City University of Hong Kong Dep
Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics
Formulaicity of Language:
Opportunities for and Challenges to
Dr. Hongyin TAO
Departments of Asian Languages and Cultures
& Applied Linguistics and TESL
University of California, Los Angeles
Date: 17 July 2007, Tuesday
Time: 4:30pm - 6:00pm
Venue: B7603 (Lift 3, 7/F, Blue Zone),Academic Building,CityU
Formulaicity has been shown to be a pervasive phenomenon in language. "Formulaic language" as a cover term is typically used to refer to "multi-word collocations" which are stored and retrieved holistically and with conventionalized forms and meanings. Corpus linguistics, with its special utility in revealing frequent chunks of language use, has been particularly useful for understanding the formulaic nature of language. Yet there are diverse patterns of formulaic language that pose challenges to corpus linguistics. In this talk I will explore such patterns of formulaic language in both American English and Mandarin Chinese. On the basis of corpus data I will discuss why such patterns present difficulties for corpus linguistics and what these patterns may reveal about the nature of language structure and language use.
Dr. Hongyin Tao (University of California, Los Angeles) is Associate Professor of Chinese Language and Linguistics in the Dept of Asian Languages and Cultures, with a joint appointment in the Dept of Applied Linguistics and TESL. Prior to UCLA, he taught at the National University of Singapore and Cornell University. He has published widely in the areas of corpus linguistics, English linguistics, and Mandarin discourse and grammar. He has played leading roles in the construction of the Cambridge University Press/Cornell University Corpus of Spoken North American English, the Lancaster/Los Angeles Corpus of Spoken Chinese, and the UCLA Corpus of Written Chinese, and is currently a co-coordinator of the US component of the International Corpus of English (ICE). His publications in Mandarin discourse and grammar include Units in Mandarin Conversation: Prosody, Discourse, and Grammar (John Benjamins, 1996) and Dangdai Shehui Yuyanxue (Current Trends in Sociolinguistics, 2nd edition, Zhongguo Sheke, 2004). He is currently the Chinese project director for a US Department of Education sponsored project in corpus-based advanced Chinese language teaching.