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Research Projects

Computational and Functional Linguistics Research Group

Project Title: Computational and Functional Linguistics Research Group
Principal Investigator: Dr. Brian Nolan
Contact Details:
Collaborators: Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, Universitat Politècnica de València , University of La Rioja, University of Granada and UNED Spain

Project Description:

  • Research incorporates aspects of computer science, linguistics (Role and Reference Grammar, Construction Grammar), computational linguistics, spoken and sign languages, intelligent agents and avatars.
  • The group comprises a team of academics at Institute of Technology Blanchardstown and includes PhD and masters students.
  • Academic collaborators include Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, Universitat Politècnica de València , University of La Rioja, University of Granada and UNED Spain.
  • Academic outputs (2004- present) include over 30 conference proceedings/ presentations; 4 workshops (hosted in ITB Dublin, Sweden and Spain) and many publications & books.

Recent Publications include:

Language Processing and Grammars - ITB Research


Language Processing and Grammars - The role of functionally oriented computational models

( Edited by Brian Nolan and Carlos Periñán-Pascual - Institute of Technology Blanchardstown Dublin / Universidad Politécnica de Valencia )

There is a growing awareness of the significance and value that modelling using information technology can bring to the functionally oriented linguistic enterprise. This encompasses a spectrum of areas as diverse as concept modelling, language processing and grammar modelling, conversational agents, and the visualisation of complex linguistic information in a functional linguistic perspective. This edited volume offers a collection of papers dealing with different aspects of computational modelling of language and grammars, within a functional perspective at both the theoretical and application levels. As a result, this volume represents the first instance of contemporary functionally oriented computational treatments of a variety of important language and linguistic issues. This book presents current research on functionally oriented computational models of grammar, language processing and linguistics, concerned with a broadly functional computational linguistics that also contributes to our understanding of languages within a functional and cognitive linguistic, computational research agenda.

[Studies in Language Companion Series,150]


Linking Constructions into Functional Linguistics - ITB Research


Linking Constructions into Functional Linguistics - The role of constructions in grammar

( Edited by Brian Nolan and Elke Diedrichsen - Institute of Technology Blanchardstown Dublin / Google Ireland )

There is a growing awareness of the significance of constructions in grammar in the world’s languages. To date there has not been a single volume that addresses the issues of constructions within a functional Role and Reference Grammar (RRG) account. The book is a collection of articles that will serve the scholarly community as a reference work on the role, place and significance of constructions within this functional model of grammar. As a result, this volume represents the first instance of cross-linguistic comparison of these important discourse and syntax-related phenomena. The articles cover a variety of typologically different languages including German, Irish, Spanish, French, Japanese, Yaqui, Tepehua (Totonacan), Persian, and English, and they offer new data on the role of constructions, within the RRG theory, in these languages. Further, this volume contributes towards providing a comprehensive overview of grammatical constructions which are central to our understanding of how human languages function, in a functional linguistics perspective. This scholarly work is grounded in a functionally oriented model that makes strong claims of descriptive and typological adequacy. The book will represent a valuable step forward in linguistics research as it applies the RRG theoretical framework to the analyses of constructions.

[Studies in Language Companion Series,145] 2013. xix, 335 pp.]


The Structure of Modern Irish - ITB Research


The Structure of Modern Irish - A Functional Account

( Author: Brian Nolan , Institute of Technology Blanchardstown, Dublin )

Modern Irish is a VSO language, in common with the other Celtic languages, and the order of elements in the structure of transitive sentences is verb–subject–object. This book provides a characterization of the nominal, verb, clause and information structure of the Irish language from a functional perspective based on Role and Reference Grammar. Included in this analysis are the layered structure of the noun phrase of Irish and the various NP operators, the layered structure of the clause and the verbal system at the syntax–semantic interface along with a number of verb valence behaviours as mediated by event and argument structure. The book also surveys previous treatments of Irish within a functionalist approach.The verbal noun has a special place within the Irish language and its deployment is particularly productive. The book examines the derivation of the verbal noun and the contexts in which it is used. It also provides an account of light verbs and complex predicates as they occur within Irish and links this to a characterization of the information structure of Irish. Additionally it provides an analysis of certain linguistically interesting phenomena that are particular to Irish (and the other Celtic languages) including the two verbs of ‘to be’. Within the verbal system the author’s concern is with the relationship between the semantic representation of a verbal predicate in the context of a clause and its syntactic expression through the argument structure of the verb. He suggests that lexical specification is via a logical representation that reflects the aspectual decomposition of the verbal predicate and that this determines, with an actor–undergoer hierarchy, the operation of the mapping into syntax via the linking system.

[Series: Discussions in Functional Approaches to Language]


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