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  • Conference dates:
    12-15 June 2017
  • Abstract submission opens:
    1 September 2016
  • Deadline for abstracts:
    1 December 2016 (EXTENDED: 15.12.)
  • Deadline for registration:
    20 May 2017
  • Conference fees:
    Early bird (until 15 April 2017):
      Regular – 250€
      Student – 150€
    16 April – 20 May 2017:
      Regular – 290€
      Student – 180€
  • Venue:
    University of Helsinki
    Main Building (Fabianinkatu 33)
  • Contact:

ELF10 is organised by
The ELFA group

University of Helsinki

Pre-conference workshops

How do we process speech in real time?
'Chunking in language: units of meaning and processing’ (CLUMP) project

Conveners: Anna Mauranen & Svetlana Vetchinnikova (University of Helsinki)
Time: June 12, 9:00-11:30

How do we understand speech as we encounter it in a rapid, fleeting succession of sounds, given the constraints of time and memory? In the project ‘Chunking in language: units of meaning and processing’ (CLUMP), we build on the model of Linear Unit Grammar (LUG) developed by Sinclair and Mauranen (2006; see also Mauranen 2012, 2016). We hypothesise that humans make sense of incoming linear speech flow by intuitively breaking it down into manageable chunks. To examine the properties and neuronal correlates of on-line chunking, we designed two interrelated experiments.

In the first experiment, we asked the participants to listen to short audio clips of natural language interaction and follow them from the transcripts. Their task was to mark boundaries between chunks as they listened by putting a boundary where they felt a chunk ends. Each audio clip was followed by a comprehension question to correlate chunking behaviour with understanding. The chunking task was designed as a web-based application for tablets which records all the boundaries marked by the participants. These boundaries were then analysed both individually and in the aggregate to see (1) whether they correspond to predictions of Linear Unit Grammar; (2) which boundaries are perceptually more salient being most commonly marked; (3) which chunk types are perceived as least breakable in that participants never insert a boundary within them.

In the second experiment, participants’ neuronal activity is recorded with magnetoencephalography (MEG) while they listen to the same audio clips which are in this case followed by true/false comprehension questions. In this experiment, each audio clip contains two-second gaps inserted 1) in places where the majority of the participants mark a boundary; 2) in places where nobody marks a boundary. Our goal is to test whether the brain response to these contrasting gaps is the same or different. We also correlate the brain activity with understanding of the audio clips tested with the comprehension questions.

In this workshop, we will present the web-based chunking application we designed for the experiment. Participants of the workshop will be able to test the application and give their feedback. The trial of the application will be followed by the presentation of the preliminary results of the project and a talk by our collaborator Dr. Satu Palva, who will provide a neuroscientific perspective on the project. We welcome participation of the audience in the discussion of the plausibility of the chunking hypothesis and the connection between chunking and understanding.


Mauranen, Anna. 2016. Temporality in speech - Linear Unit Grammar. English Text Construction 9(1). 77-98.
Mauranen, Anna. 2012. Linear Unit Grammar. In Carol A. Chapelle (ed.), The encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Chichester: Blackwell.
Sinclair, John McH. & Anna Mauranen. 2006. Linear Unit Grammar: Integrating speech and writing. . Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

After all that, what do we know – and what do we still need to know?
Findings from ‘Linguistic diversity on the international campus’

Convener: Jennifer Jenkins (University of Southampton)
Time: June 12, 13:00-16:00

The project ‘Linguistic diversity on the international campus’ (LDIC), led by Anna Mauranen and Jennifer Jenkins, began as an ethnographic case study to compare and contrast multilingual practices on the campuses of the Universities of Helsinki and Southampton. Quickly, however, it grew into a much larger study involving partners in universities in eight other countries, Australia, China, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Spain, and Turkey, as well as Finland and the UK. It thus became the first study of its kind to look in depth at university language policies and practices across such a large and geographically wide-ranging number of institutions.

Early findings from the project were presented at ELF 7 (Athens 2014) and interim findings at ELF 9 (Lleida 2016). But the fuller picture is only becoming clear as the three-year project draws to a close. And it is this picture that we will be presenting in our final LDIC colloquium at ELF 10 as well as in an edited volume of the project.

Our original research questions were as follows:
1. To what extent do language practices correspond to stated language polices in the partner institutions? In particular:
 • to what extent are other languages than English used/accepted?
 • what kinds of English are used/accepted?
 • what evidence is there of intercultural awareness?
2. What are the overt/covert English language expectations of/made of students and staff, and how far do students and staff feel they meet these?
3. What similarities, differences, and implications from questions 1 and 2 emerge across the ten research settings? Are there any particularly noticeable differences between the EMI (non English mother tongue) and English dominant (English mother tongue) settings, and/or within either the eight EMI or two English dominant settings?

In this final LDIC colloquium, speakers from the teams in each of the ten settings will present their key findings in relation to these questions, after which the two project leaders will explore the similarites, differences, problems, and unanswered questions that the project data have ‘thrown up’. We will then invite the audience to join in discussion with the researchers to consider the broader implications of our findings, including what impact they could (and should) have on university language practices, and how we might build on them so as to take things forward.

This page last updated: 13.2.2016