Professor Marc Alexander, University of Glasgow

“The Hansard Corpus through a telescope”

Marc Alexander is Professor of English Linguistics at the University of Glasgow and is the third Director of the Historical Thesaurus of English. His research primarily focuses on the study of words, meaning, and effect in English, often using data from the Thesaurus or corpus approaches. Using the Hansard Corpus 1803-2003, a 2+ billion word corpus of political discourse over the past two centuries, he works on oratory and style in UK Parliamentary discourse, and has also published on the linguistics of statutory and constitutional interpretation and the cognitive and persuasive rhetoric of detective fiction.


Associate Professor Alexandra D’Arcy, University of Victoria

“What can the kids tell us about language change?”

Alexandra D’Arcy is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Sociolinguistics Research Lab in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Victoria, Canada. She is author of Discourse-Pragmatic Variation in Context: Eight-hundred Years of LIKE (John Benjamins, 2017), which examines the history and development of like as a pragmatic feature. She has published on Canadian, British, Australian and New Zealand English dialects, and is a regular contributor to handbooks and edited volumes. Her current SSHRC-funded project, Only Time Will Tell, is a longitudinal panel study that examines the emergence and early stages of vernacular re-organization among children. This project aims to tap into the mechanisms driving language change in order to test the formative assumptions that shape current understandings of linguistic incrementation.


Professor Martin Hilpert, University of Neuchâtel

“The great temptation: What diachronic corpora do and do not reveal about social change”

Martin Hilpert works as Professor of English Linguistics at the University of Neuchâtel. He holds a PhD from Rice University. His interests include cognitive linguistics, language change, construction grammar, and corpus linguistics. Martin Hilpert is the author of Germanic Future Constructions (John Benjamins, 2008), Constructional Change in English (Cambridge University Press, 2013), and Construction Grammar and its Application to English (Edinburgh University Press, 2014). He is editor of the journal Functions of Language and associate editor of Cognitive Linguistics.


Professor Merja Kytö, Uppsala University

“‘Entirely false’ or ‘hardly true’: The socio-pragmatics of intensifiers in the late modern courtroom”

Merja Kytö is Professor of English Language at Uppsala University, Sweden, specializing in English historical linguistics, corpus linguistics, historical pragmatics, and manuscript studies. She has participated in the compilation of various historical corpora, among them the Helsinki Corpus of English Texts and A Corpus of English Dialogues 1560–1760. She co-edited Nineteenth-century English: Stability and Change (CUP, 2006) and Corpus Linguistics: An International Handbook (Walter de Gruyter, 2008). She was associate editor of the Records of the Salem Witch-hunt (CUP, 2009), and co-author of Early Modern English Dialogues: Spoken Interaction as Writing (CUP, 2010). She co-edited and co-compiled An Electronic Text Edition of Depositions 1560–1760 (ETED), a manuscript-based corpus accompanying the volume Testifying to Language and Life in Early Modern England (Benjamins, 2011). She recently edited English Corpus Linguistics: Crossing Paths (Rodopi, 2012) and co-edited The Cambridge Handbook of English Historical Linguistics (CUP, 2016). She is co-editor of the ICAME Journal and associate editor of Studia Neophilologica. Her current research projects include work on degree modifiers in early speech-related texts.