Transius Symposium

"Corpus Analysis in Legal Research and Legal Translation Studies"

3 June 2016, University of Geneva

Programme | Pre-Symposium Seminar | Speakers Practical information 

The potential of corpus analysis as a methodology for researching legal language, legal translation and law is nowadays undeniable. However, the number of systematic, publicly available corpus studies in these fields is still limited. The creation and exploitation of corpora for specific research purposes entail addressing multiple methodological questions on the parameters for corpus building and corpus querying, as well as key decisions on the selection and adaptation of suitable tools.

In order to explore these issues, the interdisciplinary Transius Symposium on Corpus Analysis in Legal Research and Legal Translation Studies will bring together legal, translation and linguistic researchers working with different corpora in national and international contexts. They will discuss how to make corpus analysis more accessible and fruitful in applied research. The advantages and challenges of using different types of corpora ―monolingual or multilingual, comparable or parallel― and analytical methods will be examined from various interdisciplinary angles. Corpus-building criteria, query strategies and corpus analytical tools will be illustrated with practical examples.

This one-day symposium continues the Transius tradition of exchanging experiences and best practices. It is open to all interested audiences, including scholars, practitioners and students in the fields of Translation Studies, Law and Linguistics. The symposium will be preceded by an optional seminar on corpus querying and statistics for corpus linguistics led by Dr Aleksandar TRKLJA (University of Birmingham) on 2 June.


9.00-9.30: Registration

9.30: Opening


  • Łucja BIEL (Faculty of Applied Linguistics, University of Warsaw): "Designing and querying a corpus to study variation in legal discourse"
  • Aleksandar TRKLJA (University of Brimingham): "Formulaicity and superdiversity in legal texts"

10.40-11.10: Coffee break


  • Urška ŠADL & Yannis PANAGIS (iCourts, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhaguen): "Does precedent constrain the Court of Justice of the European Union?: A multidimensional study of case citations" (videoconference)
  • Fernando PRIETO RAMOSDiego GUZMÁN (Transius, Faculty of Translation and Interpreting, University of Geneva): "Identifying translation patterns in institutional settings: a corpus-based analysis of terminological consistency and adequacy"
  • Annarita FELICI (Transius, Faculty of Translation and Interpreting, University of Geneva): "The Swiss and the Italian civil codes: A corpus-based perspective on German and Italian"

12.40-14.15: Lunch break


  • Stefan HÖFLER (Centre for Legislative Studies, Institute of Law, University of Zürich): "Assessing the quality of legislation by means of an automatically annotated corpus"
  • Andreas ABEGG (School of Management and Law, University of Applied Sciences, Zürich): "Changes in our understanding of the “State”: Empirical linguistics in legal theory and history"

15.15-15.45: Coffee break


  • Giorgina CERUTTI (Transius, Faculty of Translation and Interpreting, University of Geneva): "Corpora for legal translation: From do-it-yourself to do-it-together"
  • Samantha CAYRON (Transius, Faculty of Translation and Interpreting, University of Geneva): "Analysing terminology in legal corpora for certified translation in the field of probate law"

16.45: Closing

Pre-Symposium Seminar: Tools and Methods in Multilingual Corpus Studies

Instructor: Aleksandar TRKLJA (University of Birmingham)

2 June 2016, 2.30pm-5pm

The aim of this seminar is to introduce participants to basic principles and methods of corpus linguistics (CL) for the study of interdisciplinary issues in monolingual and multilingual contexts. It will be divided into three parts:

  1. CL methods and theories
  2. Corpus tools: overview of the most frequently used tools and hands-on activities
  3. Basics of statistical evaluation and descriptive statistics: overview and hands-on activities

Participants will be introduced to key CL notions such as collocations, colligations and lexical bundles, and to the use of computational tools for linguistic analysis of different kinds of corpora. They will be asked to install the corpus tools AntConc and TXM or to login to CQPweb in advance of the tutorial. Data for analysis will be provided by the instructor.

No previous knowledge or experience in statistics or computer programming is required. Given the strong emphasis on methodological aspects, this seminar is particularly recommended to PhD students and other researchers working with corpora.

Practical information


The conference will take place at the Uni Mail building (40, Boulevard du Pont d'Arve. 1205 - Geneva). See access map below.


An 80-minute courtesy transport ticket is offered at Cointrin airport, in the baggage claim area. Additionally, hotels provide with a free Geneva Transport Card for each day of the stay. To get to the Uni Mail building on public transport, please follow these indications:

From Cointrin Airport: Take any train at the airport's train station* and get off at Cornavin train station (first stop). Take the tramway line 15 towards "Palettes" until "Uni Mail" stop.

*All trains departing from Cointrin Airport's train station stop at Cornavin Train Station.

From Cornavin train station: Take the tramway line 15 towards "Palettes" until "Uni Mail" stop. [map]

For more information, please visit Geneva's public transportation system website (TPG).


All participants must make arrangements for their lunches at their own initiative.


Participants are responsible for booking their own accommodation and are therefore asked to CONTACT HOTELS DIRECTLY.

Visiting Geneva

The city of Geneva is home to a number of international organisations, some of which open their doors to visitors. These include the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) and the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN). Moreover Geneva's museums offer a wide range of cultural activities. During summer, different activities are organised at the city's parks and on the shores of the Leman Lake.

For more information on what to do during your stay at Geneva, please visit Geneva's Tourism and Conventions website.

Access map