Department of English

Exploring Spoken Interaction of the Early Modern English Period

A Corpus of English Dialogues 1560–1760 (CED) (2006) formed part of the research project Exploring Spoken Interaction of the Early Modern English Period. The project team comprised Professor Merja Kytö and Terry Walker at the Department of English at Uppsala University and Dr Jonathan Culpeper and his research associates at the Department of Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University (UK). Historical corpora are important tools for the study of the language of the past: they offer relatively easy access to large amounts of data. The main objective of the project was to enable and carry out empirical linguistic research on substantial amounts of data drawn from such corpora, notably the CED, but also other sources of data such as the Helsinki Corpus of English Texts.

The topics addressed pertain to research within such areas as variationist studies, historical pragmatics, and the study of speech presentation. Among the issues dealt with have been text structure (e.g. questions in courtroom texts, the cohesive usages of ‘and’, lexical bundles, fragmentation through structures like lexical repetitions), pragmatic/discourse markers (e.g. primary interjections and hesitators, i.e. items discussed under the umbrella term ‘pragmatic noise’), the vocative, speech styles (e.g. those relating to sex and social status), and second-person singular pronoun usage (‘you’ vs ‘thou’).

For further information, see A Corpus of English Dialogues 1560-1760 and Externally Funded Research.

The CED team gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Swedish Research Council/Vetenskapsrådet (grant number F0588/1998), the English Department at Uppsala University, the Arts and Humanities Research Board, U.K. (RG-AN2887/APN8599), and the British Academy (SG-AN2887/APN3846, and for the SPC project, SG-30252).