The LVTC Research Group had the pleasure to host the 28th International Conference of the Spanish Society for Applied Linguistics (AESLA) in Vigo on 15-17 April 2010. The aim of the conference was to reflect on the multidisciplinary nature of most of the current research in Applied Linguistics. It provided a discussion forum for researchers from different (sub-)disciplines whose main objective is the study of language in all its manifestations. Under the leitmotiv Analysing data > Describing variation, discussion focused on the notion of variation and all its potential manifestations in language, on the different data analysis procedures and on the various ways in which such procedures may help in the description of linguistic variation.
In line with the linguistic areas integrated in AESLA, the conference was organized into the following ten thematic panels: Learning and acquisition, Language teaching and syllabus design, Language for specific purposes, Language and psychology, child language and psycholinguistics, Sociolinguistics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis, Corpus & computational linguistics and linguistic engineering, Lexicology and lexicography, and Translation and interpretation. To this traditional list of panels was added a special thematic session on genre analysis in ESP texts from a socio-pragmatic, functional and cognitive perspective.
The conference was honoured with the participation of the following internationally recognised experts in linguistic studies:
- Prof. María del Pilar García Mayo (Universidad del País Vasco, Spain), who delivered a speech on “La interlengua inglesa de hablantes bilingües. Perspectivas desde un marco lingüístico formal”
- Prof. Adele E. Goldberg (Princeton University, USA), on “Learning what not to say: the nature of statistical preemption in a-adjective distribution”
- Prof. Sylviane Granger (Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium), on “Corpus research, variation and teaching: infernal trio or happy threesome?”
- Prof. Ruslan Mitkov (University of Wolverhampton, UK), on “Natural language processing: applications and opportunities for Applied Linguistics”.
With over 350 participants coming from all over the world and 258 presentations, including papers, round tables and posters, the dense conference programme triggered discussion about new trends and lines of investigation and data analysis, which focused not only on the topics that define research in Applied Linguistics but also on the description of variation at different linguistic levels.