Daria Dayter

Dr. Daria Dayter

Oberassistentin / Postdoctoral Teaching and Research Fellow (Professur Locher)

Englisches Seminar
Nadelberg 6
CH-4051 Basel

Office 15

Profile Dr. Daria Dayter

Dr. Daria Dayter studied English philology and conference interpreting at the Russian Academy for the Humanities in St. Petersburg, Russia. Upon completion of her diploma in 2007 she joined the University of Bayreuth, Germany, first as a Master and then as a doctoral student. She was awarded an MA degree in English linguistics in 2010, having submitted a Master thesis on the topic “Ritual insults in North America: Evolution and contemporary use”. Her doctoral thesis was supervised by Prof. Susanne Mühleisen and dealt with the speech act repertoire of ballet students communicating on Twitter.

Daria’s research interests lie in the areas of corpus linguistics, Translation and Interpreting Studies, pragmatics, and computer-mediated communication. She is currently working on a postdoctoral project in Interpreting Studies, "Corpus-based approach to the study of simultaneous interpreting on the material of Russian-English language pair".

Daria is active in the international research and publishing community. Her book Discursive self in Microblogging. Speech acts, stories and self-praise appeared in the Pragmatics&Beyond series with John Benjamins. She is a member of the editorial board for the journal Internet Pragmatics and has co-edited a special issue Personal Narrative Online together with Prof. Susanne Mühleisen for Open Linguistics, published in open access. Her collaborative projects include an investigation of the persuasive speech patterns of the community of Pick-Up Artists, on which she has co-authored multiple papers with Sofia Rüdiger.

In the spring term 2019, Daria Dayter was a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Forensic Linguistics, Aston University, UK.

Since February 2019, Daria is the Multilingual Website Editor for Target. International Journal of Translation Studies. benjamins.com/online/target/multilingual

This is Daria Dayter's habilitation project.

SIREN corpus

Simultaneous interpreting (SI) is the key mode of interpreting at high-level international institutions such as the United Nations, The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and many others. However, the difficulty of obtaining data (related to privacy and copyright issues as well as purely practical considerations – recording parallel soundstreams, the required amount of transcribing) has led to the current dearth of empirical, corpus-based investigations into SI.

This methodological problem inspired the project to create a representative corpus of SI based on political discourse. The data includes speeches given at various UN events as well as press conferences by high-ranking officials and humanitarian figures. The corpus in its finished formed comprises about 500,000 words or 60 hours of speech data and consists of two subcorpora: Russian originals interpreted into English, and English originals interpreted into Russian. The composition of SIREN means that it provides both types of data: translational and comparable, which can help overcome certain hurdles in corpus-based contrastive analysis (see Altenberg&Granger 2002). In contrast to many existing corpora of SI, SIREN is an attempt at a balanced representation of the interpreting conducted free as well as with text. Corpus annotation combines POS-tagging with the descriptive annotation of interpreters’ disfluencies and enables a wide variety of fully automated linguistic searches.

Study of linguistic variation in translation

The main purpose of the project is to conduct macroanalysis of linguistic variation between interpreted and non-interpreted texts, i.e. provide insight into “T-universals” (Chesterman 2004:39). This will be done using the multidimensional approach inspired by Biber’s (1995) work on register variation, although based on a different, relevant set of variables.

To date, research into translationese followed one of two paths: an interpretative analysis of selected features informed by linguistic theory on the basis of concordances; or efforts in the area of NLP that focused on automatically identifiable features (information density, shallow statistics such as lexical density and type-token ratio). The former approaches cannot provide a comprehensive picture of translationese and place the emphasis on the once-posited dimensions such as explicitation, normalisation, simplification and convergence. The latter tend to be highly text-type-specific, as the performance of automatic classifiers demonstrates. I propose to combine the benefits of the corpus-based study of translation, following the tradition of the carefully designed investigations by Bernardini (2015) and Delaere et al. (2012), with the corpus-driven approach to variation. The overarching aim of the project is to use multivariate statistical analysis of a large number of linguistic features to establish dimensions of variation between interpreted texts and the originals, a methodology that was introduced to linguistics by Biber (1988) for register analysis and also found applications in translational variation research (Diwersy et al. 2014, Evert&Neumann 2017, Rabinovich&Wintner 2015). (references here)


Dayter, Daria. 2018. "Describing lexical patterns in simultaneously interpreted discourse in a parallel aligned corpus of Russian-English interpreting (SIREN)." FORUM International Journal of Interpretation and Translation 16(2): 241-264. https://doi.org/10.1075/forum.17004.day


"Exploring variation in SIREN using Exploratory Factor Analysis." Presentation at ICAME40, Neuchatel, 2-5 June 2019. presentation

"Parallel corpus of simultaneous interpreting as a tool of contrastive linguistics: investigation of collocativity." Poster and a mini-talk at the 5th Using Corpora in Contrastive and Translation Studies conference in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, September 12-14, 2018. poster

"Corpus methods in a search for translationese in the parallel corpus of simultaneous interpreting Ru-En-" Presentation at the Translation and Interpreting in Transition 3, Ghent University, 13-14 July 2017.

“Corpus-based approach to simultaneous interpretation: multivariate analysis of variation.” Presentation at the EST Congress 2016, Aarhus, 16-18 September 2016. presentation

In this project I and Sofia Rüdiger (University of Bayreuth) investigate the linguistic practices of the community of Pick-Up Artists. 

Who are PUAs?

The ‘pick up artists’ (PUA) community unites men who learn and practice speed-seduction for short-term mating. The main means of contact for this community are online platforms that incorporate forums where members exchange tips, strategies and reports of their exploits. The PUA movement is highly commercialized: the so-called “gurus”, the experienced members of the community who are successful in the game, go on seminar tours around the world and are well-represented on TV and in the self-help sections of bookshops.

The essence of PUA method is building confidence in the adept. This is achieved through a number of techniques, for example, providing scripts for flirting to help those who are shy and tongue-tied, or more generally, casting the whole encounter within a “training frame”. As such, the encounter is perceived as successful whether or not the woman reacted favourably: as in an athletic training session, the emphasis is placed on the process rather than the result (Dayter&Rüdiger 2016).

The study

Because confidence is the key element of “The Game” (the pick-up artists’ seduction process), the discourse of PUAs is ideally placed for the study of self-praise. Positive self-presentation happens on two levels: on the one hand, the man constructs a desirable identity within every encounter with a woman; on the other hand, PUA community members strive for the status of gurus in their reports addressed to other members. Since the former type of data is very difficult to obtain, our research focuses on the self-presentation practices within PUA online forums.

We first lay a foundation for the analysis of PUA discourse by focussing on the marked lexis that constitutes a cornerstone of the PUA paradigm. The mastery of a complex technical vocabulary of terms and abbreviations (‘HB scale’ - hot babe scale; ‘negging’ - teasing the woman with minor insults to pique her interest; ‘quality of girl’; ‘woman management’) is inherent to ‘The Game’. These microlinguistic elements are employed by PUA community members to construct their game as successful in the “field reports” (a type of forum post in which members give detailed accounts of their activities).

In follow-up studies, we conduct qualitative analyses of a corpus of field reports representative of the genre and the replies to these reports. We particularly focus on the role of narrative framing in the reporting of events and investigate how the verbalisation of narrative guides the reader towards the intended understanding by establishing the shared knowledge schema in the community of practice.

Papers and presentations

Rüdiger, Sofia and Dayter, Daria. "Language in an Online Community of Pick-up Artists: Reconstructing Experience" presentation at The Ethics of Online Research Methods (BAAL Language and New Media SIG Workshop), Cardiff, UK, 16-17 April 2015. Presentation

Dayter, Daria and Sofia Rüdiger. 2016. "Reporting from the Field: The Narrative Reconstruction of Experience in Pick-up Artist Online Communities." Open Linguistics 2(1): 337-351. Available here (open access)

Sofia Rüdiger and Dayter, Daria "Killer hugs, mad skills and no one trick ponies." Presentation at IPrA 2017, Belfast, 16-21 July 2019. presentation

Dayter, Daria and Sofia Rüdiger. "Iceberg ahead: self-praise in online and offline discourse“, presentation at the 2nd International Conference for Sociolinguistics in Budapest, Hungary, September 6-8, 2018.

Dayter, Daria. Blog post „Seducing with words. The role of language in the pick-up artist’s make-believe“ in the university blog sci-five, April 16, 2018, https://medium.com/sci-five-university-of-basel/seducing-with-words-aed982d465cc

Dayter, Daria and Sofia Rüdiger. 2019. “In other words: ‘The Language of Attraction’ used by Pick-up Artists.” English Today 35(2): 13-19.

The ethics conundrum

Unavoidably, sampling the language in an environment where risky topics are constantly discussed presents ethical dilemmas. We consider how conducting research in a hostile community may influence traditional methodological decisions. Through the example of the PUA community, we discuss the vulnerability of subjects and potential harm in linguistic research, and whether anything gives the researcher the freedom to forego informed consent, especially when dealing with publicly available data in an open forum. We also address the myth of the unbiased researcher that is prevalent in contemporary social science.

Papers and presentations

Rüdiger, Sofia and Dayter, Daria. "Online Reports of Seduction - When Your Informants Don't Trust You" at Social Media & Society, London, UK, 11–13 July 2016 Poster

Rüdiger, Sofia and Daria Dayter. 2017. "The Ethics of Researching Unlikeable Subjects: Language in an Online Community." Applied Linguistics Review 8(2-3): 251-269. https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2016-1038