Upcoming GaP-lectures 

November 15, 2021Magda Serwadczak (Universiteit Antwerpen & Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

Location: Room A.202, Stadscampus Universiteit Antwerpen

Title: Reconstructing oral discourse in writing: An analysis of orality markers and entextualization strategies in historical witness depositions

Abstract: "Scholars interested in studying language from a historical perspective are generally forced torely solely on written records as spoken material is often not available. However, when leaning on written sources one must proceed with caution: the inscription of speech into writing remains an attempt to capture the impermanent, interaction-based discourse and reify it in a fixed, circulable form (Bucholtz & Park, 2009). This raises the question whether written records accurately reflect past speech events. In this paper we set out to investigate the relationship between speech and writing in an institutional setting. In doing so, we use a corpus of 18th and 19th century witness and suspect depositions from Flemish courts. In the case of earlier depositions prior to the trial, the witnesses’ or suspects’ originally speech-based statements are committed to paper by legal scribes and are used as such for the case decision-making. We adapt both qualitative and quantitative research methods to analyze selected orality and literacy markers (Biber 1988, Chafe & Tannen 1987, Rutten & van der Wal 2014) and answer the question about written sources’ credibility as records of actual spoken interaction. The presented analysis is part of a PhD project which aims to shed more light on the institutional discourse from a diachronic perspective and investigate different facets of credibility in historical courtroom proceedings."


December 6, 2021Patricia Galiana (Universiteit Antwerpen) 

December 13, 2021Miftahul Huda (Universiteit Antwerpen) 

January 17, 2022: Eleanor Smith (Universiteit Antwerpen)