The English Project's theme for 2016 is Shakespeare and the English language. To celebrate English Language Day on 13th October, The English Project presents a snapshot of the language in Winchester in 1616 - the year of Shakespeare's death.
The presentation, which will include some voluntary audience involvement with texts, will be given by Marcus Barrett. Marcus is a Trustee of The English Project; Lecturer and Course Manager of English Language at Richard Huish College, Taunton; a language researcher; trained barrister and a district councillor in Somerset.
Aimed at both the general public with an interest in language and at students of English Language of all levels, Marcus will introduce three documents written at the time of the Bard's death, from the city of Winchester itself and further into Hampshire. He will take the audience on a linguistic journey through these very different local texts from the Hampshire Record Office, discussing the rich variation in historical language change and addressing the value of language research for students in an archive context. There will be opportunities for the audience to have a go at some limited transcription work and to discuss with each other and with Marcus some of the language issues raised by the documents.
These early 17th-Century documents give insight into the conventions of spelling and grammar and allow us a view of how lexical obsolescence has been shaped by the changing nature of society. In addition, the texts under discussion demonstrate how working with a local archive can provide great opportunity for the linguistic study of a range of genres and styles of language variety.
Dear, Dirty and Dead Words - The English Language in Winchester, 1616 will take place from 6:30-8pm on Thursday 13 October at the Stripe Lecture Theatre, King Alfred Campus, University of Winchester. Attendance is free but please reserve your seat at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/english-language-day-tickets-18508589690 .