Prof David Denison - research
- Recent and current change in English syntax. Following my monograph-length chapter on late ModE Syntax for the Cambridge History of the English Language (IV, 1998), I have given a number of lectures and papers on current change.
- Gradience, especially in English morphology and syntax. I have been working for some time on gradience and categories, often in collaboration. I helped edit a substantial reader on Fuzzy Grammar (2004) for OUP. The most recent of a series of papers is a chapter in a collection on Gradience, gradualness and grammaticalization (2010). I am working on a monograph for C.U.P. entitled English word classes: Categories and their limits.
- Historical syntax and the history of English generally. My commissioned book on English Historical Syntax (1993, print-on-demand edition 2004) concentrated on verbal constructions, and my recent work has also dealt with developments in the noun phrase.
- Possessive 's in Germanic. Kersti Börjars and I ran an AHRC-funded project (2006-9) on the history and usage of possessive -s in English, Swedish and Dutch. Follow the link for information on the project, the other researchers involved, and publications and database.
- Corpus work. I ran a project to apply morphological tagging to a collection of Middle English sermons, and in connection with the CHEL research created a nineteenth-century Corpus of late Modern English Prose (1994), with Graeme Trousdale and Linda van Bergen as assistants. A new Corpus of late Eighteenth-century Prose (letters in the John Rylands University Library) was transcribed by Linda van Bergen and Joana Proud and published on the web in 2003. In a plenary lecture in 2005 I explored the rich hoard of non-standard syntax in the letters and the question of what "change from below" signifies. Nuria Yáñez-Bouza and I belong to the international consortium developing the third phase of ARCHER, a multi-genre historical corpus of British and American English from the 17th century to the present, giving access to it in Manchester. We are coordinating the current phase of the project, for which I won a British Academy Small Research Grant, which will nearly double its size and add POS tagging. Two plenary papers on tagging problems have been published (2007 and in press).
- Construction Grammar. I have experimented with Construction Grammar theories, most explicitly in ongoing work on sort of/kind of constructions. An earlier attempt avant la lettre was embodied in papers on what I call the Information Present.
- Literary networks. An explanation for the origins of the progressive passive which involves social network theory and English literary politics ca 1800 was published in a joint paper with Lynda Pratt.
Many of my papers are available for download from this page.