The fuzzy boundaries of language and literature

The 10th International Conference of the Spanish Association for Corpus Linguistics (AELINCO) is taking place from the 9th to the 11th May, 2018, in Cáceres.

Professor Michaela Mahlberg will be speaking about ‘the fuzzy boundaries of language and literature’. Illustrating the recent work Professor Mahlberg and her team have been completing on speech in fiction, the talk will argue that repeated sequences of words like ‘what do you think of’ or ‘and all that sort of’ are examples of lexico-grammatical patterns that are shared between fictional speech and real spoken language.

Such patterns contribute textual effects so that fictional characters can appear natural – and like real people. The research has been enabled through the CLiC web application ( that was funded by the AHRC and continues to be developed at the University of Birmingham.