SAMUELS Sub-projects

Sub-projects led separately in different consortium institutions tested the outputs of the Historical Thesaurus Semantic Tagger during development and explored the possibilities for using the data in research.


Hansard and Parliament from Above - University of Glasgow

Project Team: Dr Marc Alexander, Professor Christian Kay, Dr Fraser Dallachy

This project used Semantic Hansard data in order to map broad-scale patterns in the semantic categories which have been most heavily used in parliamentary discourse across time. The key phrases and concepts employed were visualised to indicate which semantic areas have been employed heavily by particular MPs and political parties in the past two hundred years. Also of interest were subjects which show unusual behaviour such as sudden spikes or dips in usage. These are highlighted in visual representations, as are pre-selected topics of interest, such as warhonestycivilizationhonourhomosexuality, and terrorism.


Is There a Baron in the Commons? - University of Huddersfield

Project Team: Professor Lesley Jeffries, Dr Brian Walker, Dr Jane Demmen

The language used in connection with a subject reveals much about a speaker’s conception of that subject, and the more contentious the subject, the stronger the use of imagery is likely to be. This project used the Semantic Hansard to investigate the language used to discuss trade unions in political speeches. Beginning with the governments of Margaret Thatcher and James Callaghan, the project team searched for the semantic groupings which collocate with discussion of trade unions. This allowed them to trace the linguistic imagery and associations which politicians have used in their representation of trade unions, and thus the way in which they have wished to conceptualise – or to have their listeners conceptualise – the unions and their members.

This sub-project developed a follow-on which added data for the years 2004-2020 to Semantic Hansard, and created an interface which allowed rapid user-friendly visualisation of concept use patterns in the data, now available on the Hansard at Huddersfield project website.


Delineating Aggression Across Genres - University of Central Lancashire

Project Team: Professor Dawn Archer, Bethan Malory

This project followed on from Professor Archer’s previous work on the Old Bailey corpus, tagged using the USAS (UCREL Semantic Analysis System) tagger, the predecessor of the Historical Thesaurus Semantic Tagger. It explored the ‘aggression space’ in subsections of Semantic EEBO and Semantic Hansard, focussing on the times of unrest such as the 'War of 1812' and the 'Winter of Discontent'. The project identified strings of collocated semantic and psrt-of-speech tags which were indicative of the expression of aggravation, conflict, and imploiteness. This work has resulted in the categorisation of facework strategies employed by speakers when expressing aggression, with these linked to the combinations of tags with which they are associated.

Professor Archer has published several journal articles resulting from the SAMUELS project work, details of which can be found on the Project Outputs page.


Visualising English Print (1470 - 1800) - University of Strathclyde

Project Team: Professor Jonathan Hope

The Visualising English Print (VEP) project’s ongoing research aims to develop methods of analysing and displaying data on linguistic and generic variation in the first three centuries of English printed books. Professor Jonathan Hope at Strathclyde led the SAMUELS-related branch of VEP, which investigated the ways in which Semantic EEBO data could be employed to help visualise such features in these texts, particularly semantic components of genre variation. Applying the data to a different sort of problem, VEP explored whether the Semantic EEBO data can be used to strengthen the metadata attached to the large data sources employed for their research.