Sophie is a Research Associate on the C21 Editions Project, responsible for developing a prototype online teaching edition of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Pardoner’s Prologue and Tale using machine assisted methods.
Sophie is currently completing a PhD in historical linguistics at Sheffield, which explores explanations for change in the language structure ‘verb second’ in Middle English. She uses quantitative corpus-based methods to calculate the frequency of the structure in Middle English texts, paired with textual analysis of factors related to dialect, provenance, and genre/type. She also investigates Geoffrey Chaucer’s usage of the phenomenon in his prose works, and demonstrates how the structure of rhetoric and argumentation can influence the use of V2 in specific texts. Her research interests generally lie at the intersection of historical syntax and language acquisition, and more specifically, how learners can drive change in a community following periods of language contact.
Sophie has taught on modules in the history of English, historical pragmatics, research methods and syntax. She has coordinated interdisciplinary workshops on centring anti-racist research in the linguistics curriculum, inviting speakers from across the globe to present their research on the pragmatics of postcolonial communities, language and culture sharing, and human rights, and has since become a member of the Linguistic Association of Great Britain’s racial justice sub-committee. She is also an organiser at the Sheffield Feminist Archive, and has recently contributed to the creation of a digital archive named Women in Lockdown, a project that houses women’s stories and experiences of the pandemic via oral history, testimony, diary entries, and artwork submissions.