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Special issue on studies in Late Modern English historical phonology using the Eighteenth-Century English Phonology Database (ECEP): introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 June 2020

9 Les Coudrais, 22150Plouguenast, France,
School of English, University of Sheffield, Jessop West, 1 Upper Hanover Street, SheffieldS3 7RA, United Kingdom,
Facultade de Filoloxía e Tradución, Universidade de Vigo, Vigo, Pontevedra, E-36310, Spain,
School of English, University of Sheffield, Jessop West, 1 Upper Hanover Street, SheffieldS3 7RA, United Kingdom,


Since Charles Jones referred to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as the ‘Cinderellas of English historical linguistic study’ (1989: 279), there has been a great deal of progress in research on this period, but, as Beal (2012: 22) points out, much of this has been in the fields of syntax, morphology, lexis, pragmatics, sociolinguistics and the normative tradition. Beal argues that the availability of corpora of Late Modern English texts has greatly facilitated research in these areas, but, since creating phonological corpora for periods antedating the invention of sound recording is a challenging proposition, the historical phonology of Late Modern English has benefited much less from the corpus revolution. To redress this imbalance, the editors of this issue, with technical support from the Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield, created the Eighteenth-Century English Phonology Database (ECEP), which is freely available at

Research Article
Copyright © The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

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The compilation of the ECEP database was supported by the British Academy / Leverhulme Trust [SG–132806] and the Santander Research Mobility Scheme (calls 2012/13 and 2014/15), and technical support was provided by the Humanities Research Institute at the University of Sheffield. Yáñez-Bouza would like to thank the Spanish Ministry of Economy and the European Regional Development Fund [FFI2016-77018-P] and the Autonomous Government of Galicia [ED431C 2017/50].


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