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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Dr Barbara McGillivray

Barbara McGillivray
Research Fellow
Theoretical and Applied Linguistics
Contact details: 

T-R10, English Faculty Building
9 West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DP


Barbara McGillivray is a computational linguist. She holds a degree in Mathematics and one in Classics from the University of Florence (Italy), and a Ph.D. in Computational Linguistics from the University of Pisa (2010). Before joining the University and the Alan Turing Institute, she worked as a language technologist in the Dictionary division of Oxford University Press and as a data scientist in the Open Research Group of Springer Nature.

Teaching interests: 
  • Computational linguistics
  • Corpus linguistics
  • Data science and digital humanities
  • Natural Language Processing for humanities research
Research interests: 
  • Computational linguistics
  • Historical linguistics
  • Corpus linguistics
  • Latin linguistics
  • Ancient Greek linguistics
  • Data science and digital humanities
Recent research projects: 
  • Analysis of the dative alternation in the new Spoken BNC2014 corpus
  • LatinISE, a 13-million word diachronic corpus of Latin, automatically lemmatized and part-of-speech tagged
  • Bayesian learning of lexical-semantic preferences of verbs from Latin corpora
  • Valency lexicon automatically extracted from the Index Thomisticus Treebank
Published works: 
  • McGillivray, B. and Jenset, G.B. (2017). Quantitative Historical Linguistics. A corpus framework, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • McGillvray, B. (2013). Methods in Latin Computational Linguistics, Leiden: Brill.
  • McGillivray, B. and Vatri, A. (2015). Computational valency lexica for Latin and Greek in use: a case study of syntactic ambiguity. Journal of Latin Linguistics, vol. 14 (1)
  • Barðdal, J., Smitherman, T., Bjarnadóttir, V., Danesi, S., Jenset, G., and McGillivray, B. (2012). Reconstructing Constructional Semantics: The Dative Subject Construction in Old Norse-Icelandic, Latin, Ancient Greek, Old Russian and Old Lithuanian. Studies in Language, 36(3)
  • McGillivray, B., Passarotti, M., and Ruolo, P. (2009). The Index Thomisticus Treebank Project. Annotation, parsing and valency lexicon. Traitement Automatique des Langues, vol. 50 (2)
  • McGillivray, B. and Johansson, C. (2009). Making sense through correspondence. Arena Romanistica, vol. 4
  • McGillivray, B. (2006). A probabilistic algorithm for the secant defect of Grassmann varieties. Linear Algebra and its Applications, vol. 418(2-3)
  • McGillivray, B. (2015). Metodi in linguistica computazionale latina. In Molinelli, P., Putzu, I. (Eds.), Modelli epistemologici, metodologie della ricerca e qualità del dato. Dalla linguistica storica alla sociolinguistica storica. Milan: FrancoAngeli.
  • McGillivray, B. and Kilgarri, A. (2013). Tools for historical corpus research, and a corpus of Latin. In Paul Bennett, Martin Durrell, Silke Scheible, Richard J. Whitt (eds.), New Methods in Historical Corpus Linguistics, Tübingen: Narr.
  • Jenset, G. and McGillivray, B. (2012). Multivariate analyses of affix productivity in translated English. In: Michael P. Oakes and Meng Ji (eds.), Quantitative Methods in Corpus-Based Translation Studies. Amsterdam: John Benjamins
  • McGillivray, B. (2011). Contribution to the lexical entries contained in Manni, P., and Bi, M. (Eds.), Glossario Leonardiano. Nomenclatura delle macchine nei codici di Madrid e Atlantico. Florence: Olschki
  • Passarotti, M., McGillivray, G., and Bamman, D. (2015). A Treebank-based Study on Latin Word Order. In Haverling, G. (Ed.), Latin linguistics in the early 21st century. Acts of the 16th international colloquium on Latin linguistics, Uppsala, June 6th-11th, 2011, Uppsala.
  • McGillivray, B. and Passarotti, M. (2015). Accessing and using a corpus-driven Latin Valency Lexicon. In Haverling, G. (Ed.), Latin linguistics in the early 21st century. Acts of the 16th international colloquium on Latin linguistics, Uppsala, June 6th-11th, 2011, Uppsala.
  • McGillivray, B. (2013). Latin preverbs and verb argument structure: New insights from new methods. In Elly van Gelderen, Jóhanna Barðdal, and Michela Cennamo (eds.), Argument Structure in Flux. The Naples-Capri Papers, John Benjamins
  • Meini, L. and McGillivray, B. (2010). Between semantics and syntax: spatial verbs and prepositions in Latin. Space in Language. Proceedings of the Pisa International Conference, Pisa: ETS
  • McGillivray, B. (2010). Automatic Selectional Preference Acquisition for Latin verbs. In Proceedings of the ACL 2010 Student Research Workshop, Uppsala
  • McGillivray, B. and Passarotti, M. (2009). The Development of the Index Thomisticus Treebank Valency Lexicon. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Language Technology and Resources for Cultural Heritage, Social Sciences, Humanities, and Education, Athens
  • McGillivray, B. (2009). Selectional Preferences from a Latin Treebank. In Przepiórkowski A., M. Passarotti, S. Raynaud, and F. van Eynde (eds.) Proceedings of the Eighth International Workshop on Treebanks and Linguistic Theories (TLT8). Milan: EDUCatt
  • McGillivray, B., Johansson, C., and Apollon, D. (2008). Semantic structure from Correspondence Analysis. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Graph-based Algorithms for Natural Language Processing (COLING 2008), Manchester
  • Lenci, A., McGillivray, B., Montemagni, S., and Pirrelli, V. (2008), Unsupervised Acquisition of Verb Subcategorization Frames from Shallow-Parsed Corpora. In Proceedings of the Sixth International Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'08), Marrakech