Syntactic language change in English and German - Speaker: Steffen Eger

Language change has been explored for a long time in different disciplines, including linguistics and computational linguistics. In computational linguistics, a lot of work has addressed semantic language change, e.g., the change in word meaning such as gay over time. In this talk, I will present our ongoing work regarding syntactic language change using computational linguistics/NLP methods. In particular, we currently investigate syntactic language change in German and English political debates in the last 150-200 years, regarding various measures (e.g., average dependency length). Our focus is on whether results of different parsers agree in predicting language change, their robustness to historical spelling changes and OCR errors, and on differences in change across languages (German and English) and different syntactic measures. I will conclude with an outlook to exploring language change across different levels at the same time (morphological, syntactic, semantic) and jointly across different languages.