The many faces of Phraseology

Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium), 13-15 October 2005









The last few years have seen an explosion of interest in Phraseology, which has gone from being a relatively fringe discipline to playing a central role in a wide range of linguistic disciplines such as Lexicography, Contrastive Linguistics, Psycholinguistics, Foreign Language Learning and Teaching and Natural Language Processing. This current Phraseology boom undoubtedly has a great deal to do with the development of Corpus Linguistics research, which has both demonstrated the key role of phraseological expressions in language and also provided researchers with automated methods of extraction and analysis with which to study them. And the field of Phraseology itself has also expanded greatly. From encompassing the study of the most fixed and opaque multiword units, Phraseology now includes the study of a much wider range of lexical units, with varying degrees of fixedness and opacity (collocations, recurrent expressions, pragmatic locutions, colligations etc).

There is a great deal of phraseological research going on, hence the numerous specialist publications and conferences on the subject. There are many niche areas of research buzzing with activity. It would seem however, that there is very little contact between these different areas of activity. Natural language processing researchers are often unfamiliar with work related to the typology of phraseological expressions. Researchers trying to draw up rigorous phraseological typologies are often equally unfamiliar with work being carried out in the automatic extraction of phraseological units. Similarly, there is very little contact between psycholinguistic researchers attempting to define the role of Phraseology in language acquisition, comprehension and production and educational researchers aiming to give Phraseology a bigger profile in language teaching. In general terms, Corpus Linguistics studies describing phraseological expressions in large computer corpora are undeservedly little known. This lack of contact between different areas of phraseological research is problematic for two reasons: first, it means there is a very real chance of researchers ‘reinventing the wheel’; second and more importantly, it increases the likelihood of researchers coming up with erroneous data analyses.

The aim of this conference is thus to enable researchers working in the field of Phraseology to meet other researchers who are studying the same types of expressions from perhaps quite different perspectives.

Conference themes

1. Theoretical approaches (phraseology within linguistic theory)
2. Descriptive approaches (typology; descriptions of different types of phraseological units; synchronic and diachronic variation)
3. Contrastive approaches (comparisons of phraseological expressions across a number of languages)
4. Psycholinguistic approaches (the acquisition, comprehension and production of phraseological expressions)
5. Lexicographical approaches (monolingual and bilingual lexicography)
6. Educational approaches (the role of phraseological units in language learning and teaching)
7. Computational approaches (automatic extraction of phraseological units)

Keynote speakers

- Peter Blumenthal (Universität Köln, Germany)
- Gaston Gross (Université Paris 13, France)
- Ulrich Heid (Universität Stuttgart, Germany)
- Graeme Kennedy (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)
- John Sinclair (Tuscan Word Centre, Italy)
- Alison Wray (Cardiff University, Great Britain)


- English
- French

Key dates

- Deadline for submission of extended abstracts: 1 March 2005
- Notifications of acceptance/rejection: 15 April 2005
- Deadline for submission of revised extended abstracts (to be included in the proceedings): 15 June 2005

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Last updated: February 2005