Prof. Douglas Biber
Northern Arizona University
Nov. 08 - Dec. 08
- Nov. 08 - Dez. 08
Douglas Biber is currently Regents’ Professor in the Applied Linguistics Program (English Department) at Northern Arizona University. He received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Southern California in 1984, and was awarded an Honorary Ph.D. from the University of Uppsala in 2000. Since 1990, he has spent time as a visiting professor at numerous universities around the world, including the Universities of Copenhagen, Hamburg, Zurich, Helsinki, Uppsala, Bergen, Stockholm, Temple University Japan, Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (Chile), Michigan State University (LSA Summer Institute), and the Norwegian Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Biber has published 11 authored and co-authored books, with Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Longman, and John Benjamins. In addition, he has published 5 edited books and monographs, and over 150 journal articles and book chapters. These studies have addressed a wide range of issues in corpus linguistics, English grammar, and register variation (in English and cross-linguistic; synchronic and diachronic). Research articles have appeared in numerous research journals, including Corpora, Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory, Applied Linguistics, Journal of Historical Pragmatics, Journal of English Linguistics, Discourse Studies, International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, Text, Literary and Linguistic Computing, Computational Linguistics, Language Variation and Change, Discourse Processes, Linguistics, Language, and American Speech.
- Biber, D. 1988. Variation across speech and writing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Biber, D. 1995. Dimensions of register variation: A cross-linguistic comparison. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Biber, D., S. Conrad, and R. Reppen. 1998. Corpus linguistics: Investigating language structure and use. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Biber, D., S. Johansson, G. Leech, S. Conrad, E. Finegan. 1999. The Longman grammar of spoken and written English. London: Longman.
- Biber, D. 2006. University language: A corpus-based study of spoken and written registers. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
- Biber, D., U. Connor, and T.A. Upton. 2007. Discourse on the move: Using corpus analysis to describe discourse structure. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
- Biber, D., and S. Conrad. In press. Register and genre variation. Cambridge University Press.
- Conrad, S., and D. Biber (eds.). 2001. Variation in English: Multi-Dimensional studies. London: Longman.
Developement of Statistical Models for the Description of Linguistic Variation.
I will be working on two general research topics during my stay at the Institute. The first concerns the patterns of grammatical/discourse complexity in English texts and registers. This project has both empirical and theoretical components. The empirical component is focused on documenting the differing ways in which grammatical features are distributed and used in different registers, providing corpus evidence to support the general claim that different registers rely on dramatically different kinds of grammatical complexity. The theoretical component is focused on developing a framework for the measurement and description of grammatical/discourse complexity which could be applied in studies of language development or textual analysis.
The second general research topic is focused on the corpus study of formulaic language, considering the range of expressions and formulaic patterns that are commonly used in a register. For example, the study will apply quantittative methods to determine the extent to which a frequent lexical sequence is fixed or variable, and the extent to which various lexical frames are fixed or variable. Some of the underlying research questions of this project are: to what extent is discourse in English formulaic? to what extent is discourse from particular registers (e.g., conversation or academic writing) formulaic? is discourse in all languages equally formulaic? if not, what are the differences, and how can they be accounted for?