Stefan Fischer


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The Royal Society Corpus 6.0: Providing 300+ Years of Scientific Writing for Humanistic Study
Stefan Fischer | Jörg Knappen | Katrin Menzel | Elke Teich
Proceedings of the 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

We present a new, extended version of the Royal Society Corpus (RSC), a diachronic corpus of scientific English now covering 300+ years of scientific writing (1665--1996). The corpus comprises 47 837 texts, primarily scientific articles, and is based on publications of the Royal Society of London, mainly its Philosophical Transactions and Proceedings. The corpus has been built on the basis of the FAIR principles and is freely available under a Creative Commons license, excluding copy-righted parts. We provide information on how the corpus can be found, the file formats available for download as well as accessibility via a web-based corpus query platform. We show a number of analytic tools that we have implemented for better usability and provide an example of use of the corpus for linguistic analysis as well as examples of subsequent, external uses of earlier releases. We place the RSC against the background of existing English diachronic/scientific corpora, elaborating on its value for linguistic and humanistic study.


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The Making of the Royal Society Corpus
Jörg Knappen | Stefan Fischer | Hannah Kermes | Elke Teich | Peter Fankhauser
Proceedings of the NoDaLiDa 2017 Workshop on Processing Historical Language


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Compasses, Magnets, Water Microscopes: Annotation of Terminology in a Diachronic Corpus of Scientific Texts
Anne-Kathrin Schumann | Stefan Fischer
Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'16)

The specialised lexicon belongs to the most prominent attributes of specialised writing: Terms function as semantically dense encodings of specialised concepts, which, in the absence of terms, would require lengthy explanations and descriptions. In this paper, we argue that terms are the result of diachronic processes on both the semantic and the morpho-syntactic level. Very little is known about these processes. We therefore present a corpus annotation project aiming at revealing how terms are coined and how they evolve to fit their function as semantically and morpho-syntactically dense encodings of specialised knowledge. The scope of this paper is two-fold: Firstly, we outline our methodology for annotating terminology in a diachronic corpus of scientific publications. Moreover, we provide a detailed analysis of our annotation results and suggest methods for improving the accuracy of annotations in a setting as difficult as ours. Secondly, we present results of a pilot study based on the annotated terms. The results suggest that terms in older texts are linguistically relatively simple units that are hard to distinguish from the lexicon of general language. We believe that this supports our hypothesis that terminology undergoes diachronic processes of densification and specialisation.


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Vector-space calculation of semantic surprisal for predicting word pronunciation duration
Asad Sayeed | Stefan Fischer | Vera Demberg
Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 7th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)