My research interests combine linguistic and literary areas of study. I am especially interested in the idiolect (the language of an individual), historical sociolinguistics, corpus linguistics, and sixteenth-century England (and English). My past research examines the language and style of Queen Elizabeth I, based on her extant correspondence, speeches and translations.
I am interested in testing modern sociolinguistic theory on historical data, and using the sociolinguistic approach to enhance our understanding of the linguistic and social practices of historical individuals. Stylistic variation is a significant component. My ongoing work investigates how early modern micro-level (that is, individual) conceptions of "style" relate to the macro-level trends and developments we see in the language during this period. I am interested in how social and correspondence networks correlate with linguistic variation amongst historical communities, especially the early modern court, and how contemporary models, such as Communities of Practice, can help to illuminate the complex power practices of these domains.
I also use my linguistic expertise to explore manuscript culture, particularly in regards to authorship analysis and our understanding of text production (e.g. correspondence) in the early modern period.
My work on narrative also has a historical dimension. I am currently exploring the historical developments of reported speech in confessional narratives and correspondence, particularly the depiction of utterances attributed to Tudor monarchs, and how these real-world texts relate to the emergence of representation modes in fictional, literary discourse.