CRISSP Seminar: Michael Cysouw

CRISSP is happy to announce another installment in the CRISSP Seminar series:

Lecturer: Michael Cysouw (Philipps Universit├Ąt Marburg)

Title: Language comparison through massively parallel texts

Date & time: Monday 1 June 2015, 17h

Location: CRISSP/KU Leuven Brussels Campus, room 3101

Participation: free


A central goal of general linguistics is to try and make statements about human language in general, and not just for a few, widely studied languages. There currently exists a range of different methodologies to investigate and compare many disparate languages. However, the central problem of comparability always raises its ugly head: how do we make sure that we are comparing like with like across languages? As a solution to the problem of comparability, I propose to use massively parallel texts, i.e. the same text translated into many different languages (cf. I will present a few basic examples of how parallel texts can be used for language comparison and discuss possible future directions of this kind research.