Department of English

Previous Projects

Early Modern English Witness Depositions

Professor Merja Kytö, Assistant Professor Peter J. Grund (University of Kansas) and Dr Terry Walker (Mid-Sweden University) are completing a three-year Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) funded project on an electronic text edition of Early Modern English witness depositions. The project will result in the publication of a monograph entitled Testifying to the Language and Life in Early Modern England. Including a CD Containing An Electronic Text Edition of Depositions 1560-1760 (ETED) (John Benjamins, May 2011). ETED combines modern corpus linguistic methodology and editorial theory and offers access to faithful transcriptions of 905 depositions drawn from manuscripts collected from the North, South, East and West of England, and the London area. The depositions total c. 267,000 words and cover testimony by men and women of different ages and walks of life. The material is included on the CD in five electronic formats (XML, resolved XML, HTML, TXT and PDF). ETED Presenter, a data retrieval program, and a number of support files add to the usability of the material. In the book, the editors provide a socio-historical and legal background to the material, and discuss the language of depositions and the characteristics of the genre.

Colloquialization in Late Modern English

Erik Smitterberg received a five-year (2009-2013) Research Fellowship from the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities (Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien) for his project on colloquialization phenomena in Late Modern English (see http://www.engelska.uu.se/People/Erik_Smitterberg/). Late Modern English (1700–1900) is a period in English Historical Linguistics that has become increasingly topical in recent years. Smitterberg’s project concerns three central aspects of research on Late Modern English: corpus compilation, the interaction of speech and writing, and socio-historical linguistics. Smitterberg investigates the extent to which some written genres were increasingly influenced by norms for contemporary speech during the 19th century, leading to a “colloquialization” of parts of the written language. The project includes the compilation of a corpus of newspaper texts from the early and late 19th century. The project aims at the publication of a monograph on colloquialization in Late Modern English and a publicly available corpus of 19th-century newspaper English.

Exploring Spoken Interaction of the Early Modern English Period

Professor Merja Kytö and Dr Jonathan Culpeper (Lancaster University) launched A Corpus of English Dialogues 1560-1760 (CED) as part of the project “Exploring spoken interaction of the Early Modern English period” in international distribution in 2006. In addition to the project leaders, a number of researchers at the two universities participated in the project, including Dawn Archer and Michi Shiima (Lancaster) and Terry Walker and Mattias Jacobson (Uppsala). The project received several grants from funding agencies in Sweden (Swedish Research Council / Vetenskapsrådet) and in the United Kingdom (Arts and Humanities Research Board, British Council) and has so far resulted in the publication of a number of monographs and articles (1997-2010).