Article published in:Historical Sociopragmatics
Edited by Jonathan Culpeper
[Journal of Historical Pragmatics 10:2] 2009
► pp. 260–285
Variation and change in patterns of self-reference in early English correspondence
The pronoun I indexes the speaker or writer in place and time but also situates him or her in the moral order as the person responsible for what is uttered (Mühlhäusler and Harré 1990). Consequently, this paper asks (1) what gentlemen of the Early and Late Modern England could say about themselves in the first person and (2) whether there were any register or diachronic differences in typical self-reference. This study relies on integrationist social theory and employs a set of quantitative and qualitative methods in the analysis of recurrent word clusters extracted from the Corpus of Early English Correspondence and its Extension. The results point to increasing self-reference and the prominence of mental verb clusters that often serve interpersonal functions.
Published online: 24 March 2009
Cited by 3 other publications
Saily, T., T. Nevalainen & H. Siirtola
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