The London Magazine, Or Gentleman’s Intelligencer on the web

When searching for reviews of Joseph Priestley’s Rudiments of English Grammar, I found that the Hathi Trust Digital Library has a collection of fully searchable issues of the London Magazine, or Gentleman’s Monthly Intelligencer of the years 1732-1782. The library is accessible via the Mirlyn Library Catalog from the University of Michigan and does not require a subscription or login to function. Not all issues are available but enough for scholars of eighteenth-century England.

After you have found the title via the "Basic Search" window, follow the link "Online links to individual volumes". Follow the link to the Hathi Trust Digital Library for the full-text versions. Beware that the search function is not perfect and appears to have some imperfections in the OCR, so you may have to search more than once with different keywords to find what you’re looking for. Once you’re on the Hathi Trust website, you can search other public collections. Most contain works from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Post-doc opportunity at Nottingham Trent

Nottingham Trent University
School of Arts and Humanities
Research Assistant in Early Modern Travel Writing Collections (0.5) £18,710 p.a. pro rata (Grade E)
POST NO: M2327
12 months – Fixed term contract
Clifton Campus
The English Division has an excellent teaching reputation and an internationally recognised research profile awarded a 5 rating in the RAE 2001. We are seeking to appoint a research assistant with the skills and energy to contribute to the planning and production of a new Critical Edition of Richard Hakluyt’s The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation (3 vols., 1598-1600), under the General Editorship of Dr Daniel Carey (NUI, Galway), Professor Andrew Hadfield (Sussex) and Professor Claire Jowitt (NTU).
The successful candidate will work under the supervision of Professor Jowitt. You will have completed your doctorate and be able to demonstrate the potential of your research and pedagogic interests in the field of Renaissance Travel Writing Collections.
Confidential informal enquiries may be made to Professor Claire Jowitt via e-mail: or the Head of English, Professor Nahem Yousaf via e-mail:
Interview date: Monday 17th November 2008 Closing Date: 27/Oct/2008

PhD Position at the Radboud University Nijmegen

Promovendus Engels (1,0 fte) From bounded to unbounded events: what the rise of the progressive in early Modern English can tell us about the causes of typological shift


Binnen de onderzoeksschool CLS is plaats voor een promovendus Engels die zich bezig zal houden met de historische ontwikkeling van de progressive in het vroegmodern Engels (ca. 1500-1700). De promovendus zal nauw samenwerken met de uitvoerders van het NWO onderzoeksprogramma Syntax and Information Structure: Discourse Options after the Loss of Verb-Second dat op 1 september jl. van start is gegaan, en gebruik zal maken van dezelfde database.



U heeft bij voorkeur een doctoraalexamen/masterdiploma Engels met een taalkundige specialisatie. Ook kandidaten met een taalkundige specialisatie en een doctoraalexamen/ masterdiploma van een andere taal, bijvoorbeeld het Nederlands, of Taalwetenschap, worden nadrukkelijk uitgenodigd te solliciteren. Uw doctoraal/masterspecialisatie is modern-taalkundig, met aantoonbare belangstelling voor historische taalkunde, of historisch-taalkundig met aantoonbare belangstelling voor moderne taalkundige benaderingen. Corpusgebaseerd quantitatief datawerk maakt deel uit van het onderzoek.

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Monthly Lunch Meeting

On 31 October Xavier Dekeyser will present “The Impact of Prescriptive Grammar on Actual Usage: Scope for Research” in 1162 005 from 12:00-13:00. All welcome!

Lowth Symposium

On 17-18 December 2010 the University of Leiden will a host a symposium on Robert Lowth commemorating his 300th birthday. An official call for papers will be published in the near future. People who are interested in attending can already contact The Codifiers and the English Language Project via

The Linguist

I guess that, like me, you all knew that linguistics could be exiting? The documentary film The Linguist confirms it (see

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 »

Six cases in English?

A few weeks ago, I received the following question from Nicola McLelland, on behalf of Martin Durrell.

"I certainly remember (and may have told you about) an English grammar which my father had at home when I was a boy. This listed six cases for English, i.e.

  • Nominative ‘the man’
  • Vocative ‘O man!’
  • Accusative ‘the man’
  • Genitive ‘of the man’
  • Dative ‘to the man’
  • Ablative ‘by the man’

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Date of Lily’s grammar

Could anyone help elucidate the question of the publication date of Lily’s Short Introduction to Grammar? Vorlat (1975) lists it as 1567, but she also writes that it was authorized as the only Latin grammar by Henry VIII in 1540. The copy in Alston’s series English Linguistics is dated 1549, and this edition can also be found in EEBO. So what am I to make of this? Did earlier copies of the grammar circulate? Lily lived from 1468 to 1522 (Vorlat 1975), so it would seem that the grammar only became popular well after his death. By what date does one refer to the grammar in a paper?

Notation of dates in England vs America

Lyda Fens-de Zeeuw is very curious to learn more about why/when/(how) the notation of dates in letters became different in U.S. English as opposed to British English (or vice versa??), i.e. mm-dd-year vs. dd-mm-year. What was common in England in the Early Modern period? and in America? And how did this develop later? Since when(exactly?) was there a structurally different way of notation? (Her own corpus of the eighteenth-century American-born grammarian Lindley Murray shows dd-mm-year exclusively). Read more »