Codifiers in Wikipedia

Great news!

My colleague Anita Auer came across the entry for John Ash in the Wikipedia Encyclopedia, and …

They mention us!

If you look under references you will find a link to our LUCL (Leiden University Centre for Linguistics) website, and the description of our project.


Letter writing in Late Modern English

I am currently systematically investigating self-corrections in Late Modern English letters. If you come across any examples of self-corrections, could you please let me know about this. Thanks a lot!

Priestley and the Low Countries

According to Pieter Loonen, in his book For to learne to buye and sell: Learning English in the Low Dutch area between 1500 and 1800. A critical survey (1990), George Ensell’s Grammar of the English language (1797) was partly based on the first edition of Priestley’s grammar (1761) (Loonen 1990:112).


For those of you who are interested in eighteenth-century egodocuments, please visit the following website.

This website also contains a reference to Arianne Baggerman and Rudolf Dekker’s book " Kind van de Toekomst. De wondere wereld van Otto van Eck (1780-1798)" (2005) (Child of the Future. The Wonderful World of Otto van Eck (1780-1798)) about the Dutch boy Otto van Eck, who kept a diary between 1791and 1797. Baggerman’s article "The Cultural Universe of a Dutch Child: Otto van Eck and his Literature" is also worth having a look at.


Eighteenth-century Corpora

I hope somebody can answer the following question:

How many English (historical) corpora are there at the moment?

First workshop

Our first workshop, called Grammars, Grammarians and Grammar Writing, will take place in two weeks time. Guest speakers are Richard Watts and Jane Hodson. Papers are already coming in for prior distribution, and the people here are busy  rounding off theirs. Do let us know if you wish to be kept informed of the results of the workshop.

Daniel Fenning

I came across THIS interesting article on Daniel Fenning by Frances Austin. Apparently, the authorship of his New Grammar of the English Language, of which I happened to possess a copy of a later edition, is disputed, since he died in 1767, four years before the grammar came out.


I’m collecting titles of published correspondences for the collection in HSL/SHL. Additions are welcome, and will be always be acknowledged!

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octavo/duodecimo problems

Could anyone help me unravel the problem of how books are decided to be labelled octavo, duodecimo and so on? I know how the system works: folio, quarto, octavo, duodecimo and so on, but I found copies of the same book labelled octavo and sedecimo when they were also said to measure 17 cms. I got completely confused as a result. So help will be greatly appreciated.

print runs of 18thc grammar books

Could anyone help me find out how large print runs of books were in the eighteenth century?