Field of Focus III - Funded projectsCompilation of a Corpus of Nineteenth-Century English Grammars

Project leader:

Dr. Kirsten Gather (Department of English Studies)

Funding line:

Language, Cognition, Culture


The project "Compilation of a Corpus of 19th-Century English Grammars" initially dealt with the compilation and analysis of a corpus of 19th-century English grammar books with the aim to examine language as manifestation of cultural development and culture-specific patterns of behaviour, and to investigate the social function of 19th-century British English in (mostly normative) grammars.

The current focus of the project is the compilation of the grammar corpus and the XML annotation and online publication of the corpus texts in order to make the grammars accessible to the linguistic community. Ten grammar books with as much variety in form, function, and addressed audience as possible formed a pilot corpus on the basis of which an XML schema file was built, including elements and attributes to be annotated. With the help of this schema file, other grammars can be added easily, and complex structures, such as networks of authors, will be analysed on the basis of annotated references in grammars. Completed corpus texts, self-authored tools for corpus analysis, and the documentation of the project can be accessed at https://heidelgram.de from August 2016 (activation of website in connection with a presentation of first results of the analyses at the International Conference on English Historical Linguistics (ICEHL 19) in Essen).