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Syntax, Style and Grammatical Norms

English from 1500-2000


Edited By Christiane Dalton-Puffer, Dieter Kastovsky and Nikolaus Ritt

The volume features a selection of new work presented at the 2004 meeting of the International Conference on English Historical Linguistics (ICEHL). Main conference themes reflected in this volume are: the maturation and broadening of historical corpus linguistics, a new interest in English for Specific Purposes as a diachronic phenomenon, and the role of grammar writing in the process of change. A further thematic strand of this book is the significance of functional aspects in the development of grammar and discourse, especially in domains beyond phonology and morphology. Several contributions focus on the operation of socio-pragmatic and functional factors in historically identifiable social networks, especially in the 18 th century. Apart from that there is also a strong emphasis on developments in the 19 th and 20 th centuries.


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Introduction 7


Introduction This volume contains a selection of papers from the 13th International Conference on English Historical Linguistics (ICEHL), which took place from 24-28 August 2004 at the University of Vienna.1 At the conference itself no less than 96 session papers and four plenaries were presented in the space of seven half-days. In addition to that four workshops took place during that period. This broad offer of new work, combined with the fact that a sizeable part of participants and presenters were young scholars may serve as evidence for the continuing vitality of the field and the importance of the ICEHL conference series as a central marketplace for the exchange of new insights on the history of the English language. In terms of topics, a continuing concern with issues of corpus linguistics for the study of diachronic English is discernible, but the scope of electronic corpora in use has by now widened considerably beyond the seminal Helsinki Corpus. The maturation and considerable broadening of the empirical base in historical corpus linguistics has visibly strengthened methodological concerns as well as reinforced the awareness that historical linguistics has, in a sense, always been strongly corpus-based. As a side-effect this seems to have revitalized the connections with traditional philological work. Increased visibility was given to issues of text-types and language for specific purposes through a workshop on ESP, a relatively recent interest in the field which is also reflected in the present volume. A leading concept of the field already for some time, grammaticalization,...

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