Monthly Archives: November 2006

Question about Alston

María Rodríguez-Gil and Nuria Yáñez-Bouza asked the following question: 

We are currently investigating Alston’s bibliographic studies on the 18thc and we thought you may be able to help us out.

We are interested in:

(a) Alston, R.C. (1963). A check-list of English grammars written in English 1582-1800.

and (b) Alston, R.C. (1967-70 + 1974). English linguistics 1500-1800 (a collection of facsimile reprints)

We have consulted the librarians at Manchester and at Leeds. At Manchester we no longer hold the Check-list, it seems to have gone missing, and only 160 facsimiles are held at the moment. From Leeds, unfortunately, we have had no reply at all.

It occurred to us that, since you’ve previously worked with Alston’s works, you may be able to answer our questions.

With regard to (a), the check-list: have you had the chance to consult this book before? If so, is it any different from Alston’s bibliography (1965)?

With regard to (b), do you happen to have, or to know of, a complete list of Alston’s facsimile reprints? If so, could you let us know how to access it?

All suggestions are welcome.

Third Late Modern English Conference

We have just sent out the second circular for the Third Late Modern English Conference, which will be held in Leiden from 30 August – 1 September 2007.

If you wish to read the second circular, you can find the text on our webisite

For further information, please send an e-mail to

MIMAS Bibliographic Source

Nuria Yanez-Bouza has brought MIMAS to our attention, a national data centre which provides ‘access to key data and information resources to support teaching, learning and research across a wide range of disciplines’. Their bibliographic services are an excellent tool for our field, e.g. Archives Hub (descriptions of archives and manuscript collections held in UK universities and colleges), COPAC (a union catalogue of 24 of the largest university research libraries in the UK and Ireland), Zetoc (The British Library’s electronic table of contents), ISI Web of Knowledge (which includes citation indexes), or JSTOR (a unique digital archive collection of fully-text searchable academic journals).

The homepage is:

For info on the bibliographic services go to:

It is run by Manchester Computing at the University of Manchester and it is free for members of UK Further and Higher Education institutions, although subscription is required for some particular services. For non-UK institutions some services are freely provided (e.g. Archives Hub, COPAC) – it is certainly worth contacting them to find out about subscription!

Eighteenth-century numerals

Stephen Laker asked us the following question:

Do eighteenth-century and later grammars prescribe the order four-and-twenty or twenty-four in numerals. Until relatively recently many dialects of England used the older Dutch/German/Frisian type system? Indeed, according to the Linguistic Atlas of England (Map S 7) the older system seems to be found in most dialects, including those of south-east England and all of East Anglia.

Any suggestions will be most welcome!

Quest for Lindley Murray

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New databases, new research questions

On Friday 3 November, the University of Leiden presented a symposium on Open Access. In order to show to what extent new databases call for new approaches to research, I presented the attached paper, which deals with OED, ODNB and ECCO. The paper was in Dutch; if anyone would like to read the version in English, I’d be happy to provide it. Download file

Anniversary of Lowth’s death

Coming Friday, 3 November, is the anniversary of Robert Lowth’s death in 1787. To commemorate this, we transcribed the obituray as it appeared in The Annual Register … for the year 1787 (London, 1789). Download file