Februar 2022: Research Talk

Thomas Proisl (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg): The statistical analysis of cooccurrences: From collocations to arbitrary structures

Date: 17. February 2022, 16:00 -- Language: English

The study of cooccurrences, i. e. the analysis of linguistic units that occur together, has had a profound impact on our view of language. In this talk, I will discuss how we can generalize established methods for the statistical analysis of two-word cooccurrences and cooccurrences of words and constructions, i.e. collocations and collostructional analysis, to analyze cooccurrences of arbitrary linguistic structures. Starting from collocations, I will first discuss collostructional analysis, focussing on simple collexeme analysis and one of its methodological problems. The usual approach to simple collexeme analysis, i.e. the cooccurrence of a construction and a lexeme that occurs in one of its slots, requires the researcher to classify either all constructions in the corpus or all instances of a suitably defined class of constructions. In practice, it is often not possible or feasible to identify these constructions (this is sometimes referred to as „the problem of the bottom-right cell“). The insights gained from the suggested solution to this problem lead towards a generalized cooccurrence model for the statistical analysis of cooccurrences of arbitrary linguistic structures.

**Bio:** Thomas Proisl is a postdoctoral researcher at the Chair of Computational Corpus Linguistics at FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg. He studied Computational Linguistics and English Linguistics and received his PhD in Computational Linguistics from FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg in 2018. His research interests are in the areas of Natural Language Processing (e.g. tokenization, tagging, semantic similarity, sentiment), Corpus Linguistics (cooccurrence phenomena, corpus creation) and Digital Humanities (authorship attribution, stylometry).