Centre for Advanced Study

at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters

Contrastive Analysis and Translation Studies Linked to Text Corpora


Former 1996/1997 Humanities - Theology

End Report

In the past year, the research group at CAS has compared original texts and translations of these texts to develop better methods of analysis. The text collection is composed systematically in electronic form, and will be used in linguistic research. The first of such text corpuses was established in the 1960s, the Brown Corpus, and was a collection of American text constituting approx. 1 million words.

Through the development of better computer technology, it has been possible to create even larger text collections, like The Bank of English with hundreds of millions of words, and the new British National Corpus, which includes spontaneous spoken language. Over the years, it has become more common to use electronic texts in historical research of language.

Work on the English-Norwegian parallel corpus began in 1993, and the work continues at CAS. Much of the time has been spent selecting texts for the collection and obtaining permissions from authors and translators. Only after this work is done can researchers compile and analyse the texts.

By comparing texts in different languages, researchers can find similarities and differences in the languages’ vocabulary, syntax and style. This help researchers find characteristic features of certain languages that are difficult to see when working only with that particular language.

In addition to the development of the corpus and the analysis of texts, researchers on the project have also been working on the development of programs for search and parallelisation of texts to be used for many different languages.

As of today, the group’s members have plans to publish two books.

One book will be a collection of articles by the group’s members that are expected to be completed this fall: Corpora and Crosslinguistic Research. A Dutch publisher will publish the book.

The second book will be a monograph on translation and sematic theory be one of the group’s members, Helge Dyvik. It is a continuation of thoughts that were presented at the group’s seminars and lectures throughout the year.


  • Aarts, Jan M. G.
    Professor University of Nijmegen 1996/1997
  • Altenberg, Bengt
    Professor Em. Lund University 1996/1997
  • Biber, Douglas Edward
    Professor Northern Arizona University (NAU) 1996/1997
  • Doherty, Monica
    Professor Humboldt University of Berlin 1996/1997
  • Dyvik, Helge Julius Jakhelln
    Professor University of Bergen (UiB) 1996/1997, 2017/2018
  • Ebeling, Jarle
    - University of Oxford 1996/1997
  • Hansen, Cathrine Fabricius
    Professor University of Oslo (UiO) 1996/1997, 2010/2011
  • Hofland, Knut
    Technical consultant University of Bergen (UiB) 1996/1997
  • Schmied, Josef Johann
    Professor Chemnitz University of Technology 1996/1997
  • Thunes, Martha
    Ph. D. Candidate University of Bergen (UiB) 1996/1997
  • Voutilainen, Atro Tapio
    Dr. University of Helsinki 1996/1997

Group leader

  • Stig Johansson

    Title Professor Institution University of Oslo (UiO) Year at CAS 1996/1997