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Using the Eighteenth-Century English Phonology Database (ECEP) as a teaching resource

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 June 2020

CHRISTINE WALLIS
Affiliation:
School of English, University of Sheffield, Jessop West, 1 Upper Hanover Street, SheffieldS3 7RA, United Kingdomc.wallis@sheffield.ac.uk
Corresponding
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Abstract

This article reports on the use of the Eighteenth-Century English Phonology Database (ECEP) as a teaching resource in historical sociolinguistics and historical linguistics courses at the University of Sheffield. Pronouncing dictionaries are an invaluable resource for students learning about processes of standardisation and language attitudes during the Late Modern English period (1700–1900), however they are not easy to use in their original format. Each author uses their own notation system to indicate their recommended pronunciation, while the terminology used to describe the quality of the vowels and consonants differs from that used today, and provides an additional obstacle to the student wishing to interrogate such sources. ECEP thus provides a valuable intermediary between the students and the source material, as it includes IPA equivalents for the recommended pronunciations, as well as any metalinguistic commentary offered by the authors about a particular pronunciation. This article demonstrates a teaching approach that not only uses ECEP as a tool in its own right, but also explores how it can be usefully combined with other materials covering language change in the Late Modern English period to enable students to undertake their own investigations in research-led courses.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

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