Irish Studies Würzburg

Prof. Dr. Raymond Hickey (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany) "Examining 'Bad Data': Ego Documents in the History of English" June 21, 2022, 6-8 pm c.t. (CET)

"Examining 'Bad Data': Ego Documents in the History of English"
Datum: 21.06.2022, 18:00 - 20:00 Uhr
Ort: Hubland Süd, Geb. PH1 (Philosophiegebäude), HS 2
Vortragende: Prof. Dr. Raymond Hickey

Historical data sources and text types available for linguistic investigations depend on the literacy rates, and the text production, of the English-speaking population in different time periods. As education opportunities and therefore literacy acquisition were socially stratified until the Elementary Education Act, written language use before 1870 will have varied greatly.

A text category that can be found across the entire social spectrum of those who could write are so-called ego documents – including autobiographies, diaries, or letters. The lecture will consider ego documents as a data source for historians of the English language, with the main focus on Irish emigrant letters.


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Raymond Hickey is Adjunct Professor at the University of Limerick and Professor Emeritus of English Linguistics at the University of Duisburg and Essen. His main research interests are varieties of English, Late Modern English and general questions of language contact, variation and change. His most recent book publications include Keeping in Touch. Emigrant Letters across the English-speaking World (John Benjamins, 2019), The Handbook of Language Contact (Wiley-Blackwell, 2020) and Irish Identities – Sociolinguistic Perspectives (co-edited with Carolina P. Amador-Moreno, de Gruyter Mouton, 2020). For further information, see




For details on how to attend the lecture please visit the website of the linguistics guest lectures.

If you want your attendance of the guest lecture to be confirmed on one of the ISWÜ certificates, please send a registration email with the subject line "HICKEY" to by June 20, 2022 at the latest.


English Linguistics

Prof. Dr. Carolin Biewer


Irish Studies Würzburg (ISWÜ)

Prof. Dr. Ina Bergmann & Prof. Dr. Maria Eisenmann