Project members: Terttu Nevalainen, Helena Raumolin-Brunberg, Arja
Nurmi, Minna Palander-Collin, Minna Nevala
Our project investigates the extent to which
modern sociolinguistic models and methods can be applied to historical
linguistics. More particularly, we examine the extent to which
historical linguists can make use of social and demographic history when
analysing and interpreting linguistic variation and change over an
extended period of time.
In order to grasp the external mechanisms of
language change in progress, our project goes beyond texts and text
types, and reconstructs the social backgrounds of the people who
produced them. Our source material consists of personal letters written
in England between c.1410 and 1680. These letters constitute The Corpus
of Early English Correspondence (CEEC), a socially representative
electronic corpus, which currently contains more than 6000 letters
written by nearly 800 individuals (2.7 million running words). The
corpus is currently being supplemented by new material and the timespan
extended to the eighteenth century.
The web pages contain a more detailed
description of the aims of the project and the corpus compiled. There is
also an extensive list of publications and forthcoming publications by
our project members, and brief descriptions of ongoing work of each
scholar in the project.
The pages are regularly updated.