On 18-20th February 2019, Dr Michael James O’Donnell (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) visited our group to conduct a workshop on the use of the online version of UAM Corpus Tool for the analysis of corpora in terms of Systemic Functional Linguistics, as part of the activities of the research project VAR21 Variation in micro-diachrony. The project participants had the opportunity to explore the annotation of Ideation, Mood and Theme using the tool, and discuss the notions of Theme and Thematic Area in detail. Time was devoted to discuss different interpretations of these notions and their implications.
Dr Michael James O’Donnell, currently lecturer in English Studies at the English Department of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, previously held various research posts in Los Angeles, Edinburgh, Darmstadt and Trento, focusing on Natural Language Generation. More recently, he held a prestigious Ramón y Cajal post (2004-2009) in the Informatics department at the UAM. Apart from academic posts, he has worked within companies, including Fujitsu (Australia) and Language & Computing (Belgium). In this last he was leader of a team developing language analysis tools. He has developed a number of corpus annotation tools including Systemic Coder, RSTTool and UAM Corpustool, all of which have seen wide use in the academic community. His current research interest focuses on using computational tools to study the process of foreign language acquisition.