Dr Joanna Kopaczyk
- Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics (English Language and Linguistics)
I'm a historical linguist with a special interest in the medieval and early modern history of the Scots language.
I use corpus-driven methods to uncover textual standardisation and I'm also interested in formulaicity in language, as revealed through all kinds of repetitive patterns. I have recently co-edited a book on Binomials in the History of English (Cambridge University Press, 2017), such as to grant and to give, law and order, back and forth, which are prime examples of formulaicity and repetition.
I find it fascinating to explore legal texts composed in medieval Scottish burghs, since this is where the Scots language came to the fore as an official and formal means of communication. I have studied this evolving vernacular legal discourse in my 2013 book, The Legal Language of Scottish Burghs (Oxford University Press) and introduced the communities of practice framework to historical linguistic studies (Communities of Practice in the History of English, co-ed. with Andreas H. Jucker, John Benjamins, 2013). More recently, I was part of the FITS team at the University of Edinburgh (From Inglis to Scots: Mapping sounds to spellings) and worked on reconstructing the relationships between the proliferation of spelling variants and their postulated sound values in pre-1500 legal and administrative Scots texts.
The early modern period in the history of Scots is particularly intriguing since it saw the demise of Scots under the pressure from English in the official registers. I'm planning to look more closely at these two standardising languages in competition, as I'm also interested in historical multilingualism and why different languages were selected for different communicative purposes. This brings us again to formulaic language, conventions, genre expectations, which - in turn - evoke various pragmatic strands of inquiry, such as (im)politeness and contextual language choices.
I'm also fascinated with the early modern Scottish diaspora abroad, especially in the Baltic and Central Europe.
Kopaczyk, J. and Sauer, H. (2017) Defining and exploring binomials. In: Kopaczyk, J. and Sauer, H. (eds.) Binomials in the History of English: Fixed and Flexible. Series: Studies in English language. Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-24. ISBN 9781107118478
Kopaczyk, J. (2017) Terms and conditions: A comparative study of noun binomials in UK and Scottish legislation. In: Goźdź-Roszkowski, S. and Pontrandolfo, G. (eds.) Phraseology in Legal and Institutional Settings: A Corpus-based Interdisciplinary Perspective. Series: Law, language and communication. Routledge. ISBN 9781138214361
Kopaczyk, J., Włodarczyk, M. and Adamczyk, E. (2016) Medieval multilingualism in Poland: creating a corpus of Greater Poland court oaths (ROThA). Studia Anglica Posnaniensia, 51(3), (doi:10.1515/stap-2016-0012)
Jucker, A. H. and Kopaczyk, J. (2017) Historical (im)politeness. In: Culpeper, J., Haugh, M. and Kádár, D. Z. (eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Linguistic (Im)politeness. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 433-459. ISBN 9781137375070 (doi:10.1057/978-1-137-37508-7_17)
Alcorn, R., Molineaux, B., Kopaczyk, J., Karaiskos, V., Los, B. and Maguire, W. (2017) The emergence of Scots: Clues from Germanic *a reflexes. In: Cruickshank, J. and McColl Millar, R. (eds.) Before the Storm: Papers from Forum for Research on the Languages of Scotland and Ulster Triennial Meeting, Ayr 2015. Series: Languages of Scotland and Ulste (5). Forum for Research on the Languages of Scotland and Ireland: Abderdeen, pp. 1-32. ISBN 9780956654946
Kopaczyk, J. (2013) The Legal Language of Scottish Burghs: Standardization and Lexical Bundles (1380-1560). Series: Oxford studies in language and law. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199945153 (doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945153.001.0001)
I've been involved in the following projects in the last 5 years:
- Post-doctoral Research Assistant (2014-17) / Co-Investigator (2017-18): From Inglis to Scots: Mapping Sounds to Spellings ('FITS'), University of Edinburgh, UK (AHRC grant, AH/L004542/1, Principal Investigator: Prof. Bettelou Los, Co-Investigators: Dr Rhona Alcorn, Dr Warren Maguire), c. £1,000,000
- Principal Investigator (2015)/Co-Investigator (2015-18): Multilingualism in the Electronic Repository of Greater Polish Court Oaths (ROThA), National Science Centre, Poland (nr 2014/13/B/HS2/00644, Principal Investigator: Dr Matylda Włodarczyk, Co-Investigator: Dr Elżbieta Adamczyk), c.£62,500
- Principal Investigator in post-doctoral individual project grant (2009-12, nr N N104 014337): Repetitive constructions in standardising specialised discourse: A diachronic analysis of administrative and legal Scots texts, Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Poland, c. £14,000
I'm happy to supervise students who want to approach the Scots language from a historical perspective and work with both corpora and manuscripts / original prints. Your research questions may relate to spelling, phonology, formulaic language, pragmatics and specialised discourse. Qualitative approaches and comparative perspectives - especially in relation to English - are also welcome.
I convene Level 2B course (ENGLANG2005), which runs in Semester 2 (2017-18) and give lectures on the history of Scots in Level 1B (ENGLANG1003).
I'm also "the go-to language person" for Scottish Literature students and deliver a few language-related lectures in Scottish Literature Level 1 (SCOTLIT1013 and SCOTLIT1012) and Level 2 (SCOTLIT2001 and SCOTLIT2002).
I convene the Honours course on The History of Scots (ENGLANG4038), which runs in Semester 2 (2017-18).
I lecture in the History of English (ENGLANG4037), Semantics and Pragmatics (ENGLANG4052) and Corpus Linguistics (ENGLANG4032).
I'm interim Chair of the Forum for Research on Languages of Scotland and Ulster.