Monday, October 22, 2007

more Maltese utterology

Another aspect of my ongoing research on Maltese, something that I am very pleased about, is the freshly unveiled Maltese token corpus. It's still in its initial stages, but thanks to the brilliance of Jerid Francom and Dainon Woudstra (my talented research assistants), we now have the first (of perhaps, one of the first) token corpora of Maltese, based on a Maltese newspaper. At over 500,000 tokens, it's pretty big for a first stab, and will hopefully get bigger very soon! It was great fun sharing this corpus with my Maltese colleagues in Bremen.

Maltese utterology

I've just finished up at the inaugural conference of the International Society of Maltese Linguistics (otherwise known as l'Ghaqda Internazzjonali tal-lingwistika maltija) and I have to say, it was phenomenal! My former student, Alina Twist, and I were among a large number of invited speakers at the University of Bremen, which hosted this conference. In fact we were the only people whose talks were on psycholinguistics, though we weren't the only talks based on research in the experimental domain; there were several talks involving phonetic and acoustic measurements of aspects of Maltese. It was a really incredible gathering, with a real momentum to it, and another very pleasurable aspect was getting to see so many of our Maltese colleagues outside of Malta. I'm still totally buzzing from the whole experience, which was intellectually really stimulating, and hopefully the first of many such meetings. In the meantime, I am enjoying a few more days in Europe before returning to Tucson. It's quite cold here (I suppose that's normal, given that it's mid-October), and there is beautiful fall foliage everywhere I've been.