Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: Oct. 4, 2022, 6:40 a.m. Humanist 36.194 - seminar series on lexical semantic change (online)

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 36, No. 194.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2022-10-03 15:22:26+00:00
        From: Isabelle Gribomont <>
        Subject: KBR Digital Heritage Seminar Series - Lexical semantic change for the humanities

Dear Colleagues,

KBR invites you to attend the KBR Digital Heritage Seminar Series, in
cooperation with ULB, UGent, VUB and UCLouvain.

In this virtual series running from October to December 2022, three
scholars will present their work on lexical semantic change for the

   *     Tuesday 18 October 2022 at 2PM CEST(GMT +2)

“Change is Key!”
Nina Tahmasebi (University of Gothenburg) & Simon Hengchen 
(University ofGeneva)


In this talk, we will present the Change is Key! program, a 6-year
research program where we combine methods for semantic change and
lexical variation to answer research questions stemming from humanities
and social sciences. We will first introduce different classes of
methods for computationally detecting semantic change, ranging from
topic modelling to contextual embeddings, and discuss how the results
should be valued and evaluated.

The talk will further shed light on research questions from the
humanities and social science focus domains that will be tackled in
Change is Key! as well as present a case-study on semantic change in
Dutch-language historical newspapers using topic modelling.

   *     Tuesday 8 November 2022 at 2PM CET (GMT +1)

Justyna Robinson(University of Sussex)
“Concept-led approach to semantic change”


Semantic change is usually discussed from the angles of onomasiology or
semasiology. Thus, one may focus on words representing the same meaning
as in child, girl, babymeaning ‘young person’ or focus on meanings
attached to the same word, as in girl‘child, young person’ (c1300)
versus girl‘female young person’. These traditional approaches assume
that the meaning lies in data that is conceived of in categorical and
linear terms.

In this talk I present a perspective on semantic change in terms of
paradigmatic relations across a text. I discuss the findings from the
Linguistic DNA <>research project which
analysedconcepts in discourse of 55,000 Early Modern English books. I
present the most recent theoretical and methodological innovations,
which include bottom-up modelling of prosodic meaning.

   *     Thursday 8 December 2022 at 2pm CET (GMT +1)

Florentina Armaselu(University of Luxembourg)
“Bridging NLP and LLOD: Humanities Approaches to Semantic Change”


Natural language processing (NLP) for detecting lexical semantic change
and linguistic linked open data (LLOD) are two areas of research that
have shown promising results in the latest years. However, their
potential of being considered together for analysingand representing
semantic change from a humanistic perspective needs further study and

The talk will present an overview of theoretical aspects, NLP techniques
and LLOD formalisms intended to this purpose, and will focus on a
project developed as a humanitiesuse case within the COST Action “Nexus
Linguarum– European network for Web-centredlinguistic data science.” The
discussion will include preliminary thoughts on the conception of a
system that combines dictionary information with corpus evidence,
andprovides multilingual diachronic ontologies for humanities research.

Practical information:

These talks will be held, via Microsoft Teams, in English, with
questions in French, Dutch or English. The target audience is scholars,
but the general public is warmly welcome.

Registration is free but mandatory: Microsoft Forms

You will be sent the link to the virtual meeting on the morning of the

This series is co-organisedby the following research Labs at KBR:
Digital Research Lab, Data Science Lab, CAMilleand LabEL, in cooperation
with Université libre de Bruxelles, Universiteit Gent, Vrije
Universiteit Brussel, and Université catholiquede Louvain.

Isabelle Gribomont, also on behalf of my co-organizers Julie Birkholz,
Brecht Deseure, Sébastien de Valeriola and Tan Lu

Isabelle Gribomont
Chercheuse postdoctorale en humanités numériques à l'UCLouvain et
responsable deLabEL (Laboratory for Electronic Literature)
<>à la Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique
/Digital Humanities Postdoctoral Researcher at UCLouvain and head of
//LabEL (Laboratory for Electronic Literature)
<>// at
the Royal Library of Belgium/

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