In addition to the plenary talks, our invited speakers will also offer masterclasses to Postgraduate students on Thursday 25 August. If you are interested, please register at

Meetings with Remarkable Texts

Thursday 25 August. 10:00-12:00

Jeremy Smith, University of Glasgow

This masterclass, building on the plenary lecture at the beginning of the week, will focus on questions of evidence in relation to the Middle English period. It falls into two sections. In the first section we will look at a series of images — manuscripts, inscriptions, and incunabula/early printed books dated to around 1000-1530 CE — with a view to assessing what they can tell us about socio-cultural function in relation to textual form. In the second section, we will explore current challenges in the editing of Middle English texts, again with specific examples.

Data and Methods in Historical Dialectology

Thursday 25 August. 13:00-15:00

Tino Oudesluijs, University of Manchester – in collaboration with Anita Auer, University of Lausanne

Nerbonne (2018: 233) notes that “[t]o address any question in historical dialectology, we need data from different time periods — or from people of different ages”. Within this context, the masterclass particularly focuses on historical records of the English language that can help shed light on linguistic variation across time, space and social level. In order to answer more specific research questions, input from different disciplines such as historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, palaeography, corpus linguistics and statistics (cf. Alcorn et al. 2019: 1) is required. The masterclass will be concerned with all of these aspects.
     As regards the structure of the class, the first part will provide some background information on the development of (historical) dialectology and explain some key terms. The second part will be more hands-on; different historical records will be looked at more closely and discussed within the context of different research questions.


Alcorn, Rhona, Joanna Kopaczyk, Bettelou Los & Benjamin Molineaux. 2019. Historical Dialectology and the Angus McIntosh Legacy. In Rhona Alcorn, Joanna Kopaczyk, Bettelou Los & Benjamin Molineaux (eds.), Historical Dialectology in the Digital Age. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1-16.

Nerbonne, John. 2018. Section 2 Methods. Introduction. In Charles Boberg, John Nerbonne & Dominic Watt (eds.), The Handbook of Dialectology. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons, 233-240.