Department of the History of English

The Department of the History of English conducts research in the area of the history of the English language (HEL) from its early beginnings, co-operating closely with its sister Department of Old Germanic Languages. Before its formal creation in 1997, the history of the English language was studied in Poznań already in 1911, when the then English seminar at Kaiser-Wilhelms-Akademie zu Posen was headed by prof. Richard Jordan of the Mitteleneglische Grammatik fame. This tradition has been continued since 1965 by the first head of the revived School of English, prof. Jacek Fisiak. Over the last couple of decades the Department has branched away from traditional studies in the (post)structuralist vein, embracing new technologies and approaches of historical linguistics. In recent years its members have engaged in research into the language of mediaeval legal texts (English and Polish), multimodality of pre-modern manuscripts and their visual rhetorics, relationship between printing and language standarisation, history of lexicon and word-formation, or historical sociopragmatics (studying in particular the development of non-English varieties of the language such as American English and South African English).

At the Faculty of English the Department is responsible for:

This is who we are and what we do:

Prof. UAM dr hab. Ewa Ciszek-Kiliszewska
Main research area: Old and Middle English word-formation
Favourite HEL book: "Synchronic essentials of Old English: West Saxon" by Alfred Reszkiewicz thanks to which I have introduced several hundred students to the beauty of Old English
Favourite historical English text:
Lawman's Brut
One statement you will never find in her publications: Generative syntax is a piece of cake

Dr hab. Marcin Krygier
Main research area: Pre-1500 morphonology of English
Favourite HEL book: "Old English grammar" by Richard M. Hogg
Favourite historical English text: Wycliffite Bible
One statement you will never find in his publications: This looks like a clear case of V2 sentence derivation from an underlying INFL-final phrase structure.

Dr Justyna Rogos-Hebda
Main research area: Manuscript studies
Favourite HEL book: "Introduction to manuscript studies" by Timothy Graham and Raymond Clemens
Favourite historical English text: The same as Sarah Palin's: "all of 'em, any of 'em that have been in front of me over all these years"
One statement you will never find in her publications: Medieval paleography is for a historical linguist what CGI is for Tolkien fandom: an unnecessary nuisance

Prof. UAM dr hab. Hanna Rutkowska
Main research area: History of English orthography
Favourite HEL book: "English Historical Linguistics: An International
Handbook" by Alexander Bergs and Laurel J. Brinton
Favourite historical English text: The Kalender of Shepherdes
One statement you will never find in her publications: Spelling does not matter

Prof. UAM dr hab. Matylda Włodarczyk
Main research area: Historical pragmatics and (socio)pragmatics
Favourite HEL book: "Social history of English" by Dick Leith
Favourite historical English text: Witchcraft pamphlets
One statement you will never find in her publications: This study disregards the significance of genre

Dr. Paulina Zagórska
Main research area: 12th century English manuscripts and language
Favourite HEL book: "Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing" by Melissa Mohr
Favourite historical English text: Eadwine Psalter
One statement you will never find in her publications: The Helsinki Corpus was consulted for this study.

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Marcin Krygier

University professor (profesor nadzwyczajny)

Marcin Krygier