Our research involves investigating user needs, the visualisation of lexicographic data and human-computer interaction. More specifically, the ColloCaid project aims to develop a text-editing tool to help writers choose words that go well together (i.e., collocations) as and when they are needed. While the focus of our research is on supporting users of academic English with collocations like design+system
, its implications can be broadened to other languages and usages beyond academic. A distinguishing characteristic of ColloCaid is that it is not limited to providing feedback on collocation problems. Its main aim is to feed forward, raising real-time awareness of collocations writers may not remember or know how to look up, in a way that does not disrupt their writing. ColloCaid is funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council for a period of 36 months (AH/P003508/1
). The project is led by Dr Ana Frankenberg-Garcia, School of Literature and Languages, University of Surrey, UK, with close collaboration from Professor Robert Lew, Faculty of English, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland; and Professor Jonathan C. Roberts, School of Computer Science, Bangor University, UK.
What are collocations?
Collocations are words which are conventionally used together (e.g. collect data, change dramatically, highly significant, etc.). Violating collocation conventions can result in errors (e.g. *depend of something) or awkward, non-idiomatic text (e.g. *a large mistake). This affects not only writing, but also reading, since texts with collocation problems are more difficult to process.