Applied Semiotics (Sémiotique appliquée), published by the Department of French Studies at the University of Toronto, is a freely-available, peer-reviewed, electronic journal that publishes the results of literary semiotic research. The journal aims to promote research in semiotics that focuses on a specific text (or scenario). However, it does not rule out the publication of purely theoretical investigations. As a result, Applied Semiotics is of interest to critics as well as to theorists. The home page offers access to an archive of previously published issues in full text. Further pages include: calls for papers; an outline of the journal's mandate; a style guide; details about the advisory board; information about the print edition of the journal which is also available; a links page listing websites of interest to those working in the field of Semiotics; and a news page with up-to-date bulletins. The journal is available in French and English, and many of the articles are bi-lingual.
'Barcelona English Language and Literature Studies' (BELLS) is an annual full-text ejournal published in English by the Department of English and German at the University of Barcelona, Spain. Some articles are in Spanish - but there is also much here in English that will interest scholars in literature and film, and linguistics. Issue 15 was themed 'Contemporary Theatres in English', issue 16 was on the teaching of language, and the forthcoming issue 17 (2008) will be themed 'Film Studies Now'. Example literature-related article titles are: 'Was the Classical Tradition Betrayed by J. Ivory’s Adaptation of E.M. Forster’s Maurice?'; 'Satire on Learning and the Type of the Pedant in Eighteenth-Century Literature'; and 'From Crusoe to the English Patient, or the Transition from the Western Humanist Enlightenment Subject to the White Male Colonialist', among others. There are also tables of contents for the journal's first and second series, although full-text copies of these articles are not available. The website is in English and has full details of the Editors, Editorial Board, and a Style Sheet.
The website With Reference To accompanies of the BBC Radio 4 programme with the same name aired in 2002. Each programme in the series features a visit to a 'unique or definitive collection of some sort (e.g. teeth, plants, ice, recordings of English dialects)'. The most recent programme follows presenter Quentin Cooper to Stirling where he explores the archive of the spirits manufacturer, Diageo. Not simply an enquiry into the science of spirits, the programme also considers the history of the products - for example the replacement of brandy with gin as the most popular drink in the nineteenth century. The site includes links to other BBC science programmes, many of which can be heard on line.
The BBC Voices website records the findings of journalists who undertook the largest ever popular survey of regional English in the UK and provides a valuable resource for language and cultural studies at all levels. There are 300 hundred recorded conversations, involving over 1,200 people discussing accent; dialogue; vocabulary; and attitudes towards spoken language. The website includes a background to the project, as well as an accent map of the British Isles, which can be used as a search vehicle for the recordings. Some of the clips contain offensive language, but these are clearly marked. Much of the site is aimed at the general public, with features involving testing the ear for accent recognition and audience feedback to the project. However, this material in itself may be of as much interest to language researchers as the recordings. There are also journalist features and debates about language change, dedicated explorations of languages such as Manx and Esperanto and downloads from the Open University on language study. The site is presented in a newspaper format and is straightforward to use.
The BLLDB online presents an online version of the key publication Bibliography of Linguistic Literature (BLL), which is published annually by the University Library, Frankfurt am Main. It is a valuable source for linguistics in general, and for English, German and Romance (Italian and Spanish) linguistics in particular. The bibliography includes: journal articles; articles of conference proceedings; monographs; dissertations; and Festschrifts. The BLLDB digitalizes all volumes of the BLL dating back to 1971, thereby making available some 354,000 citations. The database is updated quarterly and around 10,000 citations are added per year. Detailed instructions on how to use and search the database and a history of the project are given. Users can browse an index of journals and publications by type, for example: research projects; newsletters; linguistic institutions; history of linguistics; and countries/regions. The site is in English and German. This resource is extremely useful for scholars of linguistics as a means of locating secondary sources.
Birkbeck research in representations of kinship and community (BRRKC) is the website of a research centre that encourages interdisciplinary study of the portrayal of relationships between human beings throughout history and culture. The disciplines drawn together by BRRKC include: literature; philosophy; film and visual culture; fine art; sociology; linguistics; history; and psychology. The website provides details of BRRKC-run : symposia; reading groups; and film screenings, as well as its discussion forum. Also available are details of courses taught by the centre, and a number of related links. The work of this centre would be of interest to students across disciplines, but particularly perhaps those focusing on English; cultural studies; or media studies.
The BASE website offers information about and access to the British Academic Spoken English (BASE) corpus. The corpus consists of recordings made in a variety of university departments, grouped into four broad disciplinary groups with 40 lectures and 10 seminars in each: Arts and Humanities; Social Sciences; Physical Sciences; and Life Sciences. The recordings, together making up around 1.6 million word tokens, have been transcribed and tagged, and the transcriptions can be downloaded from the website in XML format. The lecture portion of the corpus can also be accessed through the Sketch Engine corpus analysis interface (subscrition-based with free 30-day trial). The BASE corpus is a valuable resource for investigation of language use in academic context and the website contains a list of publications and conference papers which refer to BASE data. In addition to the BASE manual, the site also provides access to an Excel spreadsheet with information about the individual lectures and seminars, such as: title; department; audience; date of recording; speakers; duration. A link is provided to a selection of interviews with academic staff made in relation to the BASE corpus. The corpus can also be ordered via the Oxford Text Archive (OTA) website (formerly part of the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS)), on completion of a request access form.
The BYU Corpus of American English is a very large collection of texts which is being made freely available online via a dedicated search interface. The interface allows the user to search the corpus for words and phrases and display the search result as a concordance with limited context. In addition to searching for exact words or phrases, users can exploit wildcards in their searches, search for lemma and part-of-speech information, look for collocates, and make semantically-based queries, amongst other things. The corpus initially consists of around 360 million words, equal amounts from each year from 1990 to 2007. New material will added at least twice a year. The texts are drawn from a variety of sources and are divided into five genres of equal size: spoken; fiction; popular magazines; newspapers; and academic journals. The search interface is simple to use, and offers functions that are not generally found in corpus search tools, such as the ability to find synonyms and compare similar words. A help file is available and information about how to use this very powerful tool is also provided in the form of a five minute guided tour. The BYU Corpus of American English is a valuable resource for anyone interested in looking at how English, especially American English, is used today. The composition of the corpus makes it particularly suitable for comparisons across time period or genre.
The website of the 'Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project' (CASP) provides access to research devoted to the 'systematic exploration and documentation of the ways in which Shakespeare has been adapted into a national, multicultural theatrical practice'. The resources available on the site are diverse and include: an online anthology of rare play texts with Shakespearian connections from the 19th - 21st centuries; a collection of 'Spotlight' articles highlighting various aspects of Canadian adaptations of Shakespeare; a database archive of over 500 documented plays that have been identified by CASP as Canadian adaptations of Shakespeare; interviews with theatre practitioners; a bibliography; the full text of a number of related scholarly essays and articles; guides for school teachers; an interactive folio and study guide of 'Romeo and Juliet'; Shakespeare-related games; and a virtual exhibition on Canadian adaptations of Shakespeare. The site also provides a small number of links, as well as a 'Shakespeare News' section. This resource would be of great interest to those studying or teaching Shakespeare at any level, with a view to opening new avenues of research and discussion on this topic. Researchers and those studying drama and theatre history would also find this of interest.
The project 'Common European Words, Idioms & Proverbs' (CEWIP) has been financed by the European Union and carried out by research groups from: Germany; Italy; Spain; Slovakia; and Poland (although English and French are also covered). The main goal is to bring together all those linguistic elements which European languages have in common, despite their most evident differences. The main page is divided in three sections: words, idioms, and proverbs. In each of these, users may browse corresponding dictionaries of those elements which European languages have in common, as well as activities and interactive exercises. The project seeks to raise awareness of shared linguistic roots, and both tutors and students may use the resources which have been made available to further explore aspects of comparative linguistics.
The Corpus of English Dialogues (CED) is an electronic resource comprising dialogues from 1560 to 1760. It can be downloaded from the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS) website: however, access to the material is restricted, and users are asked to complete a short Web form to apply for a copy. To give a picture of spoken interaction of the past, as mediated through written records, the CED contains 1.2 million words drawn from both texts which include constructed dialogue and those which purportedly record language from authentic speech situations. There are five main text types in the CED: drama comedy; didactic works (language manuals and other handbooks); fiction; trial proceedings; and witness depositions. The corpus texts have been coded to indicate features such as: foreign language; narration; compilers' comments; editorial comments and emendations; and font changes. The CED comprises 177 text files, and is distributed in plain text and XML formats, accompanied by a PDF guide to the corpus.
This is the personal website of Costas Gabrielatos, a PhD-student in English linguistics, at the University of Lancaster. It contains a bibliography of his articles and presentations concerned with the use of corpora in linguistic research and teaching. Most of the items are accessible either as PDF-files or as web pages. In addition there is a list of links to useful resources and tools found on the Web.
This is the website of Lancaster University's Department of Linguistics and English Language. There is information on A level English studies, including a separate website. Here there are: answers from staff from the department to questions on language and linguistics; an annotated selection of links to websites and resources that are of use to A level English language students and teachers; and an annotated guide to A level English language book resources. The department's website also has information about undergraduate admissions to the department, courses available, a postgraduate prospectus, as well as lots of information about general linguistics including a list of Web links. In addition, the site contains links to the webpages of the department's research centres.
This web resource includes a description of dialects and dialect levelling (reduction of local dialect features in favour of a more urban type of English, closer to Standard English) in Britain in the 20th century. It makes an analysis of the social and economic factors underlying dialect change, provides a discussion of Standard English and Estuary English, and gives annotated bibliography. The site is intended primarily for GCE Advanced level GCE (AS and A2) students in English, but will be of interest to language students on university degree courses, and others with an interest in the English language. It is based on a paper presented by Paul Kerswill at a conference at the University of Tartu, Estonia, in August 2000. The paper, originally called Mobility, meritocracy and dialect levelling: the fading (and phasing) out of Received Pronunciation, is downloadable from the site in PDF format.
The title of this online resource corresponds to a series of books 'Dialects of English' published by University of Edinburgh Press. The series documents 'varieties of English from all over the English-speaking world', each volume focusing on one particular dialect to explore its background, history, lexis, phonetics and phonology. The website hosts the recordings of spoken English which have been made in relation to this publication series. The recorded varieties available so far include Northern and Insular Scots, Singapore English, New Zealand English and Indian English. Although copyrighted, these recordings are available for downloading free of charge, if used for the purposes of teaching and research, thus providing ready to use material for students and researchers, as well as any members of the public interested in English dialects.
The website describing the project The English Noun Phrase: an Empirical Study provides an overview of the methodology of this research. There are downloadable documents detailing the project's aims and a final report outlining what was achieved. The project was run from the Department of English at University College, London (UCL) and was headed by Dr Evelien Keizer. The website is of interest to those studying or researching linguistics, and universal functions of the noun in particular. The aim of the project was to study the English noun phrase in the context of the British Component of the International Corpus of English (ICE-GB), a corpus of over one million words. There is a bibliography to the project, and an comprehensive methodological explanation, as well as examples of the usage of Fuzzy Tree Fragments. This project received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) within the Research Grants scheme.
The English Project is a website of a project supported by the University of Winchester, which is devoted to promoting "awareness and understanding of the unfolding global story of the English language in all its varieties – past, present and future". The Project plans to launch as a major resource in 2012. The website provides information on the Project's activities, including events such as English Language Day, as well as publishing articles relating to its work and to the English language in general. The site also solicits input from users (for example in a texting survey) in order to collect more information on the changing nature of the English language and its usage. The website and the project are both a work in progress at the time of writing, but there is much of potential interest to students, teachers and speakers of English in general. Users of the site can sign up to be notified of future developments in the project, including a planned visitor centre in Winchester, and other related exhibitions and talks.
English Today (ET) is a quarterly journal covering all aspects of the English language: its history, literature and linguistics; international variations; uses and abuses; neologisms; the influence of the new communication technologies on English; academic models of the language; teaching of the international standard language. ET will be of interest to linguists, teachers of English, advanced language students, and professionals working with the English language (writers, broadcasters, journalists). A ten-year thematic index is published in ET vol.11, No 1, January 1995. The site offers a general overview of the printed journal, its editorial board, and instructions for contributors. Special discounts are available for members of certain professional organisations. Abstracts are available online, starting with volume 1, issue 01 (1985).
This website discusses the form of English widely spoken in and around London, so called Estuary English. It is a rich compilation of academic articles, monographs, abstracts, lecture handouts, bibliography and newspaper reports. The site is hosted by the Phonetics and Linguistics Department of University College London and relies on both academic and journalistic articles and materials. It also provides links to other similar sites. The information presented is authoritative, very reliable and exhaustive. The site is useful for all levels of teaching and research, and provides a wealth of information about modern developments of the English language within the UK. It is regularly updated and maintained, making it a very useful current resource.
'Francis Lodwick: a working bibliography' is a website created by the Centre for Early Modern Studies at the University of Oxford. The site's aim is to provide more detail about the seventeenth-century linguist and philosopher Francis Lodwick and to enable further study of his works in the absence of other detailed bibliographies. The site gives: a brief biography of Lodwick; a short explanation of the rationale behind the bibliography; and the bibliography itself. This resource sheds some light on a relatively neglected but important figure in English philosophical and linguistic thought, and would interest students and researchers working in: philosophy; English; and linguistics.
FreeLing is a open source language analysis tool suite, that is freely provided under a GNU General Public License of the Free Software Foundation. The tools have been developed by the TALP Research Center at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. The software is programmed in C++ and runs under Linux but instructions for porting to other platforms are provided. At the time of review the suit contains English, Spanish, Galician, Italian and Catalan dictionaries; a text tokenisation tool; a sentence splitting tool; a tool for morphological analysis; and a part of speech tagger to mention a few. There is an online analyser that allows analyses of smaller samples, as demonstration, and there is extensive online documentation and manuals. Registration is free and quick but is needed for some of the features on the site. The site provides clear and useful instructions for installing the software. This is a powerful and very useful resource but it demands some knowledge of Linux and how to install software and prepare the system, alternatively how to compile and run C++ programs under other operating systems. Although this is not plug and play software this suit is a very useful tool for those interested in corpus linguistics and text analysis, especially in English, Spanish, Catalan, Galician or Italian.
The History of Literacy website is maintained by the History of Reading Special Interest Group (SIG) of the International Reading Association and provides a focal point for anyone researching the history of literacy and reading. The site includes information about the History of Reading SIG; back issues of the group's newsletter (in PDF, from 1976); a series of online publications (also in PDF) which provide practical guidance on undertaking (and funding) research on the history of literacy; and a series of pages dedicated to locating research resources including archives, organisations, book reviews, and funding grants. There are smaller sections on teaching, offering sample course syllabi, and unannotated links to further online resources. The group maintains an email discussion list, the subscription details for which are also available.
The International Corpus of English (ICE) website presents a corpus compilation project that aims to provide comparable corpora of English from different English-speaking regions around the world. Each corpus will contain one million words of spoken and written language, taken from a wide range of sources and situations. There is a common corpus design that is being used by every compilation team, and a common scheme for grammatical annotation, thus ensuring compatibility between the corpora. The site describes the corpus design and annotation schemes and provides information about the different ICE teams, including information about the different varieties of English, bibliographical references and related links. As of January 2008, the following corpora are available for download: Hong Kong; East Africa; India; Philippines; and Singapore. The corpora from Great Britain and New Zealand are available on CD. Sample sound files can be found on the website.
This is the website of International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA). It is a free online archive of primary source dialect and accent recordings for the performing arts. The archive was created in 1997 by Paul Meier, author of Accents and Dialects for Stage and Screen, and a leading dialect coach for theatre and film. The archive is hosted by the Department of Theatre and Film at the University of Kansas. The dialects and accents recordings can be browsed by region. All recordings are in English, of native speakers, and one can find both English language dialects and English spoken in the accents of other languages. The recordings are downloadable and playable for both PC and Macintosh computers.
The Iowa State University Play Concordances website is designed to assist university students studying word usage in drama. It is not concerned with analysis or criticism. The website contains concordances to: 'Candida' by Bernard Shaw; 'The Children's Hour' by Lillian Hellman; 'Death of a Salesman' by Arthur Miller; 'A Doll House' by Henrik Ibsen; 'The Father' by August Strindberg; 'The Importance of Being Earnest' by Oscar Wilde; 'Juno and Paycock' by Shawn O'Casey; 'The Little Foxes' by Lillian Hellman; ''night Mother' by Marsha Norman; and 'A Raisin in the Sun' by Lorraine Hansburry. There are full dialogue versions for some of the texts, but these are for research purposes only. For each play there are complete alphabetical word lists, plus word lists arranged by frequency of use. The site is easy to navigate and simple to use.
The IViE corpus: English Intonation in the British Isles website provides information about the Intonational Variation in English (IViE) project and access to the IViE corpus. The project examined cross-varietal and stylistic variation in English intonation, and was funded by the ESRC. It ran between 1997 and 2001 at the Phonetics Laboratory, University of Oxford and Department of Linguistics, University of Cambridge. The corpus created by the project includes 36 hours of speech recordings of nine urban varieties of English (London, Cambridge, Cardiff, Leeds, Bradford, Liverpool, Belfast, Dublin). Three of the varieties represent the speech of ethic minority groups. The recordings were collected among 16-year-olds in secondary schools and represent several different speaking styles. Part of the corpus has been prosodically transcribed. The corpus is freely available for academic research and teaching purposes and can be downloaded from the website or searched online. Information about the corpus and the research based on it can be found on the webpage. A number of the publications by the project can be accessed online. The corpus can also be ordered via the Oxford Text Archive (OTA) website (formerly part of the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS)), on completion of a request access form.
This website is one of the outcomes of an AHRB (and subsequently AHRC) funded research project which assisted the work of the Stirling/South Carolina Research Edition of the Complete Works of James Hogg. Hogg was a Scottish poet and novelist whose work has been overlooked “because his social origins led to his being smothered in genteel condescension”. Inadequate editions have led him to be regarded as a ‘minor’ figure, and the Stirling/South Carolina Research Edition aims to rectify this. The website aims to supplement the published editions through: a full listing of early American publications of Hogg texts; the full text of a previously unrecorded Hogg short story, 'Death at Sea'; a full listing of early sheet publications of Hogg's songs with digitised reproductions of selected song-sheets and texts of the songs; downloadable recordings of performances of Hogg songs; peer-reviewed articles related to ongoing research.
The Japanese Association for Asian Englishes (JAAE) is an academic association concerned with English as a multinational and multicultural language in Asia. Japanese-English is one of the main areas of the collaborative research pursued by Association members. The Association awards research grants to its members, and the regulations for applications can be downloaded from the site. Both the table of contents for the most recent issue of the journal 'Asian English Studies' and the programme for the next annual national biannual conference can also be accessed here. For those wishing to submit a paper for the next conference, presentation guidelines are provided. In addition, the website includes: membership information; the Association constitution; and contact email addresses for board members. The site is available in English and Japanese versions; the latter is rather more comprehensive, with news updates and downloadable versions of the JAAE Newsletter.
Lowlands-L is an email discussion list with an excellent supporting website for anyone with an interest in the languages and cultures of the Lowlands. Lowlands languages are those Germanic languages developed in the areas next to the North and Baltic Seas and include: Dutch; Zeelandic; Frisian; Limburgish; and Low Saxon. The site's scope also includes Afrikaans; pidgins and creoles; and English and Scots. Rather than focus on one particular language or culture, the discussion list considers as a group, and worthy of equal respect and importance, the linguistic and cultural varieties of the languages listed above. Minor language assertion and promotion and supported wherever possible. Archives of list postings dating from May 1999 are freely available online but registration is required in order to post to the list. Earlier archives, dating back to April 1999, is available through the Linguist List. The site features various other resources of interest including a detailed map of the Lowlands region and introductions to all the Lowlands language varieties. These introductions include a brief history, overview of status and textual samples. Also available is a spreadsheet of 100 words in 19 different Lowlandic varieties, and an extremely comprehensive collection of links to Web resources relevant for study of each of the Lowlands languages. Bibliographies of print materials are also provided. The whole site is equally navigable in a variety of languages, and represents a crucial online resource for anyone working on or interested in Lowlands languages.
The MANCASS C11 database project is an online database of scripts and variant Old English spellings in eleventh century manuscripts and texts. The project is based at the Manchester Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies (MANCASS), University of Manchester and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). At present the manuscript catalogue contains details of more than 250 eleventh century manuscripts written in English from 47 major collections worldwide, and more additions are being planned. The database offers sophisticated tools for palaeography and spelling analysis. At the top level the database can be searched either by using an index of the collections included in it or an index of the manuscript shelfmarks. The database operates with concepts such as: sequences; sequence spelling; scriptors; item heading or incipit; and item spelling; many of which provide image-based points of access into the catalogue. C11 is a sophisticated specialist palaeographical and linguistic tool of great value to scholars of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts and texts.
This website provides an online database of citations collected for the modal verbs and certain other English words for the Early Modern English Dictionary. The database was prepared electronically over a period of several years using many of the slips assembled during the construction of the original Oxford English Dictionary.This somewhat antique site looks unimpressive but does its job, providing the user with several different formats for searching and for displaying results. Its potential applications may be rather limited, but it will doubtless be of value to those fascinated by Early English modal verbs.
The Middle English Grammar Project (MEG) is funded by the Norwegian Research Council and based at the University of Stavanger, Norway and the University of Glasgow. The eventual aim of the project is to produce a reference grammar of Middle English, based on a corpus of electronic texts. The project's website provides: an introduction to the project and its methods; a description of work currently being done by project members; a list of related sites; a list of related publications by project staff; news and contact information. The site also gives access to HTML and PDF versions of the MEG corpus of electronic texts, which can be browsed by dialect region. This site would be of interest to those studying linguistics or Middle English.
The website of the National Centre for English Cultural Tradition (NATCECT) provides information about the Centre and its activities. Based at the University of Sheffield, the Centre is the only university-based institution in England devoted to the study of all aspects of folklore. It offers undergraduate modules, an MA in Folklore and Cultural Tradition and supports PhD research on various topics. Subjects that fall within the Centre's remit include: cultural tradition; folklore; dialects; custom and belief; traditional dance, drama, and music; and traditional arts. NATCECT's activities include a Traditional Drama Research Group (TDRG). Details of conferences, publications, and the Traditional Heritage Museum are provided, and there is also a link to the NATCECT reference library page of the University of Sheffield Library website, plus a summary listing of NATCECT archive collections, which include over 1,000 research projects, 2,800 audiotapes, and 230 videotapes. Two samples from the Survey of Sheffield Usage are available in MP3 format, via the archive section.
The New Zealand English (NZE) website is a compilation of materials provided by a number of researchers on various aspects of English as spoken in New Zealand. The site has a simple, clear layout and provides articles on the origins, social variation and sounds of NZE. Extensive bibliography on NZE is also provided. The research projects listed include: NZE Dictionary Centre; Corpora of NZE; the NZE Journal; 'Origins of NZE Project'; English On-line Project (resources for teaching); and Evaluating English Accents Worldwide. A brief description of projects and contact details for further information are also provided.
The website associated with the Newcastle Electronic Corpus of Tyneside English (NECTE) describes a project aiming to improve access to and promote the re-use of dialect recordings made in the Newcastle conurbation between 1969 and 1994. The original corpus consisted of 86 loosely-structured interviews, most of which were subsequently phonetically and orthographically transcribed. Interviewees were drawn from a sample of the population of Gateshead in North-East England, spanning various social classes and age groups, and were encouraged to talk about their life histories and their attitudes to the local dialect. The more recent corpus (the ESRC-funded Phonological Variation and Change in Contemporary Spoken English), recorded in the early 1990s, set out to examine salient patterns of phonological variation and change in contemporary spoken British English, focusing on localised versus non-localised patterns of change. The NECTE project has amalgamated the two corpora and created the first TEI-conformant electronic vernacular corpus in a range of formats (sound files as well as phonetic and orthographic transcriptions that are also part-of-speech tagged). The site provides documentation about: the original resources and the NECTE team's enhancement of them; information about the people involved; publications resulting from the project; references; links; and appendices. The transcription and the audio files themselves are not accessible online. The site should be of use to anyone interested in Geordie dialect, linguistics, sociology, sociolinguistics, and the local public interested in changes in Tyneside expressions, folklore and reminiscences. The project was funded by the AHRC under its Resource Enhancement scheme. The resource can also be downloaded in XML format from the Oxford Text Archive (OTA) website (formerly part of the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS)).
Phonetics: the sounds of spoken language is an excellent, interactive online resource designed to assist students of phonetics, linguistics and foreign languages. Part of the site was created to support an undergraduate level course in Spanish pronunciation at the University of Iowa. The site offers dynamic animated libraries of the phonetic sounds of Spanish, German and American English. Each vowel and consonant is accompanied by an animated articulatory diagram (Flash is used for the animation), a step-by-step illustrated description of how the sound is achieved, and video-audio file of the sound spoken in context by a native speaker. The site also provides an interactive diagram of the articulatory anatomy with both English, German and Spanish terminology. Comprehensive user instructions are supplied. This a valuable resource for students to use independently or for teachers to incorporate within their classes, and is suitable both for students of linguistics or those learning either Spanish, German or English as a foreign language who wish to gain a deeper understanding of pronunciation.
The production and use of English manuscripts 1060 to 1220 is the website for the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project of the same title. The project intends to 'identify, analyse and evaluate all manuscripts containing English written in England between 1060 and 1220'. A collaboration between the Universities of Leeds and Leicester, the project aims to produce a corpus of material in order to address fundamental questions about the evolution of medieval English textual culture. The project will also analyse the manuscripts': place of origin; contents; audience; and reasons why they were written. The status of written English in relation to French and Latin will also be addressed. The site provides information on activities and publications by the Project and its team, as well as a catalogue of manuscripts, an online newsletter archive, and a related bibliography. The work of this project would be of interest to researchers and students of: linguistics; manuscripts studies; and English.
The Routes of English was a programme broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Presented by Melvyn Bragg, it explored many aspects of the English language throughout the world, particularly variations in pronunciation and the sociolinguistic significance of such variations. The programme's website retains much that was of interest from the broadcasts, with a good number of audio extracts in RAM format (playable with RealPlayer, etc.). The site also features: links to related web pages; games; a question and answer section; and an online message board, though this does not appear to be well used. Although intended for a general audience, undergraduates new to English linguistics should find the site a fascinating introduction to the subject.
Research and Development Unit for English Studies (RDUES) is the website of a research unit, based at the University of Central England, which consists of a team of corpus linguists and statisticians engaged in developing electronic databases and tools for the description of modern English language in use. Since the Unit's inception in 1989, work has progressed on various projects, all of which are summarised on the website. These have included: Neologisms in Journalistic Text; Analysis of Verbal Interaction and Automated Text Retrieval (AVIATOR); Automatic Collocational Retrieval of NYMs (ACRONYM); Analysis and Prediction of Innovation in the Lexicon (APRIL); System of Hypermatrix Analysis, Retrieval, Evaluation and Summarisation (SHARES); and WebCorp, a suite of tools for accessing the World Wide Web as a corpus. Most of the databases are not directly accessible from this site, although demonstration entries are provided in some instances. The WebCorp search engine is, however, publicly available. The site includes a bibliography of RDUES publications, some of which are available online. Many of the project description pages are also accompanied by more specific bibliographies.
This Web page describes the project Recent Grammatical Change in British and American English: A Corpus-based Approach conducted by Professor Geoffrey Leech of the University of Lancaster. The site lists his publications on the subject, and describes the Brown family of corpora of British and American written English - The Brown Corpus, The LOB (Lancaster-Oslo/Bergen) Corpus, The FROWN (Freiburg-Brown) Corpus and the FLOB (Freiburg Lancaster Oslo/Bergen) Corpus, used in the project. It aims to chart and analyse changes in frequency in the use of the English language within the thirty-year period 1961-1991. The focus is on areas of change occurring in the usage of modal auxiliaries, semi-modals, aspect, tense and mood and other areas such as noun phrase categories, questions and punctuation. The findings are described on the site and compared to provisional findings regarding spoken English. The project received a Research Grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB).
The online resource SCRIBE - Spoken Corpus of British English provides information on a pilot project that 'investigated the construction of a corpus of spoken British English'. The project ran in the academic year 1989/90 and was funded by the UK Department of Trade and Industry and the UK Science and Engineering Research Council. Research was facilitated by the partnership between the University College London, Cambridge University, Edinburgh University, the Speech Research Unit, and the National Physical Laboratory. This resource is part of the UCL website. Despite the project's short duration, resulting from the shortage of funding, a substantial prototype corpus was collected and partially annotated. The resource describes the current status of the project as well as provides its existing documentation in 'The SCRIBE Manual' that can be viewed online (HTML format). There are also samples of annotated audio recordings which can be downloaded. These have been grouped into two categories: Sample of many talker recordings and Sample of few talker recordings. Both categories provide recordings of male and female speakers, representing four dialect areas: South East, Glasgow, Leeds and Birmingham. This resource will be of interest, and use, to researchers of spoken English and corpus linguistics.
This website describes the Shakespeare Database CD-ROM, as developed by the Westfälische Wilhelms Universität in Münster, Germany. The site does not provide access to the database itself, although it does imply that this may become a feature in the future. What the site does provide is a bibliography, of works relating to issues surrounding the development of the database, and of works that have benefited from its use. These are mostly about Shakespeare's writings, although some are more concerned with early modern English linguistics, and some on editing Shakespeare. The site also provides a few links to partner sites. A fairly comprehensive explanation of the database gives the user a good idea of its features and potential applications.
The website of the Slovak Association for the Study of English (SKASE) is a resource for language researchers and teachers, as well as those interested in cultural studies, literature in translation and the English-speaking people of Slovakia. SKASE is a member of the European Society for the Study of English (ESSE). The Association's three electronic journals are the main features of the site: Theoretical Linguistics; Translation and Interpretation; and Literature Studies. The full-text of past volumes are available here, and calls for papers for future editions are announced. Also included are details of SKASE members' research projects and publications, as well as news of events and conferences. The material covered by the SKASE journal and projects includes: synchronic research into phonology; inflectional morphology; word-formation; lexical semantics; syntax; and psycholinguistics. The international scholars whose work is covered on the site include Kvetko Pavil, Puci Ján, Salvadore Valera, Stanislav Kavka and Mona Baker. This is a well-presented site, which is straightforward to navigate.
The website 'Sounds Familiar? Accents and Dialects of the UK' is one of the British Library online learning resources. It is dedicated to the study of British accents and vocabularies, from a contemporary and historical perspective. Users can investigate recent trends in pronunciation, such as 'upspeak' or 'T-glottaling', or discover how the English of British Asians is influenced by their bilingual status. The resource includes a selection of over seventy audio recordings and more than 600 short audio clips from the British Library Sound Archive. Some of the materials were recorded in the 1950s and others almost half a century later, between 1998 and1999. The resource consists of five main sections: Regional Voices; Changing Voices; Your Voices; Case Studies; and Activities. The first two of these sections focus, respectively, on the regional and historical variations of English. 'Case Studies' looks into three specific English varieties: Received Pronunciation, Geordie Dialect, and the language of ethnic minorities in the UK. Suggested 'Activities' encourage users to investigate the use of English in their own communities, and 'Your Voices' provides them with an opportunity to publish their results on the site. With its interactive character and comprehensive set of audio data and their interpretations, this site is commendable to general audience interested in the subject, as well as students and researchers of linguistics, particularly phonetics and sociolinguistics.
The Speech Accent Archive is an online database containing recordings of over 600 native and non-native speakers of English reading a paragraph of text which contains most of the consonants, vowels, and clusters of standard American English. Each sample is accompanied by demographic and linguistic information about the speaker and an IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) transcription of their speech. The archive is intended for use as a teaching and research tool in order to compare different speakers of English. The site also includes details of the methodology employed; a bibliography of further reading; a clickable map showing the geographic origins of the speakers; and an inventory of native language phonetics. The authors invite the submission of further sample recordings. The site has been developed by Steven Weinberger (Department of English, George Mason University) and represents an excellent online resource for the comparative study of foreign accents.
This is the website for an AHRC and British Academy funded project which brings together a stylistician and a team of psychologists to examine the way people read narrative texts. The project is conducting “an intensive programme of experiments” including: stylistic analysis; text change detection experiments; reading time experiments; eye-tracking tests; continuation tests and ERP neuro-imaging. The research uses a new approach based on the stylistic features of naturally-occurring narrative texts such as popular fiction and newspaper stories. As well as a fuller description of the project and its methodologies, the website includes a list of outcomes to date.
Take Our Word For It describes itself as a bi-weekly word-origin webzine, although the site does not appear to be updated quite as regularly as this would seem to imply. The site explores English words, phrases, and grammar, tracing etymology and relating interesting facts (and opinions) regarding derivations and usage. It is popular rather than scholarly in focus, taking a light-hearted approach to its subject matter. Nevertheless, there should be enough content here to interest students of the English language. The website is divided into several sections: a Spotlight page takes a relatively in-depth look at a particular word or phrase; the Words to the Wise page answers reader's etymological enquiries; the Curmudgeons' Corner hosts rants about poor English usage; Sez You provides readers with a space to challenge the editor's judgements; and there is a laughing stock page for amusing observations. The site also hosts an online book store, a list of links, and a page on etymological theory. The theory page is fairly basic, but does offer lists of Latin and Greek roots and prefixes commonly found in English words, and a guide to Indo-European consonant groups.
The Thesaurus of Old English (TOE) is a searchable online resource, based on a thesaurus first published in print by King's College London in 1995. The site is hosted by the University of Glasgow and creation of the electronic resource was originally funded by the British Academy. The site allows users to search by Old English or modern English words, as well as browsing by TOE category headings from the print version (either alphabetically or by the order they appear in print). Part-word searches in Old English are particularly useful, as are the flags which indicate whether words are infrequently used or mainly used in Old English poetry rather than prose. This site would be of use to university students and researchers making linguistic studies of Old English texts.
This website offers an interface to the text of the Time magazine from 1923 to the present day, over 100 million words in all. Users can search for a word or phrase and retrieve all instances of the string in context. Searches can be restricted to a particular period in time, and they may include information about part-of-speech (word class). The results can be displayed in different ways, allowing the user to see, for example, how the frequency of a word has changed over time. The interface also allows for retrieval of collocates (surrounding words). The resource offers a powerful way to explore the English language as published in the Time magazine over the years. The interface is easy to use. The accompanying help texts provide ample information about how to use the interface and also offers suggestions of the kind of questions that can be answered using the tool. This resource would be of use to anyone interested in the English language, language change, American English, and corpus linguistics. It also offers a valuable tool for looking at cultural and historical events as reported in the Time magazine.
'A Treatise on the Astrolabe by Geoffrey Chaucer' is an online database of verbs from the text of Chaucer's 14th-century treatise. The resource is the work of an undergraduate student at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland, in collaboration with their supervisor. The database is searched by using a form that enables users to choose: conjugation; classification; and form of the verbs, as well as whether etymology and meanings are displayed. The resource also provides: a description of the database; a brief history of Middle English; a section on verb morphology; and a brief biography of Chaucer. The site also gives an introduction to the text of Chaucer's treatise (but not the text itself) and a short history of the astrolabe as an object. This site would be of interest to students studying Middle English language and literature.
Voice of the Shuttle : Anglo-Saxon and Medieval is an annotated list of Web links relating to the study of medieval English literature. The links are part of the University of California's Voice of the Shuttle online database, which provides extensive links for teaching and learning in humanities subjects. The Anglo-Saxon and Medieval section is divided for easier browsing by themes, including: general resources; 'Authors and Anonymous Works'; 'Manuscripts and Manuscript Study'; journals; newsgroups; courses and teaching resources; and conferences. This resource would be of great interest to those studying medieval English literature or manuscripts.
The Words in English website offers an attractive introduction to the linguistics of the English language. The site covers the historical development of English from the Anglo-Saxon period to the modern day, and includes sections on the structure of the language, its usage, and meaning. There is an extensive list of links to related online and offline resources. Terms such as 'morphology', 'phonetics', and 'semantics' are explained for the benefit of those new to the field. Various examples (such as a list of Cockney rhyming slang) are provided to illustrate each topic, appearing in pop-up windows. There is an explanation of the difference between slang and jargon, and several passages outlining the international significance of English. A timeline traces the development of the language over the centuries. This is a basic introductory site to the English language, likely to be of interest to those approaching English linguistics for the first time, rather than advanced students or scholars.
World Englishes is a journal devoted to the study of English in a global context: varieties of English around the world; language policies and language planning; language teaching methodology; and related issues. The site provides access to: the journal's contents and abstracts, starting from volume 1, issue 1, 1981; article submission information; editorial information; and a sample full-text issue. Electronic access to the full-text of articles for downloading or printing is available through service providers. Access is given to members of institutions subscribing to the print version (librarians should be able to provide further details).
The World Wide Words website is a large online resource explaining English words and phrases. The author of the site, Michael Quinion, is a word enthusiast who has written books on the subject, compiled a weekly column for a national newspaper, and contributed to the Oxford Dictionary of New Words. The website was established in 1996 and has since grown to more than 1,500 archived pages. Quinion's focus is on what words and phrases mean, where they are derived from, how they have evolved, and how they are sometimes misused. Some pages deal with issues of grammar, punctuation, and style. The site is specifically concerned with British English, although some articles are more international in scope. Those interested in etymology or new trends in English language usage should find this a fascinating site. The website is organised into sections consisting of articles, reviews, questions and answers, explanations of phrases, and weird words. There is an alphabetical browse facility and a simple search engine. The site features a pronunciation guide, explaining the principal sounds of standard British English (Received Pronunciation). There is also a good list of links. The site's author sends out a free email newsletter every week, subscription details for which are provided. The newsletter has over 20,000 subscribers.
The Universal Teacher website provides numerous resources for those teaching English literature, language and theatre studies at school and sixth-form levels in the UK. The site is approved by byteachers.com and adheres to the national curriculum as taught and examined. There are good online tutorials for specific texts, grouped according to level, including: Key Stage; GCSE; and A-Level standards. There are also sections for students with special educational needs, and teaching with ITC. Topics covered by tutorials include: researching dialects; language and gender; language change; Shakespeare's plays; Charles Dickens; Jonathan Swift; Arthur Miller; Thomas Hardy; Charlotte Brontë; John Steinbeck; Jane Austen; Geoffrey Chaucer; Ted Hughes; William Blake; Robert Browning; and popular films such as Forrest Gump and Star Wars. The site includes audio files of poetry, and various study guides. Resources for studying scripture are also provided. This is an excellent site that offers a wide range of resources and which has been carefully designed for its intended audience.