Blog Archives

Calls for Papers and Panels:

Prescriptivism and patriotism from nationalism to globalization

August 17-19, 2009. New College, University of Toronto, Canada.

This international conference centres on the historical and contemporary links between linguistic prescriptivism and political patriotism. Two research questions inform it. What roles have domestic politics, globalization, or transnational migration patterns played in the emergence of linguistic varieties like Standard English, Scots, Singlish, International French, chiac, English and French creoles? And to what extent have these varieties been shaped by prescriptive attitudes and instruments like dictionaries? “Prescriptivism and patriotism” is inspired by previous meetings and publications on linguistic prescriptivism: one at the University of Sheffield with a symposium on eighteenth-century English (2003); another at the University of Catania on prescriptivism in later modern English more generally (2006). Read more »


Last Friday, I presented a paper on the OED, the ODNB and ECCO during which I focussed on the question of how we can search the data now that it is available in electronic format. There are some examples in the attached powerpoint presentations, but more suggestions will be very welcome indeed. Please enter them in the comments box below. Download file

Monthly Lunch Meeting

On 6 June Raymond Hickey will present "Introducing Corpus Presenter" in 1168 004 from 11:00-13:00. All welcome! If you want to know more about this programme for software analysis please follow the link

Monthly Lunch Meeting

On 11 April Anita Auer will present "The design and objectives of the Leiden Northern English Letter Corpus" in 1168 004 from 12:00-13:00. All welcome!

Monthly Lunch Meeting

On 14 March Mike Scott will present "A Demonstration of the Concordancing Program WordSmith" in 1168 004 from 11:00-13:00. All welcome! If you are interested in the possibilities of such programs, you can read the following article by Paul Baker. Download file

Richard M. Hogg Prize

The Executive Committee for the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE) would like to draw your attention to the Richard M. Hogg prize, an essay competition for students of English Language and English Linguistics. You can find further information about the prize here:

You can become a provisional member of ISLE by contacting the society’s secretary, Graeme Trousdale ( Please note that the closing date for submissions for the Hogg prize is 31 March 2008.

Monthly Lunch Meeting

On 22 February Nadine Akkerman will present her paper "A Stateswoman Yet: Elizabeth Stuart’s Voluminous Correspondence Collected, Annotated, and Analysed" from 13:00-14:00 in Lipsius 001. All welcome!

Special lunchtime lecture: Pre-University College presentations

On the fourteenth of December a special edition of the Codifiers’ monthly lunchtime lectures took place. During this meeting the Pre-University College students who worked on research projects with members of the Codifiers’ project presented their results to each other, the project members and a number of invited guests.

The results were presented in English, making use of powerpoint presentations, in a setting, but also with a quality of research which made the meeting feel like a genuine mini-conference. The listeners were provided with fresh ideas on research topics from all corners of the project members’ expertise: Heidi Aho’s presentation was on descriptive elements concerning the strong verb in eighteenth-century grammars, Duygu Yilmaz and Suzan Enzerink presented an analysis of the letter-writing habits of Lindley Murray and the hazardous postal system in eighteenth-century England, and Sara van Goozen and Annemarie Rullens presented their case study on the progressive in Horace Walpole and his correspondents’ language in light of the Social Network Model.

The lunchtime lecture presentations provided a fitting finale to an inspiring project, both for the students ("there’s more to studying than just medicine and law!" one student said she had discovered) and for the researchers involved.


Monthly Lunch Meeting

On 30 November Gijsbert Rutten will present his paper "Historical Linguistics ‘from below’- New Perspectives on the History of Dutch" from 12:00-13:00 in 1168 005. All welcome!

Monthly Lunch Meeting

On 28 September Fátima Faya-Cerquiero will present her paper "Who requests whom and how they do it: use of request markers in late modern English letters" from 12:00-13:00 in 1168 005. All welcome!