In A Raven’s Battle-cry: The Limits of Judgment in the Medieval Irish Legal Tract Anfuigell Charlene M. Eska presents a critical edition and translation of the previously unpublished medieval Irish legal tract Anfuigell. Although the Old Irish text itself is fragmentary, the copious accompanying commentaries provide a wealth of legal, historical, and linguistic information not found elsewhere in the medieval Irish legal corpus. Anfuigell contains a wide range of topics relating to the role of the judge in deciding difficult cases, including kingship, raiding, poets, shipwreck, marriage, fosterage, divorce, and contracts relating to land and livestock.
Edited by Charlene M. Eska
Reflexivity in Vedic offers a corpus-based synchronic and diachronic analysis of reflexivity in the language of the R̥gveda and Atharvaveda, two of the most ancient corpora ever composed in an Indo-European language. Applying a functional and cognitivist framework, Verónica Orqueda discusses the different possible strategies and proposes a distribution determined by the interaction between reflexivity, transitivity and valency. This study enriches typological approaches to the emergence of reflexives and therefore, on the basis of the Vedic data, it shows that nominal reflexive strategies may especially arise in contexts of underspecified verbal valency.
Edited by Carla Suhr, Terttu Nevalainen and Irma Taavitsainen
Everyday Communication in Medieval Russia
In Voices on Birchbark Jos Schaeken explores the major role that writing on birchbark – an ephemeral, even ‘throw-away’ form of correspondence and administration – played in the vibrant medieval merchant city of Novgorod and other cities in the Russian Northwest. Birchbark literacy was crucial to the organization of Novgorodian society; it was integrated into a huge variety of activities and had a broad social basis; it was used extensively by the laity, by women as well as men, by villagers as well as landlords. Voices on Birchbark is the first book-length study of this unique corpus in English. By examining a representative selection of birchbark texts, Jos Schaeken presents fascinating vignettes of daily medieval life and a holistic picture of the pragmatics of communication in pre-modern societies.
A Study of Variation and Change in the Modal Systems of World Englishes
In Corpus Linguistics and Sociolinguistics, Beke Hansen analyses variation and change in the modal systems of three second-language varieties of English in Asia by taking a sociolinguistic approach to corpus data. Her study focuses on the modal and semi-modal verbs of strong obligation and necessity in Hong Kong English, Indian English, and Singapore English based on the relevant ICE component corpora. She adopts a typologically-informed perspective on variation in World Englishes by comparing the structures of the speakers’ first languages with the structures of the emergent varieties in the expression of epistemic modality. Beyond this, she analyses language change by constructing apparent-time scenarios to compensate for the lack of diachronic corpora in World Englishes.