Research & Publications


The English Language: A Linguistic History.  Revised second edition.  Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2011.   A textbook for upper-division undergraduate courses in the history of the English language, co-authored with Laurel J. Brinton.  The first edition was published in 2006 and was reviewed in:  English Language and Linguistics 13.1 (March 2009): 141-147;  Journal of English Linguistics 36 (March 2008): 88-92.  Revised 3rd edition forthcoming 2016.

Written Reliquaries: The Resonance of Orality in Medieval English Texts.  Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2006.   The book analyzes the oral performance of spoken acts recorded in Old English and Middle English texts by reconstructing their original cultural and linguistic contexts.  The analysis combines methodologies from oral theory and historical pragmatics to explore curses, proverbs, promises, prayers, gibberish, and performative silence.  Reviewed in: Journal of Historical Pragmatics 10.2 (2009): 311-313.

Diachronic Pragmatics: Seven Case Studies in English Illoctutionary Development.  Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1999.  Reviewed in: Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur 127.1 (2005): 93-102;   Multilingua 22.1 (2003);   English Language and Linguistics 6.2 (November 2002): 398-402;  University of Toronto Quarterly 71.1 (Winter 2001/2): 173-175;  Poznan Studies in Contemporary Linguistics 37 (2001): 211-220;  Journal of Historical Pragmatics 2.2 (2001): 321-329.

The Development of Future Constructions in English: The Pragmatics of Modal and Temporal Will and Shall in Middle English.  Berkeley Insights in Linguistics and Semiotics, Volume 2.  New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 1990.  Reviewed in:  Studies in Language 17.1 (1993): 259-260; Linguistics 30 (1992): 419-421;  Diachronica 8.2 (1991): 295.


Articles and Chapters in Books

“Bishop Challoner’s Ecumenical Revision of the Douai-Rheims Bible by Way of King James,” co-authored with Henry Ansgar Kelly. Under submission.

“Anglo-Saxon Charms,” in Siân Echard and Robert Rouse (eds.).  The Encyclopedia of British Medieval Literature. Oxford: Wiley, forthcoming.

“Middle English: Literary Language,” in Alexander Bergs and Laurel Brinton (eds.), English Historical Linguistics: An International Handbook, Volume 1. A volume in the Handbook of Linguistics and Communication Science series. Berlin: de Gruyter Mouton, 2012: 551-576.

“Pragmaticalisation and Discursization,” co-authored with Claudia Claridge in Andreas Jucker and Irma Taavitsainen (eds.), Handbooks of Pragmatics, Volume 8: Historical Pragmatics. (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2010): 165-192.

“‘Whoso thorgh Presumpcion… Mysdeme hyt’: Chaucer’s Poetic Adaptation of the Medieval ‘Book Curse’,” in Irma Taavitsainen, et al. (eds.), Placing Middle English in Context (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2000), pp. 411-424.

“Proscribed Collocations with Shall and Will: The Eighteenth-Century (Non-) Standard Reassessed,” in Jenny Cheshire and Dieter Stein (eds.), Taming the Vernacular: From Dialect to Written Standard Language (London: Longman, 1997), pp. 135-151.

“In Forme of Speche is Anxiety: Orality in Chaucer’s House of Fame.” Oral Tradition 11:2 (1996), pp. 320-345.

“The Sociological Origins of Promissory Expansion, or The Linguist as Cultural Historian: A Case Study in Postmodern Interdisciplinarity,” in Kurt R. Jankowsky (ed.), Multiple Perspectives on the Historical Dimensions of Language (Münster: Nodus Publikationen, 1996), pp. 171-181.

“Sounding and Flyting the English Agonistic Insult: Writing Pragmatic History in a Cross-Cultural Context,” in Mava Jo Powell (ed.), The Twenty-First LACUS Forum 1994 (Chapel Hill: Linguistic Association of Canada and the United States, 1995), pp. 600-619.

“The Expanded Discourse of Promises in Present-Day English: A Case Study in Historical Pragmatics,” Folia Linguistica Historica 15 (1994), pp. 175-191.

“Dorigen’s Promise and Scholars’ Premise: The Orality of the Speech Act in The Franklin’s Tale,” in Mark C. Amodio (ed.), Oral Poetics in Middle English Poetry (New York: Garland Publishing, 1994), pp. 125-147.

“It’s a Sign of the Times: Uses of Anachronism in Medieval Drama and the Postmodern Novel,” Studia Neophilologica 65 (1993), pp. 157-168.

“The Wallis Rules as Speech Act Prescriptions: An Illocutionary Re-evaluation,” General Linguistics 29:3 (December 1989), pp. 150-58.


Book Reviews and Review Articles

Journal of Historical Pragmatics 4:2 (2003): Andreas H. Jucker, Gerd Fritz, and Franz Lebsanft (eds.), Historical Dialogue Analysis (Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1999): 327-338.

Journal of Pragmatics 28 (1997), pp. 383-412: Andreas H. Jucker (ed.), Historical Pragmatics: Pragmatic Developments in the History of English (Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1995).

University of Toronto Quarterly 63:1 (1993), pp. 165-167: David George (ed.), Records of Early English Drama, Volume 10: Lancashire (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1991).