Empirical Methods in Cognitive Linguistics

EMCL 6 will take place at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio on August 1-5, 2012.

The Empirical Methods in Cognitive Linguistics (EMCL) Workshops have emerged out of the desire of many language researchers to incorporate empirical methods into their investigative repertoire. While theoretical work in cognitive linguistics has yielded significant insights, they still await empirical validation. To that end, we seek to further develop an empirically valid account of the connection between language and cognition through the continuous merging of theoretical and empirical research.

The approach we take is to integrate different methodologies and perspectives. Although using one perspective or method can be quite informative, the  pursuit of corroborating evidence via multiple means is substantially more illuminating. Our goal with these workshops is to provide a setting where integration is considered from the onset of a research project. The basic unit of our workshops is hands-on sessions led by pairs of researchers who work together to provide complementary perspectives on empirical investigation. In this setting, invited participants learn to apply different approaches to a given question, as well as how to carry out a research project from conception to implementation.

Our goal is to facilitate dialogue among language researchers interested in cognitive linguistics with different methodological backgrounds, i.e. theorists, experimentalists, corpus linguists, etc. We do this by creating an environment where specialists learn from each other by developing a research project together where their various skills are combined.

Intended audience:
  This workshop is aimed specifically at scholars with sound theoretical knowledge who lack empirical training, including experimental research. Participants are not expected to have any background at all in empirical work. Candidates should at least have completed initial university training,  be familiar with embodiment, situated cognition or cognitive linguistics (this familiarity need not have occurred in a formal university setting). Graduate students, post-doctoral researchers and junior faculty are invited to apply. The only real prerequisite is a background in cognitive linguistics or embodiment, and a desire to gain empirical research experience.

Workshop Format: Over the course of a week, participants will join one of 5 hands-on mini-labs. Each mini-lab will be responsible for completing a joint research project. A select group of participants (max. 8 per group for a total of 40) will be invited to participate. Each group will work with two researchers who will guide the group in selecting an idea for the group to investigate, structuring and organizing a research project, and carrying it out. The session will end with the presentation of findings and a general discussion.

Topics to be covered include:
- Deciding on a research topic
- Transforming the research topic into a research question
- Developing experimental hypotheses and designing an experiment
- Data collection
- Statistical analysis and interpretation
- Presentation of findings to an audience
- post-Workshop write up of the research, as a brief article

Workshop Fee: $160, which will include healthy snacks, tea & coffee. 1 (one) tuition scholarship will be awarded by lottery to a student  traveling from Eastern Europe or a developing country. Please state in your application whether you would like to be included in the lottery.

Workshop dates: August 1-5 2012.

Workshop location: Dept. of Cognitive Science, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.

Certificates of Attendance: Will be awarded.

This workshop is generously sponsored by the International Cognitive Linguistics Association (ICLA).  For more information about ICLA, see http://www.cognitivelinguistics.org/

To become a member of the ICLA -- click here

Please note: Attendance is strictly limited to invited participants. No exceptions will be made so as to preserve pedagogical integrity.