Dr. des. Nicole
Telephone: 044 634 34 11
PostDoc Project: Ęthelstan's Old English Law Codes: A New Edition, Translation and Commentary
The Early English Laws Project at the Institute of Historical Research at King's College in London aims at re-editing and re-translating the Old English law texts up to Magna Carta 1215. The project team is looking for external collaborative scholars to work on new editions, translations and commentaries of these law texts and my own edition concentrates on the most prominent Old English law codes of the 10th century, i.e. the codes that are attributed to King Ęthelstan. This new critical editions will include a translation and commentary, on the one hand, and a detailed linguistic analysis of the texts, on the other hand. The edition will be based on the digital facsimiles of the extant manuscripts and it will include the text of the most suitable version of each law code as base text, with a list of the variant readings of other textual witnesses in the critical apparatus. The main edition will be complemented with faithful transcriptions of all manuscript versions. A short commentary following the edited text will focus on socio-historical and legal aspects. The second part of my study includes a detailed description of the language in Ęthelstan's law codes. In this part I want to find out, whether the different versions preserve the same type of language or whether there are significant differences among the different law codes and manuscript witnesses. In a second step I will analyze the language that is preserved in these law codes. As Ęthelstan's codes stand in the tradition of older law codes it is likely that some archaic formulations or legal terms are preserved. However, the extant manuscripts are dated to the 11th century, which means that the language might also be influenced by a later Old English variety. Three case studies on collocation patterns, discourse strategies and hapax legomena in which the language of Ęthelstan's code is compared to other texts (other law texts, non legal reference texts) will help to answer these research questions.
Completed PhD Project: Diffusion and Change in Early Middle English - Methodological and Theoretical Implications from the LAEME Corpus of Tagged Texts
In my doctoral thesis I examined the diffusion of three linguistic variables in Early Middle English with special focus on the East versus West Midlands. My research is based on data retrieved from the Linguistic Atlas of Early Middle English (2008–), which permits new approaches to Early Middle English dialectology. It includes two morphological and one phonological variable: the reduction from four to three stems of strong verbs, variation between Middle English <a> and <o> and the decline of the dual forms of the personal pronoun. In my thesis I also address methodological problems that are inevitable when studying medieval manuscripts. Furthermore, I discuss how modern diffusion models have to be adapted and redefined for historical data.