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Grant number: FT-55558-08

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Tim Machan
Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI 53233-2225)

Conflict and Change in the History of English

I seek a NEH Summer Stipend to complete a book entitled Conflict and Change in the History of English, already contracted by OUP and due at the press in August 2008. The book focuses on how anxiety over language change and variation has consistently produced conflict in the history of the language, and how this anxiety has motivated and underwritten socio-political behavior, ideological formation, and mythological construction--how it has been largely a constant in the Anglophone world. In order to depict and understand this anxiety, my approach to language change is broad, encompassing the grammatical (phonological variation or lexical addition), the pragmatic (discourse conventions and standardization), and the social (language contact and bilingualism). My argument is that outrage over such linguistic features is not really about language but rather uses language as a euphemism for social concerns.

[Grant products]

Project fields:

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2008 – 7/31/2008