I have always been fascinated by the English language: its structure, history, and variation. I am fortunate to be able to develop this fascination virtually every day as I research and discover new aspects of the history of English and as I explore and discuss the English language with students in and outside class.
My main research interest is in the connection between language and sociocultural context in historical periods. I have explored in a number of publications how language users make strategic language choices based on communicative goals in particular situations. My current project explores how the witnesses during the witch trials in Salem, MA, in 1692–1693, and the recorders of their testimonies signaled attitude, evaluation, commitment, etc. (a concept known as stance). I argue that the use of linguistic stance markers in the witness depositions reflects, among other things, the witnesses’ positioning within a community of practice that formed during the trial process at Salem.
Although I teach a wide range of classes (including History of English, Introduction to the English Language, World Englishes, Stylistics, etc.), a point of emphasis in all of these courses is that language is characterized by variation and change. My aim is to provide the tools and language to discuss such variation and the factors governing how people speak and write in different situations, where such situational conventions come from, and how these conventions have changed over time and are still changing. It is important to see that language use is not arbitrary but varies for a number of situational, social, cultural, and historical reasons.
English language studies, English historical linguistics, historical pragmatics, historical sociolinguistics, corpus linguistics, early American English, editing, vernacularization of science, manuscript studies, Salem witch trials
2012–. Journal of English Linguistics
Selected Publications —
Forthcoming. The Sociopragmatics of Stance: Community, Language, and the Witness Depositions from the Salem Witch Trials (1692). Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
2020. Peter J. Grund, and Terry Walker (eds.). Speech Representation in the History of English: Topics and Approaches. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2020. Peter J. Grund, and Megan E. Hartman (eds.). Studies in the History of the English Language VIII: Boundaries and Boundary-Crossings in the History of English. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
2011. “Misticall Wordes and Names Infinite”: An Edition and Study of Humfrey Lock’s Treatise on Alchemy. Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies [MRTS] 367. Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
2011. Merja Kytö, Peter J. Grund, and Terry Walker. Testifying to Language and Life in Early Modern England. Including a CD containing An Electronic Text Edition of Depositions 1560–1760 (ETED). Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
2009. 2014 (Paperback edition). Rosenthal, Bernard, Gretchen A. Adams, Margo Burns, Peter Grund, Risto Hiltunen, Leena Kahlas-Tarkka, Merja Kytö, Matti Peikola, Benjamin C. Ray, Matti Rissanen, Marilynne K. Roach, and Richard B. Trask (eds.). Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Articles in Journals
2021. Grund, Peter J., Matti Peikola, Johanna Rastas, and Wen Xin. “The ‘u’ and ‘v’ Alternation in the History of English: Spelling Dynamics in the Handwritten Legal Documents from the Salem Witch Trials (1692).” American Speech 96(2): 127–160.
2018. “Beyond Speech Representation: Describing and Evaluating Speech in Early Modern English Prose Fiction.” Journal of Historical Pragmatics 19(2): 265–285.
2017. Walker, Terry, and Peter J. Grund. “‘speaking base approbious words’: Speech Representation in Early Modern English Witness Depositions.” Journal of Historical Pragmatics 18(1): 1–28.
2017. “Description, Evaluation and Stance: Exploring the Forms and Functions of Speech Descriptors in Early Modern English.” Nordic Journal of English Studies 16(1): 41–73.
2014. Grund, Peter J., Margo Burns, and Matti Peikola. 2014. “The Vagaries of Manuscripts from the Salem Witch Trials: An Edition of Four (Re-)Discovered Documents from the Case Against Margaret Scott of Rowley.” Studia Neophilologica 86 (1): 37-50.
2014. Grund, Peter J., and Erik Smitterberg. “Conjuncts in Nineteenth-Century English: Diachronic Development and Genre Diversity.” English Language and Linguistics 18(1): 157–181.
2014. “The ‘Forgotten’ Language of Middle English Alchemy: Exploring Alchemical Lexis in the MED and the OED.” Review of English Studies 65 (271): 575–595.
2012. “Textual History as Language History? Text Categories, Corpora, Editions, and the Witness Depositions from the Salem Witch Trials.” Studia Neophilologica 84(1): 40–54.
2012. “The Nature of Knowledge: Evidence and Evidentiality in the Witness Depositions from the Salem Witch Trials.” American Speech 87(1): 7–38.
2011. “The Science of Pronominal Usage: He and It in Co-Reference to Inanimate Objects in Late Middle English Texts on Alchemy.” Journal of English Linguistics 39(4): 335–358.
2009. “Textual Alchemy: The Transformation of Pseudo-Albertus Magnus’s Semita Recta into the Mirror of Lights.” Ambix: The Journal for the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry56(3): 202–225.
2007. Kytö, Merja, Peter Grund, and Terry Walker. “English Witness Depositions 1560–1760: An Electronic Edition.” ICAME Journal 31: 65–85.
2007. Kytö, Merja, Terry Walker, and Peter Grund. “Regional Variation and the Language of English Witness Depositions 1560–1760: Constructing a ‘Linguistic’ Edition in Electronic Form.” Edited by Päivi Pahta, Irma Taavitsainen, Terttu Nevalainen, and Jukka Tyrkkö. VARIENG E-Series Special Issue: Towards Multimedia in Corpus Studies. http://www.helsinki.fi/varieng/journal/volumes/02/kyto_et_al/#trans_readable
2007. “Sidrak and Bokkus: An Early Modern Reader Response.” Anglia: Zeitschrift für englische Philologie 125(2): 217–238.
2007. “From Tongue to Text: The Transmission of the Salem Witchcraft Examination Records.” American Speech 82(2): 119–150.
2007. “The Anatomy of Correction: Additions, Cancellations, and Changes in the Documents of the Salem Witchcraft Trials.” Studia Neophilologica 79(1): 3–24.
2006. “Manuscripts as Sources for Linguistic Research: A Methodological Case Study Based on the Mirror of Lights.” Journal of English Linguistics 34(2): 105–125.
2006. “A Previously Unrecorded Fragment of the Middle English Short Metrical Chronicle in Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica M199.” English Studies 87(3): 277–293.
2006. “‘ffor to make Azure as Albert biddes’: Medieval English Alchemical Writings in the Pseudo-Albertan Tradition.” Ambix: The Journal for the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry 53(1): 21–42.
2004. “Albertus Magnus and the Queen of the Elves: A 15th-Century English Verse Dialogue on Alchemy.” Anglia: Zeitschrift für englische Philologie 122(4): 640–662.
2004. Grund, Peter, Merja Kytö, and Matti Rissanen. “Editing the Salem Witchcraft Records: An Exploration of a Linguistic Treasury.” American Speech 79(2): 146–166.
2003. “The Golden Formulas: Genre Conventions of Alchemical Recipes in the Middle English Period.” Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 104(4): 455–475.
Articles or chapters in collected volumes/handbooks
Forthcoming. “Speech Representation in the History of English.” In Joan C. Beal (ed.), The Cambridge History of the English Language, vol. 3, Transmission, Change, and Ideology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Invited)
Forthcoming. “Scribes and Scribal Practices.” In Marco Condorelli and Hanna Rutkowska (eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Historical Orthography. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Invited)
2020. Grund, Peter J., and Terry Walker. “Saying, Crying, Replying, and Pursuing: Speech Reporting Expressions in Early Modern English.” In Ewa Jonsson and Tove Larsson (eds.), Voices of the Past and Present – Studies of Involved, Speech-related and Spoken texts. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 64–78.
2020. Grund, Peter J., and Megan E. Hartman. “Introduction: Boundaries and Boundary-Crossings in the History of English.” In Peter J. Grund and Megan E. Hartman (eds.). Studies in the History of the English Language VIII: Boundaries and Boundary-Crossings in the History of English. Under contract with Mouton de Gruyter. 1–19.
2020. Grund, Peter J., and Terry Walker. “Introduction: Speech Representation in the History of English.” In Peter J. Grund and Terry Walker (eds.), Speech Representation in the History of English: Topics and Approaches. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1–28.
2020. “The Metalinguistic Description of Speech and Fictional Language: Exploring Speech Reporting Verbs and Speech Descriptors in Late Modern English.” In Peter J. Grund and Terry Walker (eds.), Speech Representation in the History of English: Topics and Approaches. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 102–130.
2020. Walker, Terry, and Peter J. Grund. “Free Indirect Speech, Slipping, or a System in Flux? Exploring the Continuum between Direct and Indirect Speech in Early Modern English.” In Peter J. Grund and Terry Walker (eds.), Speech Representation in the History of English: Topics and Approaches. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 156–182.
2020. “Writing the Salem Witch Trials.” In Theresa S. Gaul (ed.), Blackwell Companion to American Literature, vol. 1, Origins to 1820. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. 73–88. (Invited)
2020. “What it Means to Describe Speech: Pragmatic Variation and Change in Speech Descriptors in Late Modern English.” In Merja Kytö and Erik Smitterberg (eds.), Late Modern English: Novel Encounters. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 296–314.
2017. “Sociohistorical Approaches.” In Laurel J. Brinton (ed.), English Historical Linguistics: Approaches and Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 218–244. (Invited)
2016. “Seeing is Believing: Evidentiality and Visual Perception Verbs in Early Modern English Witness Depositions.” In Don Chapman, Colette Moore, and Miranda Wilcox (eds.), Studies in the History of the English Language VII: Generalizing vs. Particularizing Methodologies in Historical Linguistic Analysis. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 153–172.
2013. “I saw ye Child burning in ye fire”: Evidentiality in Early Modern English Witness Depositions.” In Andreas H. Jucker, Daniela Landert, Annina Seiler, and Nicole Studer-Joho (eds.), Meaning in the History of English: Words and Texts in Context. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 319–342.
2013. “Editing Alchemical Texts in Middle English: The Final Frontier?” In Anne Hudson and Vincent Gillespie (eds.), Probable Truth: Editing Medieval Texts from Britain in the Twenty-First Century. Turnhout: Brepols. 427–442.
2006. Grund, Peter, and Terry Walker. “The Subjunctive in Adverbial Clauses in Nineteenth-Century English.” In Merja Kytö, Mats Rydén, and Erik Smitterberg (eds.), Nineteenth-Century English: Stability and Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 89–109.
2002. “In Search of Gold: Towards a Text Edition of an Alchemical Treatise.” In Peter J. Lucas and Angela M. Lucas (eds.), Middle English from Tongue to Text. Selected Papers from The Third International Conference on Middle English: Language and Text. Held at Dublin, Ireland, 1–4 July, 1999. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. 265–279.
Awards & Honors —
2021. Byron T. Shutz Trust Award for Excellence in teaching
2016. University Scholarly Achievement Award.
2013–2015. Conger Gabel Teaching Professor.
2011. Mortar Board Outstanding Educator Award.