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Further Stages of the Project

This first network has been implemented using a pilot corpus of 19th-century grammars and will be extended to include grammar books of the 16th to 19th centuries.

Verbal hygiene refers to active practices of modifying, filtering and evaluating normative language use.

We will annotate and analyse these expressions in the corpus texts. It is assumed that, in particular, prescriptive grammars contain a considerable number of evaluative expressions that show the authors' attitudes towards language use and other grammars.

Especially in the 18th and 19th centuries, many authors complain about “bad English” by enumerating instances of ungrammatical utterances. This is usually opposed by normative statements which list rules for and examples of the “good” or “proper” use of the language. These and similar expressions will be marked and examined.

In this network, we will examine the lexical inventory of grammar books, analyse the development of fields of study (e.g. morphology, syntax), linguistic structures and terminology, and study genre conventions of English grammar books in long-term diachrony.