The network will address three main research strands:
LEXIS: we will focus on methodological advances on the identification of loans and their application to the contact between English and closely related languages; the paths and processes of integration of the loans into English, in relation to its semantic and lexical systems, particularly in terms of the loans’ role in semantic change, our understanding of ‘technical’ vocabulary and the possible differences in the process of integration between lexical terms and place-name formatives; and the methodological difficulties that multilingualism poses for historical dictionaries.
MORPHOSYNTAX: we will explore topics that have already been addressed by scholars working in the field but only in connection with the contact between English and a single language (or a set of related languages in the case of Celtic) and, accordingly, are still in need of a collaborative approach. The loss of case and gender markers in the late Old English and Early Middle English periods and the impact of language contact on argument structure will be central to this work, as well as the role of language learning in the development of morphosyntactic competence (mainly the relationship between language complexity and acquisitional context).
TEXTUAL REPRESENTATIONS OF MULTILINGUALISM: the textual representation of multilingualism is often equated with code-switching (particularly in literary texts). The network will challenge this interpretation by bringing together scholars working on code-switching and its stylistic effects, as well as the legal and administrative language, palaeography, spelling, social and cultural networks, curating and editing to gain an in-depth understanding of contemporary views on multilingualism and the best way to communicate them to a twenty-first century audience through editions of medieval texts.