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<i>Can&#8217;t see the wood for the trees?</i>

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Abstract

This paper provides an overview of the effect of what we might call the &#8220;corpus revolution&#8221; on Late Modern English (LModE) studies, transforming it from the &#8220;Cinderella&#8221; of historical linguistic study to the exciting and innovative field that it is today. In acknowledging what has been gained from this turn to corpora, it also discusses whether this is restricting the kinds of research questions being asked and the fields in which research takes place. More specifically, it demonstrates how phonology, which used to dominate historical language studies, has been sidelined due to the lack of searchable corpora or databases of phonological evidence from the LModE period. Finally, it outlines how a corpus of LModE phonology might be created.

References

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