This volume includes fifteen papers focussing on three important aspects of the history of English in Britain and overseas since the eighteenth century: the grammatical tradition of prescriptivism, syntactic developments and sociolinguistic factors affecting language variation. Within these areas, methodological approaches include those relating to corpus linguistics, social network theory, the investigation of specialized discourse in a diachronic perspective, and lexicography. The individual sections are highly cohesive with each other, as the ideological considerations on which the prescriptive tradition was founded are underpinned by sociological factors. Theoretical contributions appear alongside ‘case studies’ in which instances of specific usage are investigated.
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2003, 2007. 378 pp.
Contents: Richard W. Bailey: The Ideology of English in the Long Eighteenth Century – Carol Percy: The Art of Grammar in the
Age of Sensibility: The Accidence [...] for [...] Young Ladies (1775) – Joan C. Beal: John Walker: Prescriptivist or
Linguistic Innovator? – Lynda Mugglestone: Proof and Process: The Making of the Oxford English Dictionary – Maurizio
Gotti: Central Modal Verbs in Three 18th-Century English Grammars – Ilse Wischer: The Treatment of Aspect Distinctions in
18th- and 19th-Century Grammars of English – Rafał Molencki: Proscriptive Prescriptivists: On the Loss of the ‘Pleonastic’
Perfect Infinitive in Counterfactual Constructions in Late Modern English – Uwe Vosberg: Cognitive Complexity and the Establishment
of -ing Constructions with Retrospective Verbs in Modern English – Elena Seoane Posse: The Codification of Indefinite
Agents in Early and Late Modern English – Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade: Lowth’s Language – Tony Fairman: Letters of the English
Labouring Classes and the English Language, 1800-34 – Marina Dossena: Modality and Argumentative Discourse in the Darien Pamphlets
– Robert McColl Millar: ‘Blind attachment to inveterate custom’. Language Use, Language Attitude and the Rhetoric of Improvement
in the first Statistical Account – Agnieszka Kiełkiewicz-Janowiak: Language and Society in the Diaries of Two Women
in Early New England – Raymond Hickey: How and Why Supraregional Varieties Arise.