GeWiss: multilingual corpus of spoken academic discourse

The project ‘‘Gesprochene Wissenschaftssprache kontrastiv – Spoken academic discourse in contrast’’ (GeWiss) is an international research cooperation between British, German and Polish partners funded by the Volkswagen Foundation for a period of three years between 2009 and 2012. The research organizations involved
were the Herder Institute (University of Leipzig, Germany), Aston University in
Birmingham (UK), and Wroclaw University (Poland). As part of the project a corpus of spoken academic language was built which consists of 80 hours (300,000 tokens) of spoken academic discourse concentrating on three genres: specialist research presentation, student presentation, and oral examination. The corpus will be made available to the general public via the Internet by the end of 2012.

The project teams in all three countries are currently publishing the first results of a corpus-based contrastive analysis which combines qualitative and quantitative approaches, e.g. G. Reershemius (2012) ‘Research cultures and the pragmatic functions of humor in academic research presentations: A corpus-assisted analysis’,
Journal of Pragmatics 44, 863-875.

A number of PhD projects are based on the corpus data; at Aston, for example, doctoral researcher Klaus Thiele is working on “The distribution and function of metaphors in German and English research presentations”, due to be submitted in 2013.

To view a poster describing the project, click here: GeWiss poster

If you are interested in working with or learning more about the corpus, please contact Prof Gertrud Reershemius.

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