Exploring Words in the Digital Transformation
Tools and Approaches for the study of Lexis and Phraseology in Evolving Discourse Domains

The members of the CLAVIER Board (Corpus and Language Variation in English Research), in collaboration with Unimore research groups Lexi-Term and CAP (Professional and Academic Communication), are pleased to announce the 2021 CLAVIER conference, to be held at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia from November 18th to November 19th. The theme is: Exploring Words in the Digital Transformation: Tools and Approaches for the study of Lexis and Phraseology in Evolving Discourse Domains.

  • Call for papers

The role of the lexicon has been analyzed from the perspective of different theories of language in the 20th and 21st centuries, ranging from structuralist and generative approaches to more recent cognitively oriented studies of word semantics in context. One of the most passionately debated issues in the linguistic literature continues to be whether words have a decontextualized and stable meaning core or a number of more or less nuclear senses that emerge on the basis of the company they keep with other words. The Firthian tradition has provided a foundation for the newly emerging tradition of corpus-driven empirical lexicology, showing that linguists’ appeal to their intuitions for the definition of word meanings is simply not enough and that the observation of actual usage is necessary. Therefore, our objective is to give real evidence of how we use words, phrases and constructions, both in writing and in speech, in various discourse domains and as a result of the digital transformation.

The digital transformation has certainly had an impact on methodological and theoretical approaches to the study of lexis and phraseology. Corpus tools have greatly contributed to the development of lexicography, lexicology and lexico-semantics in particular, with attention to extended units of meaning, lexico-grammatical approaches and focus on patterns and constructions, to name just a few.

The impact of the digital transformation has also been profound on communication itself. The study of digital discourse has often highlighted elements of innovation and creativity in language use, as well as in the language repertoires of participants (often crossing the borders of languages), thus adding new perspectives to studies on diversity in discourse and variation in language. The extended participation framework of web discourse has opened the way for new communicative situations and wider impact of the ideological dimension of words, for example in the social media. Digital discourse studies have also most clearly highlighted the need to look at the multimodal and multimedia nature of communication on the Web and at the new developments of AI in online interaction.

The Conference aims to gather research experiences and findings on these topics from scholars working on different natural languages and addressing different fields of general language and specialized discourse. The talks will address the intense change taking place in the evolving digital media, with new forms of participation and contribution, or will pay attention to the tools offered by the digital transformation for the study of lexis and phraseology both past and present.

Papers are welcome using any of the suggested research perspectives and methodologies (but do not need to be restricted to these).

  • Lexicology: Models and approaches
    • Digital tools and resources for lexicology, lexicography, specialized lexicography and terminology
    • Case studies on specialized domains or genres
    • Lexical studies between specialized lexis and popularization
    • General and specialized language in the digital world
    • Tools and approaches to lexical and phraseological variation
    • The impact of web discourse on language use: innovation and creativity
    • Word, image, sound: digital discourse and multimodality
    • Words, ideology and power in digital discourse
    • Lexis in digital discourse studies and genre analysis
    • Lexis, phraseology and diachronic variation
    • Comparative/contrastive variation in lexis and phraseology
    • Social/cognitive information processing strategies
    • Information structure and cognition
    • Interdisciplinary issues

The Conference will take place online, given the current uncertainty about travelling the near future.

This is one of a series of events sponsored by the departmental “Project of Excellence” on Digital Communication, funded by the Italian Ministry of University and Research.

Invited speakers

  • Annalisa Baicchi (Università di Genova)
  • Ines Bose (Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg)
  • Roberta Facchinetti (Università di Verona)
  • Paolo Frassi (Università di Verona)
  • Nelya Koteyko (Queen Mary University of London)
  • José Francisco Medina Montero (Università di Trieste)
  • Julien Longhi (CY Cergy Paris Université)
  • Ruth Page (University of Birmingham)

Conference Language: English, French, German, Spanish.

Scientific Committee

Marina Bondi, Nicholas Brownlees, Paola Catenaccio, Silvia Cacchiani, Daniela Capra, Belinda Crawford, Marina Dossena, Daniele Franceschi, Giuliana Garzone, Ulrike Kaunzner, Denise Milizia, Adriana Orlandi, Giuseppe Palumbo, Anna Franca Plastina, Franca Poppi, Chiara Preite, Rita Salvi

Organizing Committee

Marina Bondi, Silvia Cacchiani, Daniela Capra, Daniele Franceschi, Ulrike Kaunzner, Chiara Preite, Judith Turnbull

CLAVIER 21 Programme