The Interdisciplinary Centre for Research on Lexicography, Valency and Collocation aims to link and coordinate research carried out in different Departments of the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen/Nürnberg. It focuses on the description and analysis of words in larger linguistic chunks such as multi-word lexical units or grammatical units.
One focus lies on research in the field of lexicography, which has a long tradition at the University. This involves the historical development of dictionaries and lexicographical traditions in particular languages, the comparison of the lexicographical scenes of different countries as well as the description and analysis of different types of dictionaries and current developments including electronic dictionaries.
It is one of the central concerns of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Research on Lexicography, Valency and Collocation to apply the insights gained from the analysis of problems arising in descriptive lexicographical work to linguistic theory. One of the central areas of interest is to identify item-specific features of words, i.e. those features of words that have to be described in a dictionary, which consequently allows important conclusions to be drawn with respect to the storage of such items in the brain. The question of the extent to which language can actually be reliably described, which certainly plays a role in lexicographical work, seems to us to be highly relevant to linguistic theory.
The analysis and theoretical modelling of phenomena such as collocation or valency (or complementation) is closely linked to idiosyncratic features of words. Work in this area with the Interdisciplinary Centre takes, on the one hand, a foreign language linguistic perspective and, on the other hand, the description of these phenomena is highly relevant to computational linguistics and automatic language processing. It is the overall aim of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Research on Lexicography, Valency and Collocation to organize conferences, series of talks and workshops to which the different subdisciplines – including cognitive linguistics and psycholinguistics – will contribute and thus to provide a complex and multi-facetted view of the use of words.