Thereafter, we shall analyse this corpus on the basis of the hypothesis that ‘ordinary writers’ were able to make conscious decisions about linguistic registers and the choice between different (groups of) variants.
Methods, Objectives and Ethical Relevance
The project is developing methods to combine functional and structural approaches to linguistic variation, linking to integrated theories in variationist linguistic research. Beyond that, the nature of the corpus creates the scope for analysing the influence of age and/or illness on language use and thus offers the potential for pioneering work in the area of historical patholinguistics.
The project also has an ethical dimension, namely the examination of evaluations of texts, practices of censorship, and the legitimisation of knowledge and power. The voices of the patients themselves, once stifled, can now be heard again.
The research group cooperates with the Elite Graduate Program „Ethics of Textual Cultures“ at the Universities of Erlangen-Nuremberg and Augsburg.