The Sociopragmatics of Stance

Community, language, and the witness depositions from the Salem witch trials

Peter J. Grund | University of Kansas
ISBN 9789027210593 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
ISBN 9789027258236 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
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Anchored in historical pragmatics, historical sociolinguistics, and corpus linguistics, this book weaves together a powerful narrative of the significance of stance marking in the history of English. Focusing on the community of practice that developed during the witch trials in Salem (Massachusetts) in 1692–1693, it showcases how witnesses and the recorders of their ca. 450 depositions deployed linguistic features to signal the evaluation of experiences with alleged witchcraft, the intensification of those experiences, and the sources of the witnesses’ knowledge. The resulting stance profiles for groups of depositions, witnesses, and recorders highlight varying strategies of claiming, supporting, and boosting the importance of the evidence and the role of the witnesses within the community of practice. With its innovative focus on sociopragmatic variation in a historical community, the book demonstrates the essential contribution of synchronic-historical research to the analysis, description, and theorization of stance and historical English more broadly.
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series, 329] 2021.  ix, 246 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“The volume provides not only a detailed analysis of stance expressions and types of stance in their situational context, but also a discussion of the social and communicative dynamics behind such stance expressions. Finally, the author makes a case for synchronic-historical studies of language use in particular communities, arguing that this is a necessary complement to the more popular diachronic approaches. [...] This clearly and engagingly written volume provides a thorough analysis of not only the stance expressions in a historical CoP, but also the social dynamics behind them, with differences in the stance patterns of different groups of deponents reflecting varying levels of alignment with the joint purpose of the CoP.”
Cited by

Cited by 3 other publications

2023. Disgusting, obscene and aggravating language: speech descriptors and the sociopragmatic evaluation of speech in the Old Bailey Corpus. English Language and Linguistics 27:3  pp. 517 ff. DOI logo
Knooihuizen, Remco
2023. So What Had Happened Was. In The Linguistics of the History of English,  pp. 3 ff. DOI logo
2023. Epistemic space and key concepts in early and late modern medical discourse: an exploration of two genres. English Language and Linguistics 27:2  pp. 241 ff. DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 1 november 2023. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Main BIC Subject

CFG: Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009030: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Pragmatics
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2021041984 | Marc record