Merja Kytö

Professor emer. i engelska språket 95 vid Engelska institutionen

018-471 17 87
Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3 L
Box 527
751 20 Uppsala
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My main research interests include change and variation in the English language, present and past, and more recently, issues in research ethics. I specialise in the Early and Late Modern English periods and have done research on the English language used in Britain and in the early North-American colonies. My more recent research interests comprise spoken interaction in the past and developments in nineteenth-century English, with focus on intensifiers in the Old Bailey courtroom.


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My research interests cover English historical linguistics, corpus linguistics, language variation and change, historical sociolinguistics and pragmatics, and manuscript studies. They derive from my time at the University of Helsinki (Finland), where I received my PhD in English Linguistics (1991), and where I worked as the research secretary in the Helsinki Corpus project (published in 1991). After a number of years at the University of Tampere as Associate Professor of English Philology, with special reference to American Language and Literature (1994–1997), I was appointed as Professor of the English Language at Uppsala University (Sweden). I am currently Senior Professor of English Language at Uppsala University, supervising doctoral students and carrying out research on English linguistics.


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My research has evolved around historical corpus linguistics and manuscript studies. I have participated in a number of research projects since my time in the Helsinki Corpus project, and many of my publications derive from work on these projects (see below). In addition to monographs and collected volumes, I have published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and collected volumes, either as a single author or in collaboration with colleagues. Together with colleagues, I have also arranged conferences and symposia at Uppsala, among them the Sixth International Conference on Late Modern English in 2017 and the research ethics symposium focusing on Questionable Research Practices in 2022, with a follow-up symposium coming up in Uppsala in December 2023.

As for my publication activities, among other things I was the co-editor for Nineteenth-century English: Stability and Change (CUP, 2006), and with Jonathan Culpeper, the co-author of Early Modern English Dialogues: Spoken Interaction as Writing (CUP, 2010). In the context of the latter project, we compiled A Corpus of English Dialogues 1560–1760 (CED), and as a follow-up project, together with Peter J. Grund and Terry Walker, I was the co-editor and co-compiler of An Electronic Text Edition of Depositions 1560–1760 (ETED), a manuscript-based corpus, which appeared on a CD accompanying the Testifying to Language and Life in Early Modern England authored by the team (Benjamins, 2011). With Anke Lüdeling, I co-edited Corpus Linguistics: An International Handbook (Walter de Gruyter, 2008) and, as associate editor of the Salem project, co-edited the Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt (CUP, 2009). With Päivi Pahta, I co-edited the Cambridge Handbook of English Historical Linguistics, and with Erik Smitterberg, I am currently co-editing volume 2 entitled Documentation, Sources of Data and Modelling for The New Cambridge History of the English Language series for Cambridge University Press. The monograph entitled Intensifiers in Late Modern English: A Sociopragmatic Approach to Courtroom Discourse, which I have been working on with Claudia Claridge and Ewa Jonsson, will appear in 2024 in my Studies in English Language series (Cambridge University Press). I am also the Editor for the new “Elements on History of English” series underway at Cambridge University Press.

My above research activities have recently been enriched by my participation in a project devoted to Questionable Research Practices, within which, together with Tove Larsson, Luke Plonsky, Scott Sterling, Katherine Yaw and Margaret Wood, I have given conference presentations and published articles on the topic.

I have also been active in editing journals and yearbooks. I am the co-editor of the ICAME Journal, the co-editor-in-chief of Studia Neophilologica, and the editor of the yearbook of the Royal Society of the Humanities at Uppsala.


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Merja Kytö