Dr Joanna Kopaczyk
- Senior Lecturer in Scots and English (English Language & 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 books on Applications of Pattern-Driven Methods in Corpus Linguistics (John Benjamins, 2018) and 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. In our publications (Kopaczyk et al. 2018, Maguire et al. 2019, Molineaux et al. forthcoming), we have introduced corpus methods to the study of historical phonology and rewritten the histories of several sound changes postulated for Scots. We have also co-edited a volume of cutting-edge research on Historical dialectology in the digital age (Edinburgh University Press, 2019).
I'm increasingly drawn towards the early modern period in the history of Scots and I'd like to develop a systematic approach for tracing the demise of Scots under 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. I have collaborated on a project tracing Old Polish in medieval Latin land court books (eROThA). 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)
Kopaczyk, J. (2014) The language of William Dunbar: Middle Scots or Early Modern Scots? European Journal of English Studies, 18(1), pp. 21-41. (doi: 10.1080/13825577.2014.881105)
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)
- 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.
Postgraduate Taught (2019-20)
Chair of the Forum for Research on Languages of Scotland and Ulster.