HeidelGram: Network analysis of grammarians' references in 19th-century British grammars – a corpus-based pilot study

Beatrix Busse, Kirsten Gather, Ingo Kleiber

Abstract

This pilot study brings together historical corpus linguistics and applied network theory. It investigates a network of grammarians' references in a corpus of representative 19thcentury British grammar books, examining and categorising connections between grammarians. Based on this network, we scrutinise established assumptions on the history of grammar writing, showing that particularly the turn from prescriptive to descriptive grammar writing is a discursively much more complex process than usually acknowledged, requiring a reassessment of the common notions of 'prescriptive' and 'descriptive' grammars and their alleged representative authorities.

Presentation Material