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Diachronic Perspectives on Domain-Specific English

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Marina Dossena and Irma Taavitsaninen

This volume reflects the results of a workshop on the investigation of specialized discourse in a diachronic perspective, held within the 15th European Symposium on Language for Special Purposes (‘New Trends in Specialized Discourse’, Bergamo 2005). The articles deal with developments from the late medieval period to the present day, and the book encompasses studies in which the long-established tradition of domain-specific English is highlighted. The fields of contributions range from scientific to legal to political and business discourse. Special attention is given to argumentation, in an attempt to assess the time-depth of typical rhetorical strategies. Some methodological innovations are introduced in corpus linguistics. Numerous contributions bring new materials to scholarly discussion, as recently released or in-progress ‘second-generation’ corpora are used as data. Recent changes in present-day legal and scientific writing are also discussed as they witness fast adaptation to new requirements, due to the advent and growing familiarity of new technologies, international law and changes in academia.
Contents: Marina Dossena/Irma Taavitsainen: From Synchrony to Diachrony in Domain-specific English: An Introduction – Nicholas Brownlees: Gerrard Winstanley and Radical Political Discourse in Cromwellian England – Dawn Archer: Tracing the Development of Advocacy in Two Nineteenth-century English Trials – Paola Tornaghi: William Dugdale and MS Harley 1129: An Unpublished Seventeenth-century Legal Glossary – Hans Landqvist: Continuity and Change: The Swedish Legal Lexicon as Seen from the Perspective of a Monolingual Specialist Dictionary – Joanna Bugaj: Sources of Discourse-specific Vocabulary in Middle Scots Administrative Records: An Etymological Study of Binominals – Marjorie Lorvik: Language Contact and Lexical Variation in the Context of the North Sea Timber Trade – Gabriella Del Lungo Camiciotti: From Your obedient humble servants to Yours faithfully: The Negotiation of Professional Roles in the Commercial Correspondence of the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century – Marina Dossena: Forms of Self-representation in Nineteenth-century Business Letters – Martti Mäkinen: Dissemination of Textual Material and Second-Generation Corpora: Finding Intertexts in Early English Medical Writing – Päivi Pahta: Ful Holsum and Profetable for the Bodi: A Corpus Study of Amplifiers in Medieval English Medical Texts – Jukka Tyrkkö: From Tokens to Symptoms: 300 Years of Developing Discourse on Medical Diagnosis in English Medical Writing – Elena Seoane/Christopher Williams: Changing the Rules: A Comparison of Recent Trends in English in Academic Scientific Discourse and Prescriptive Legal Discourse.