- Special issue on Visualisations in Historical Linguistics

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AMC Workshop:
Visualisations in Historical Linguistics

Organizers: Rhona Alcorn, Benjamin Molineaux and Bettelou Los (Angus McIntosh Centre, Edinburgh)


In 2018, in order not to compete with ICEHL XX, the Angus McIntosh Centre has not been running its biennial MAC Symposium as a free-standing event. In its place, the AMC organised a specialised workshop within the ICEHL programme.

This special issue of the JDMDH originates in the papers of this workshop. 

The event invited speakers to present new methods or tools which help historical linguists acquire insights through visual representations of data.

The motivation for this specific focus is the proliferation of larger corpora for different periods, locations, genres and registers of English, which provide us with much better coverage of the language, but make individual variables increasingly difficult to situate, explore and understand. As a result, filtering and organising data in ways that facilitate more accurate and nuanced generalisations of our data are particularly welcome.

Visualisations can provide, richer, more intuitive perspectives on the relations between linguistic and extra-linguistic variables (temporal, spatial and social distributions), as well as on relations between different levels of linguistic structure (sounds-spellings, syntax-semantics, etc.). Presenters will give a moderately technical overview of the visualisations they are working with or have developed, and provide a concise application of these to a particular problem in the history of English or Scots.