II errors with a focus on their meaning and interpretation. Statistical assumptions underlying hypothesis testing will be discussed and illustrated using examples. The most common mistakes and misconceptions will be emphasized. Further examples involving analysis of variance (ANOVA) and linear mixed models will be presented.

11 November 2020 - CREL Narratives Webinar | Jumping the Creative Fence? From Lit. Crit. to Historical Murder Mysteries

Speaker: Professor David Fairer, University of Leeds

Abstract: After more than four decades working in the field of criticism and scholarship, I recently jumped to the other side of the fence to begin writing historical murder mysteries set in the early eighteenth century - the period I had taught for so long. After writing critical studies of many authors, how big a leap was this move into my own fiction? Making the break into the "creative" has brought several challenges to the fore: how to build a narrative; how to embody and animate the characters; how to enter a historical period and bring it alive for the reader; how in dialogue to avoid writing a kind of 'parody' language; how to convey the historical context to the reader . . .

30 September 2020 - CREL Narratives Webinar | Arts-based Research and a Novel about Celtic London

Speaker: Professor Susan Rowland, Pacifica Graduate Institute, California

Presentation Slides

19 May 2020 - CREL Linguistics Webinar | Defining the Field: Category Problems in Research. The example of the Trade and Professional Press 1845-1900.

Speaker: Professor Andrew King, Professor of English Literature and Literary Studies

Abstract: Whenever we do research we need to be clear about our research questions. To do that also means being clear about our analytic and descriptive categories. This paper considers those problems when faced with mapping a previously uncharted area of media and literary history, the Victorian trade and professional press, and also why that area remains unknown when all readers of this abstract will have been heavily influenced by such periodicals either directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously, whether the THE, the TLS, the Grocer, the Builder, the British Underwriter, the Engineer, the Law Magazine or the Journal for Advances in Manufacturing. What academic discipline would such a study fit into and what methodologies would therefore be used to pursue it? What might be the advantages and disadvantages of each methodology? At a fundamental level, what can be considered a "trade" and "professional" periodical and how is the field to be defined and subdivided into domains of knowledge, morphologies, genetics, development characteristics, environment, function?  Crucially, who is to define these categories and how? Only having considered these pre-questions can we begin to forward our research, thereby gaining greater clarity of the history, practices, limits and possibilities of our own fields and, indeed, of our lives more generally.

20 March 2020 - Opening of the Final Round of the UK Linguistics Olympiad (cancelled due to Covid-19)

The Opening of the Final Round of the UK Linguistics Olympiad 2020 has been postponed; date to be determined.

The UKLO final itself took place at participants' homes, through a sophisticated system that included online invigilators. A squad is now ready to represent the UK when the International Olympiad can be safely celebrated.

The UK Linguistics Olympiad (UKLO) is a competition for any school-age student where participants see data from one of the world's 7,000 languages and need to crack the code. The winners of the regional hubs are coming to Greenwich (20-22 March) to compete for the finalist position and represent the UK at the International Linguistics Olympiad in July 20-24th, at the University of Applied Sciences in Ventspils, Latvia.

At the opening of this occasion we will be joined by Alex Bellos, author of the bestselling popular maths books Alex's Adventures in Numberland and Alex Through the Looking-Glass. He is the Guardian's maths and puzzles blogger, a regular science presenter on BBC Radio 4, a supporter of UKLO and is currently preparing a book on linguistics puzzles. There will also be a round table discussion all about the relations between language and mathematics.

Evening Programme:

18:30: Welcome to the second round of the 10th edition of the UK Linguistics Olympiad (UKLO)

19:00: Curiosities of Counting, Alex Bellos

19:45: Round Table on Maths and Language Analysis with:

  • María J Arche, (Linguist, University of Greenwich)
  • Alex Bellos (Mathematician)
  • Paul Gleister (Mathematician, University of Reading, Former Chair of the Joint Mathematical Council of the UK (JMC)
  • Vera Hohaus (Linguist, The University of Manchester)
  • Richard Hudson (Linguist, UCL and BA Fellow, UKLO chair)
  • Tony Mann (Mathematician, University of Greenwich)
  • Luisa Martí (Linguist, Queen Mary University of London)
  • Neil Saunders (Mathematician, University of Greenwich)
  • Neil Sheldon (Statistician, UKLO Vice-Chair)
  • Graeme Trousdale (Linguist, UKLO Vice-Chair, UKLO trainer)

26 February 2020 - CREL Linguistics Seminar | Syntax and Semantics in Mathematics and Mathematics Education

Speaker: Dr Neil Saunders, Senior Lecturer in Mathematical Sciences

Abstract: This will be an expository talk into what language, syntax and semantics mean to a research mathematician, and will also explore these concepts from an educational point of view. Following Easdown (2006), we will provide a variety of examples of 'enlightening errors' in mathematical/logical reasoning, committed by students and seasoned researchers alike that reveal the perennial tension between syntax and semantics in mathematics. As Easdown argues, a heightened awareness of this tension and its possible resolution in certain scenarios may lead to better student experiences in their mathematical learning, enabling more robust and creative thinking. No prior mathematical knowledge will be required for this talk, which is aimed to promote interdisciplinary discussion and possible research collaborations in the CREL spirit.

22 January 2020 - CREL Linguistics Seminar | What can "semantic" associations tell us about sexism?

SpeakerDr Yang Ye, School of Human Sciences

Abstract: In the last few decades, one of the most significant developments in social psychology is the emergence and popularization of so-called "implicit" measures (e.g., the implicit association test, the evaluative priming task). Such measures provide indirect assessment of psychological constructs such as attitudes and stereotypes, using tasks (e.g., reaction-time based) that seem to be irrelevant to the construct assessed. They are in sharp contrast to traditional self-report measures, which are often criticized to be prone to the influence of respondent's self-presentational motivation. In this talk, Dr Yang Ye will present research on the semantic misattribution procedure and talk about what it is, where it comes from, and how to apply this procedure to the assessment of implicit gender stereotyping at the individual level. He will present empirical evidence on the psychometrics properties and construct validity for this measure.

11 December 2019 - CREL Linguistics Seminar | Miscommunications and the Language of New Media

SpeakersDr Maria KorolkovaProf Stephen Kennedy, School of Design

At this CREL talk, Dr Maria Korolkova and Prof Steve Kennedy from the School of Design will share their research on miscommunications as an emerging field in media theory. They will be discussing their chapters from the forthcoming book Miscommunications: Errors, Mistakes and the Media (edited by Maria Korolkova and Timothy Barker, under contract with Bloomsbury Academics).

The Force of Falsity, Maria Korolkova

What happens when communication breaks down? How can we understand our place in a world that seems dominated by misleading information? Is it the condition for miscommunication, mistakes and errors that is characteristic of digital culture in general? And if mistakes and errors have a certain power, what stands behind it? To address these questions, my talk will be focusing on some philosophical, linguistic and media theoretical inquiries that address contemporary culture as a terrain of miscommunication.

The Guardians of the Possible, Steve Kennedy

In his book Rome: The First Book of Foundations, Michel Serres describes the fervent activity of termites as they construct their improbable towers. Whilst this activity demonstrates a degree of order, Serres also postulates an element of deviance and anomie. The intention of this talk is to argue for an approach that designs complexity back into the system. It will challenge the received wisdom, prevalent in western thought, that reason serves to bring a coherent and universal order to chaos when in effect it imposes certain very specific patterns on a world no longer conducive to such an ordering.

20 November 2019 - CREL Linguistics Seminar | Spelling as statistical learning: evidence from learning experiments with 7-year-old children 

Speaker: Dr Anna Samara, Faculty of Education and Health

Abstract: Learning to spell is a vital yet understudied part of literacy development. It is also a challenging task: In inconsistent orthographies such as English and French, only few words can be spelled accurately by mapping phonemes (sounds) to their highest frequency graphemes (letters); most vowel sounds have, in fact, multiple spellings. In English, for example, /ε/ is most commonly spelled with the letter e (as in bed), but it can also be spelled with the letters ai (said), ea (head), ie (friend), and eo (leopard). How do children learn such inconsistent sound-letter correspondences? In this talk, I will present data from typically developing children that suggest that learners use the same domain-general statistical learning device believed to operate in spoken language (Saffran et al. 1996) to extract some untaught probabilistic spelling 'rules'
. Five learning experiments with artificial lexicons probe precisely what patterns young spellers can learn, and under what circumstances, to shed light on underlying learning mechanisms. Implications for theories of literacy development and broad educational implications are discussed.

24 October 2019 - Discussion Series Conference: Persistent issues in Language Analysis, the individual/stage-level contrast

Venue: Hamilton House, 15 Park Vista, Greenwich, London, SE10 9LZ

9:30-10:20Professor Gennaro Chierchia, Harvard University
How generic are I-Level predicates? Remarks on Magri's 2009 proposal
10:20-11:00Professor Giorgio Magri, French National Centre for Scientific Research
11:00-11:30Coffee break
11:30-12:20Dr María J. Arche, University of Greenwich and
Professor Timothy Stowell, University of California Los Angeles
Dispositional adjectives: characterizing and episodic predication
12:20-13:00Dr Víctor Acedo-Matellán, University of Oxford
13:00-14:00Lunch break
14:00-14:50Dr Matthew Husband, University of Oxford
Decomposing States
14:50-15:30Dr Vera Hohaus, University of Manchester
15:30-16:00Coffee Break
16:00-16:50Professor Molly Diesing, Cornell University
Stage and Individual Level Predicates at the Syntax and Semantics Interface
16:50-17.30Professor Louise Mc Nally, University Pompeu Fabra
17:30-18:00Open Discussion
Where in the grammar does the IL/SL distinction reside?
19:00Dinner at the Old Brewery

22 October 2019 - CPD Workshop 'Exploratory Practice: Teachers and learners working together to understand their classroom lives


  • Inés Kayon de Miller (PUC-Rio, Brazil)
  • Adriana N. Nóbrega (PUC-Rio, Brazil)
  • Isabel Cristina R. Moraes Bezerra (UERJ, Brazil)
  • Assia Slimani-Rolls (Regent's University London)
  • Anna Costantino (University of Greenwich)

This workshop will offer combined 'practical' and 'theoretical' opportunities for understanding the underlying rationale of Exploratory Practice (EP), developed in collaboration with Dick Allwright (Lancaster, UK) and the Rio de Janeiro Exploratory Practice Group. Starting from reflection on their own and their learners' classroom puzzles, participants will be guided to understand how teachers and learners can work jointly for enhanced understandings of what happens in their classroom lives. There will also be opportunities for participants to create and discuss possible adaptations of their regular activities into Potentially Exploitable Pedagogic Activities. Such notions as 'Planning for understanding', 'Quality of classroom life', and 'Sustain ability of EP', among others that characterize the theoretical foundations of the EP framework, will be discussed on the basis of our long-term experience with EP and our involvement with the recent international research project with Brazilian teachers sponsored by the British Council.

3 & 4 October 2019 - Tenselessness 2; Universidade Nova de Lisboa, organised by Centro de Linguística da Universidade de Lisboa (CLUL) & CREL

Keynote Speakers:

  • Professor Martina Wilschko (University of British Columbia & Pompeu Fabra)
  • Professor Judith Tonhauser (The Ohio State University)
  • Professor Antonio Fábregas (University of Tromso)
  • Professor Moiá (University of Lisbon)
  • Dr Anne Mucha, Leibniz-Institute for the German Language, Mannheim

02 October 2019 - CREL Linguistics Seminar | Professor Li Yang Research Paper Talk

Title: Grit Lit in the American South as a Class Counter-Discourse

Since the 1980s, with the rise of Grit Lit, a counter-discourse to the Southern Renaissance, the trend in southern literature has changed dramatically from aristocratic tradition to poor-folk perspective. Poor-white writers Harry Crews, Larry Brown, Dorothy Allison and Lee Smith (to name only a few) tell the stories of their families and class as insiders with unparalleled authenticity. They claim and defend their humble pedigree, articulate their survival- first creed, write about their miserable rural past, redefine poor-white social and cultural identity and dismantle their stereotypic single-dimensioned image. Their works have met with considerable critical and public claim and even become a marketable "brand" (Scott Romine) in the south and even the United States. Obviously as an important genre in southern literature it has brought about the most significant changes in it in the 20th century.

Li Yang is professor of English at Tongji University in Shanghai, China. His academic interests have been class, gender and place in American fictions for two decades starting from his visit to University of Florida as a Fulbright research scholar from 1998 to 1999 and he has been publishing articles and books on these motifs since then. This year Tongji University provided Professor Li Yang with funding of 60,000 Chinese yuan (approximately £6,700) for research abroad, with the possibility of funded staff exchange. Having read Dr. Justine Baillie's publications on English and American fictions, Professor Li Yang applied to visit University of Greenwich as part of an exchange of research on the issues of gender and class in literary studies.

11 September 2019 - Bayesian data analysis | School of Maths & Computing & CREL

Led by Dr Ana Paula Palacios


  • Dr Luciana Dalla Valle, Lecturer in Statistics, Plymouth University
  • Dr Audra Virbickaite, ECR, UIB
  • Dr Michael Wiper, Professor at UC3M

15 July 2019 - Linguistics workshop | International Academy of Greenwich

1 July 2019 - Raising Aspirations Day

Thomas Tallis Secondary School and Modern Foreign Languages and History Department

Year 10 Thomas Tallis students
Ms Clare Carter-Elliott 
Dr Maria J. Arche, Dr Cecile Laval and Dr Michael Talbot

27 June 2019 - Syntax of Tense 2

This is our second discussion day on the Syntax of Tense at Greenwich and this time we count with the very authors of the papers that have influenced the work of so many throughout the years: Professors Tim Stowell (UCLA) and Hamida Demirdache (CNRS-University of Nantes).

1 May 2019 - CREL Launch

Listen to speeches situating CREL within the scene of research on language

Professor David Adger Presentation Slides