Languages in Time, Time in Languages: Phraseological perspectives

Convenors: Anna Čermáková, Thomas Egan, Hilde Hasselgård & Sylvi Rørvik

We are happy to invite you to a contrastive pre-conference workshop at ICAME 40. Contrastive corpus-based studies have now become a significant research strand within the larger field of corpus-linguistic research. Contrastive corpus-based linguistics is closely tied to the history of ICAME and as such has traditionally presented a distinctive perspective at ICAME conferences, frequently in the form of dedicated pre-conference workshops. These workshops have become an important forum for the exploration of both theoretical and practical issues in corpus-based contrastive linguistics.

To reflect the overall conference theme (Language in Time, Time in Language), as well as  current topics in corpus-based contrastive research, the 2019 workshop – Languages in Time, Time in Languages – will be dedicated to ‘time’ in its broadest sense; time, together with place, being one of the fundamental dimensions by which we define our ‘space’ linguistically, historically, socially, etc. Arguably, ‘time’ is primarily encoded lexico-grammatically through verbs – however, tense and aspect systems vary enormously across languages; see e.g. Ebeling & Hasselgård (2015). But also other word classes express time: lexically, the word time itself is one of the most frequent nouns in English, and its sheer frequency means it is part of numerous patterns, constructions and meanings. As a concept, ‘time’ is particularly fascinating from a contrastive perspective as it also significantly penetrates the field of phraseology, see e.g. now classic studies by Stig Johansson (2007) in which he contrastively compares times of the day or how we spend time in different languages.

The workshop will address topics dealing with expression of time in languages from a contrastive and phraseological perspective including the diachronic comparison of languages. Papers should compare English with at least one other language on the basis of parallel (translation) or comparable corpora. We particularly invite submissions focusing on methods for the comparison of phraseology, which is emerging as a popular, but difficult, topic in cross-linguistic research (see e.g. Ebeling & Ebeling 2013; Čermáková & Chlumská 2017 and various papers in Janebová et al. 2017).

The workshop programme will consist of full papers (20+10 mins) and work-in-progress reports (10+5 mins). Depending on interest, the workshop may also include a round-table discussion of methodological issues relating particularly to the cross-linguistic comparison of n-grams.


Čermáková, A. & L. Chlumská. 2017. Expressing place in children’s literature: Testing the limits of the n-gram method in contrastive linguistics. In T. Egan & H. Dirdal (eds), Cross-linguistic Correspondences: From Lexis to Genre. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins,75-86.

Ebeling, J. & Ebeling, S.O. 2013. Patterns in Contrast. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins.

Ebeling S.O. & H. Hasselgård (eds). 2015. Cross-linguistic Perspectives on Verb Constructions. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Janebová, M., E. Lapshinova-Koltunski & M. Martinková (eds). 2017. Contrasting English and other Languages through Corpora. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Johansson, S. 2007. Seeing through Multilingual Corpora: On the use of corpora in contrastive studies. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins.