Dr. Nicole Studer-Joho
- Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin
- 044 634 34 11 (Tue, Thu, Fri)
- Room number
Substitution for Stella Castelli (personnel, finance) and Martin Mühlheim
Thomson's Descriptive Catalogue of Middle English Grammatical Texts (1979) lists 36 Middle English grammatical texts dated from the late 14th to the early 16th century. Although the main purpose of these texts was to teach Latin to pupils, they were all written in the vernacular and the Latin grammars are illustrated and explained through English examples and parallel constructions. Thomson (1984: xvii) mentions that "little independent analysis of English is found in the treatises"; however, he also notes "a number of interesting remarks about the English of the day." Among these are for instance descriptions of both the analytic and synthetic adjective comparison, comments on relative pronouns or discussions of various verbs forms (cf. Thomson 1984: xvii-xxiii).
In this project analyze the late Middle English grammatical texts from a dialectological perspective. I discuss the dialectal data that can be gathered from the texts edited in Thomson (1984) and relate it to the known spatial distribution of these features as presented in LALME. Furthermore, I assess how far the suggested origins of the individual grammars correspond to the text languages as localized in LALME. In those instances, where the manuscripts have not yet been localized, I discuss the possibilities of the mapping tool in eLALME to narrow down possible dialectal origins of the grammars’ text languages.
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.