I. Specialist Text
We will examine an academic review
article (European Management Journal, Volume 20, Issue 1, p. 107), addressing
the following questions: ‘What are the distinctive features of
special(ist)/special-purpose language as represented in this text?’ and ‘What
makes this a specialist text?’
We will find that specialist text contains both
general-language and specialist lexemes, collocations and phraseology. We may
also discover syntactic and textual patterns peculiar to the text type under
discussion. Our findings will enable us to give a (preliminary) definition of
special(ist)/special-purpose language (Fachsprache).
A more detailed discussion is to be found in
We will be examining a number of specialist texts, and eventually, applying our
method to texts you choose from a particular field.
Group Formation and Class Procedure
I will ask you to form groups, each of which
will be expected to organize one class session (for topics, see Course
Plan). Classes should be geared towards as much participation as possible;
the focus should be on group work and discussion rather than presentations.
Presentations should take no more than 25 minutes. Each group will be responsible
for meeting or corresponding with me in advance to discuss class procedure and
I will also ask one or two students to minute
proceedings in English (guidance
on minute writing). The final version of the minutes should be completed by
Sunday and e-mailed to me; it will then be published on my website.
III. Corpus Linguistics (-> Handout)
I will give a presentation on a corpus-based
approach to the study of (specialist) language. To get us started, I will ask
you to note down all you know about the German word ‘Blick’ and the English
word ‘information’; we will then compare your intuitions about these words with
evidence from a large corpus (a machine-held collection of texts). The point
I’ll be trying to make is that intuition is prone to error and imprecision when
it comes to describing the realities of language use. Many pre-electronic
descriptions of language testify to this, either in making gross misjudgements
about the behaviour of a language item, or in presenting examples which have
the unmistakeable ring of artificiality.
I will then proceed to discuss the methodology
and software used in corpus linguistics, answering the following questions:
How do you build a corpus?
How do you analyse a corpus?
We will then discuss some of the implications
and applications of corpus-based analysis:
How can corpus analysis help us to describe
How can corpus analysis help us to teach special
More detailed introductions to corpus
linguistics are Catherine Ball, Concordances and
Corpora, Tony McEnery/Andrew Wilson, Corpus
Linguistics and Graeme Kennedy, Introduction to Corpus Linguistics.
London: Longman 1998; I have published a French-language
article on a corpus-driven approach to grammar. Those of you who are
interested in using concordancing software can download a free DOS-based
concordancer called Microconcord at http://www.liv.ac.uk/~ms2928/homepage.html
(click on Other software). Corpora of specialist texts can be
constructed from texts freely available on the World Wide Web using off-line
browsers or Corpus
Web (the advantage of the latter being that it automatically converts html
format into txt format).
Assignment for Session 1 / Part II: Read articles 2 (Fachsprachenforschung)
and 3 (Equipment and methodology in corpus linguistics) in your reader
in order to refine your understanding of the issues raised in today’s session.
Then try to identify some typical instances of the following lexical categories
in the review article reproduced below: general-language lexemes, general-language
collocations, general-language phraseology, technical terms, specialist
collocations, specialist phraseology.
The British Journal of
Psychiatry (2000) 176: 302
Cognitive Vulnerability to
By Rick E. Ingram, Jeanne
Miranda, & Zindel V. Segal.
Gordon Parker, Professor of
University of New South
Wales, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick 2031, Sydney,
EDITED BY SIDNEY CROWN and
New York: Guilford. 1998. 300 pp. £26.50 (hb). ISBN 1-57230-304-2
The authors overview
existing theories and research addressing cognitive vulnerabilities to
depression. Models include Bowlby's development of Adler's hypothesis that
anomalies in early attachment (especially uncaring and/or overprotective
parents) generate internal working models or cognitive ‘schema’ that negatively
shape processing and interpretation of interpersonal interactions, so inducing
and/or maintaining depression. To most clinical psychiatrists, schema models
are intuitively appealing, both seemingly confirmed by many patients' reports
of their core beliefs as well as allowing common sense therapeutic application.
As a consequence, many psychologists and psychiatrists run the theory up the
clinical flag pole every day of their professional lives — and despite increasing
questioning about the efficacy of cognitive—behavioural therapy (King, 1998).
There is, however, a
problem. The theory, not for the first time in the history of psychiatry,
resists empirical confirmation. If, as many cognitive therapists have claimed,
negative schema are latent constructs intrinsic to those who develop depression
and activated by key life events (particularly ones that mirror early adverse
events), certain consequences should follow. Some can be noted.
First, prospective studies
of those with or without negative cognitive schema should predict onset of
depression in the former group when mirroring life event stressors are
experienced — a specificity model. Such studies do not appear to have been
Second, patients with
depression in remission should, when ‘mood-primed’, differ from subjects who
are not depressed by the evidence of dysfunctional cognitive patterns. While
generally confirmed, such findings do not establish the existence of cognitive
schema — as such patterns could equally be a consequence of the state mood
disturbance. Third, any such mood-priming should induce consistent schema, an
issue apparently not pursued by researchers. Fourth, returning to the Bowlby
hypothesis, if certain parenting behaviours dispose to depression, recall of
those behaviours might be expected to identify cognitive vulnerabilities, and
the authors note an interesting priming strategy (use of the Parental Bonding
Instrument) offering some preliminary support. Most importantly, patients with
depression should, when euthymic, be more likely than subjects who have never
suffered from depression to show evidence of ongoing cognitive vulnerabilities.
The authors consider the now very large bank of such studies which, almost
without exception, fail to reveal such differences. This could reflect
over-reliance on two measures which may or may not measure core beliefs and
schemas — the Dysfunctional Attitude Scale and the Automatic Thoughts
Questionnaire. If not reflecting methodological limitations, and such schema
are only evident when an individual is depressed, it is hard to argue for their
status as vulnerability factors. The rule of parsimony might then argue for
‘schema’ as more reflecting state nuances of a depressed mood, a possibility conceded
by the authors but rather unconvincingly rejected. Thus, they dismiss a
significant challenge to the cognitive Zeitgeist with the ex cathedra statement
that there exists "compelling theory and research suggesting that there
are important cognitive factors at work in the onset and maintenance of
depression" (p. 66). This trifecta of faith, hope and charity is akin to
arguing that the Emperor cannot be regarded as naked as he has a large wardrobe
at home. Thus, cognitive schema currently appear to have a ‘ghost in the
machine’ status. Schemas, formulated as being ‘dormant’ or ‘latent’, thus
occupy a position which allows a range of explanations for their ‘now you see
them, now you don’t' status, and which risks being all explanatory. Is it not
time for definitive proof of their status or conceptual repositioning — at
least as vulnerability factors to depression? Perhaps they have greater
relevance to the anxiety and personality disorders rather than to the
depressive disorders. If not, why not?
The authors assume that
their readers have no knowledge base — at least about depression, cognitive
schema, model-testing paradigms or the applied studies. Therefore, this is an
excellent reference for students seeking such a primer and a review of the
field, but somewhat frustrating to those who have followed the field and who
will be impatient for the authors to cut to the chase. The authors impress as
‘true believers’; somewhat mystified by the lack of confirmatory research.
Rightly so. While this book seeks to inform, its careful preparation raises
more questions than answers. That is a noble outcome for an academic product,
and worthy of being applauded.
King, R. (1998)
Evidence-based practice: where is the evidence? The case of cognitive behaviour
therapy and depression. Australian Psychologist, 33, 83-88.