Introduction to the Special Issue ‘Diachronic English for Specific Purposes
Keywords:languages for specific purposes, linguistics, applied linguistics, specialised discourse, discourse studies, pragmatics, historical pragmatics, historical linguistics
Historical linguistics has been in constant rebirth and innovation to conform to new advances in the way texts are methodologically addressed. These methods of study have given way to several interdisciplinary focuses, which include the disciplines of historical sociolinguistics (Milroy, 1991; Conde-Silvestre, 2007), historical pragmatics (Jucker, 1995) or diachronic pragmatics (Arnovick, 1999), historical discourse analysis (Brinton, 2001; Berkenkotter, 2009; Navarro, 2008), and historical sociopragmatics (Culpeper, 2009). In this context, we have to mention the groundbreaking work on dialogue analysis by Jucker, Fritz and Lebsanft (1999), and the volume on historical speech acts by Jucker and Taavitsainen (2008). These two books represented an advance in the way both written and spoken discourse should be addressed at from a historical dimension. Historical pragmatics has proven to be the most fruitful discipline of all and, since the foundation of the Journal of Historical Pragmatics by Jucker in 2000 (John Benjamins), it seems to be constantly increasing.
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