Education and language in Memories of Labour
Projecto IPG 118

Investigação na Pré-graduação - Projectos pluridisciplinares - Concurso 2007
Universidade do Porto com o apoio da Caixa Geral de Depósitos



Poster presented at IJUP'09


The research team and students of this project involve different social sciences domains (Linguistic, Education Sciences, History, Information Sciences), and Computer Science, and aims to contribute, in a multi-referential perspective, to understand the processes of interaction between work, personal formation and professional identity of workers, in Porto, during the second half of the 20th century,through the analysis of biographical narratives.

The project has its origins and continues research work already developed by the "Centro de Documentação e Informação sobre o Movimento Operário e Popular do Porto" of Universidade Popular do Porto (CDI), where members of the research team have worked with. CDI's goals are the preservation of the social, cultural and political memory, and oral and social history of Porto, during the 20th century, as well as its diffusion. In what the oral history is concerned, CDI has already a corpus of 80 interviews with workers of different professions and with distinct social experiences. The quantity, diversity and quality of the collected information by the CDI inspires its study in a multidisciplinary approach.

The current project has two main research axes that aim to understand the processes of interaction between work, personal formation and professional identity. The first of these axes focus on a linguistic and social-linguistic analysis, the second one focus on the education/formation processes, both of them interconnected with research in computational linguistics and semi-structured data processing.

We aim to contribute to the analysis of several linguistic characteristics and its relationships with social, educational and dialectal conditions of the interviewees, using the corpus of the narratives. A relevant linguistic aspect is the oral nature of the corpus, as it is composed by interviews transcriptions. Amongst the excepted results are the identification of synchronical varieties (of age, regional and social) associated with the oral corpus under analysis, as well as the identification of diachronical lexical changes and the use of certain patterns of language. In the first place, we will carry out a selection of lexical items and syntactic constructions patterns to be computationally identified and for that we will develop the necessary computational applications. Then we will proceed to the statistical analysis and the development of a knowledge base with the relevant patterns. Finally we will make an evaluation of the results towards a socio-linguistic approach, namely by identifying marks of regionalism, of power and of gender.

From the Education Sciences point of view the aim will be the understanding of the articulation of the workers biographic pathways with processes of education and formation that transcends the spaces, the epochs and the actors institutionally defined as educational. These processes are indissociated of the construction of aworker's identity where the dimensions of civic, political and professional education are articulated.

For the organization and classification of the narratives computational applications for the manipulation of semi-structured documents will be used.


Concerning the project team:

  1. Consolidation of a multidisciplinary team that includes researchers of different scientific domains that carry out work with young researchers.

  2. To understand the interaction processes between work, personal formation and professional identity.

    3. To contribute to the computational processing of Portuguese and the development of software applications to be distributed under free software license, that allow the manipulation of semi-structured documents that facilitates the access, classification and search of the information.

Concerning the work of the students of Linguistics and of Computational Processing of Portuguese:

1. To select lexical items and identification of language's patterns used in workers' speech.

2. To analyse lexical variations and changes of use of certain syntactic constructions in a socio-linguistic perspective.

3. The development of software applications for lexical and syntactic analysis of corpora, as well as for statistical analysis and syntactic patterns identification.

Concerning the work of the students of Education Sciences and of computational manipulation of semi-structured documents:

1. To analyse the workers and social activists biographic narratives to understand the educational dimension associated to social environments and workers political struggle at the city of Porto, during in the second half of 20th century.

2. To identify and to characterize the processes of self-formation and experiential learning related with professional experience.

3. To discuss the civic education dimension related to the labour and friendship processes at work.




Mestrado em Ciência de Computadores, FCUP
Mestrado em Sociologia, FLUP
Licenciatura de Língua e Literaturas Modernas, FLUP

Curso de Ciências da Educação, FPCEUP


Proposal (em Português)

Mid-term report

Final report

Poster presented at IJUP'09


Regulations (em Português)


Termo de Aceitação

Página UP- IPG

Nelma Moreira 2009-03-01