Researchers

The AMC has hosted a number of researchers since its founding in 2014, either as staff on AMC-based grants or as visiting scholars. Here are some of them.

Current AMC Researchers

thumbnail_P1000496 Dr Rafaella Baechler
"Exaptation in the nominal inflection of early Middle English"
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) grant
2017-2019
Raffaela completed her PhD in German Linguistics at the University of Freiburg. She arrived at the AMC in May 2017 to undertake a 24-month postdoctoral research period. Her topic is described below:

Exaptation is the re-use of formal morphological expressions even though the grammatical categories they originally expressed are being lost (Lass 1990). In the history of English, exaptation of morphological markers mainly occurred in the domain of nominal inflection in Early Middle English dialects. The goal of the proposed project is to explore exaptation in the adjectives, demonstrative and relative pronouns, as well as in the definite article in Early Middle English dialects from different areas and periods. The data is based on the LAEME (A Linguistic Atlas of Early Middle English) Corpus of Tagged Texts which is developed straight from the manuscripts.
The project proposes explanations and answers to the following main questions: a) How do the various Early Middle English dialects exapt the debris of a formerly gendered case system? b) How can the differences between exapted systems of different Early Middle English dialects be explained?
Thus, the first part tackles language internal questions on morphology and syntax, such as which forms are exapted and what do they encode or whether there are positions in a clause where inflected forms are preserved longer (or even exapted) than in other positions.
The second part surveys areal and sociolinguistic questions. Firstly, the differences and similarities between exapted systems of different Early Middle English dialects may be explained by sociolinguistic factors, e.g. contact and isolation. Secondly, the project aims to answer the question on whether exapted forms spread or whether similar new systems emerge independently from each other.
Alpo_photoDr Alpo Honkapohja

"A Corpus Approach to Manuscript Abbreviations"

Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) grant
2017-2020
Alpo Honkapohja completed his PhD at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, in October 2013, where he was based six years working for the Medieval Latin from Anglo-Saxon Sources project. He is originally from Finland and carried out his undergraduate studies at the University of Helsinki. His first monograph, Alchemy, Medicine, and Commercial Book Production
A Codicological and Linguistic Study of the Voigts-Sloane Manuscript Group
was published in April 2017.
Honkapohja arrived in Edinburgh in September 2017 to work on a post-doctoral project called A Corpus Approach to Manuscript Abbreviations (CAMA). The purpose of the project is to examine the development of manuscript abbreviations, using a quantitative approach. Scribes, in a handwritten book culture, made use of a number of abbreviations to save space or time. These can exhibit regional variation, as the scribes in a certain area acquired their scribal practices from a local writing centre, such as monastic scriptorium or an administrative office responsible for certain kinds of documents. This type of variation can be used as data for quantitative approaches. The project looks at the specific case of manuscript abbreviations to study scribal and regional variation.
The data comes from the Linguistic Atlas of Early Middlel English (LAEME), a corpus of ca. 650,000 divided into scribal samples of localised Middle English. The corpus contains the level of detail required with respect to abbreviations in its encoding system. The methodology incorporates tried and tested statistical approaches to corpus data, such as linear regression and linear correlation.
The project aims to address four main research questions:

(Q1) Does each scribe have an individual (scribal) profile of abbreviations?
(Q2) Are some abbreviations connected to certain geographic areas?
(Q3) How are Latin and Old English abbreviations distributed in Germanic and Romance vocabulary?
(Q4) What is the function of abbreviations in the spelling system(s) of Middle English?

 

Past AMC Researchers

2017-2018Dr Mayumi Sawada
Visiting Researcher
Aichi Gakuin University (Japan)
 

 

For graduate students that have been hosted at the AMC, see Students.