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Dr Laura Wright

History of the English language; history of London English; historical code-switching; historical sociolects
Dr Laura Wright

Reader in English Language

History of the English language

History of London English

Historical code-switching

Historical sociolects

Office Phone: (+44) (0)1223 767322

Research theme

Multilingualism :

Departments and Institutes

Faculty of English:

Research Interests

Most of my work has been on the language of 14th and 15th century MSS produced in London (in particular, the make-up of mixed-language business writing and historical code-switching between Anglo-Norman, Medieval latin and Middle English, but also on the Hammond scribe's use of English).  I have also published on the English of 16th century London court records, on the language of 17th and early 18th century slaves and settlers on the Island of St Helena, South Atlantic; on the language of 18th century London trade-cards and servants' bills - in particular, those of fireworkers and their fireworks, but also the linguistic conventions adopted by servants and masters when advertising for work, and Prepositional Phrase change caused (I suggest) by the abolition of building-signs (such as the sign of the Naked Boy and Coffin at the lower corner of Fleet Lane, or the sign of the Three Cover'd Chairs and Walnut Tree, St Paul's Churchyard).  As part of my work for the "Multilingual Practices in the History of Written English" project I am researching the effects of Victorian technological developments on colour terms and perfume names, amongst other things.


  • Historical linguistics
  • Code-switching
  • English