Emily Reed


School of English

Research Student

  • BA in English Literature, University of Sheffield, 2015
  • MA in Medieval Studies, University of York, 2016
Research interests
  • Historical Pragmatics
  • Anglo Norman
  • Middle English
  • Language Pedagogy
  • Language Contact

My PhD research is focused on the pragmatic status of Anglo Norman in relation to Middle English, specifically in (im)politeness modes, as evidenced in a group of late-medieval pedagogical dialogues, the 'Manières de Langage'.

Of interest to this study is how swear words and coarse phrases found in the 'Manières de Langage' are exchanged between Anglo Norman and Middle English, and how such terms develop during the high and late Middle Ages.

Following on from this, I am also interested in the role of irony and humour as a pedagogical device used by these dialogues.

My research, broadly speaking, argues for view a bidirectional channel of influence between Middle English and Anglo Norman, and suggests a similar trajectory of pragmatic development in certain conversational behaviours.

Research group


  • Graham Williams
  • Charlotte Steenbrugge
Professional activities
  • I am a member of the Medieval French Reading Group and the Medieval and Ancient Research Seminar
  • Anglo-Norman Texts Society; Société de Linguistique Romane; Philological Society
  • ‘Some evidence for bloody as an Anglo-Norman intensifier’, Notes and Queries (forthcoming); ‘Blasphemous oaths in Middle English and Anglo French: a pragmatic perspective’, Linguistics Vanguard special issue: Historical language contact in English and beyond, (submitted).

Papers given

  • May 2017. ‘Killing each other like civilized people? Verbal jousting in Tristan and Tristrams saga’, International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University.
  • April 2017. 'Pragmatic Contact Between Anglo-Norman and Middle English', Historical language contact in English and beyond (workshop), 23rd International Symposium on Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki