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Peter J. Grund

Assistant Professor

3111 Wescoe Hall

Ph.D. (Uppsala, Sweden)

Areas of Research

English language studies, English historical linguistics, historical pragmatics, early American English, corpus linguistics, editing, vernacularization of science, Salem witch trials.


Journal of English Linguistics


2013–2015. Conger Gabel Teaching Professor.
2011 Mortar Board Outstanding Educator Award.

Selected Publications


Peter J. Grund. 2011. “Misticall Wordes and Names Infinite”: An Edition and Study of Humfrey Lock’s Treatise on Alchemy. Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies [MRTS] 367. Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

Merja Kytö, Peter J. Grund, and Terry Walker. 2011. Testifying to Language and Life in Early Modern England. Including a CD containing An Electronic Text Edition of Depositions 1560–1760 (ETED). Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Bernard Rosenthal, Gretchen A. Adams, Margo Burns, Peter Grund, Risto Hiltunen, Leena Kahlas-Tarkka, Merja Kytö, Matti Peikola, Benjamin C. Ray, Matti Rissanen, Marilynne K. Roach, and Richard B. Trask (eds.). 2009. Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Journal Articles (Selected)

Peter J. Grund, Margo Burns, and Matti Peikola. "The Vagaries of Manuscripts from the Salem Witch Trials: An Edition of Four (Re-)Discovered Documents from the Case Against Margaret Scott of Rowley." Studia Neophilologica (Forthcoming).

Peter J. Grund and Erik Smitterberg. "Conjuncts in Nineteenth-Century English:Diachronic Development and Genre Diversity." English Language and Linguistics 18/1 (2014): 157–181.

"The 'Forgotten' Language of Middle English Alchemy: Exploring Alchemical Lexis in the MED and the OED." Review of English Studies (pre-publication online version, 2013: doi: 10.1093/res/hgt097).

“Textual History as Language History? Text Categories, Corpora, Editions, and the Witness Depositions from the Salem Witch Trials.” Studia Neophilologica 84/1 (2012): 40–54.

“The Nature of Knowledge: Evidence and Evidentiality in the Witness Depositions from the Salem Witch Trials.” American Speech 87/1 (2012): 7–38.

“The Science of Pronominal Usage: He and It in Co-Reference to Inanimate Objects in Late Middle English Texts on Alchemy.” Journal of English Linguistics 39/4 (2011): 335–358.

“Textual Alchemy: The Transformationof Pseudo-Albertus Magnus’s Semita Recta into the Mirror of Lights.” Ambix: The Journal for the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry 56/3 (2009): 202–225.

Sidrak and Bokkus: An Early Modern Reader Response.” Anglia: Zeitschrift für englische Philologie 125/2 (2007): 217–238.

“From Tongue to Text: The Transmission of the Salem Witchcraft Examination Records.” American Speech 82/2 (2007): 119–150.

“Manuscripts as Sources for Linguistic Research: A Methodological Case Study Based on the Mirror of Lights.” Journal of English Linguistics 34/2 (2006): 105–125.

“‘ffor to make Azure as Albert biddes’: Medieval English Alchemical Writings in the Pseudo-Albertan Tradition.” Ambix: The Journal for the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry 53/1 (2006): 21–42.

“Albertus Magnus and the Queen of the Elves: A 15th-Century English Verse Dialogue on Alchemy.” Anglia: Zeitschrift für englische Philologie 122/4 (2004): 640–662.

Peter Grund, Merja Kytö, and Matti Rissanen. “Editing the Salem Witchcraft Records: An Exploration of a Linguistic Treasury.” American Speech 79/2 (2004): 146–166.

Biography and Areas of Interest

I have always been fascinated by the English language: its structure, history, and variation. I am fortunate to be able to develop this fascination virtually every day, as I research and discover new aspects of the history of English and as I explore and discuss the English language with students in and outside class.

One of my main research interests is alchemical texts from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. I study how writers began to write alchemical texts in English (instead of Latin) and how they created new words, constructions, and textual forms necessary to deal with topics that had previously only been discussed in Latin. Another area of focus for my research is the language and structure of early legal documents from England and North America. My current project explores how the witnesses and recorders co-constructed the narratives of the Salem witness depositions, and how the participants used various linguistic markers to frame their evidence as reliable and believable.

Although I teach a wide range of classes (including History of English, Introduction to the English Language, World Englishes, Stylistics, etc.), a point of emphasis in all these courses is that language is characterized by variation and change. My aim is to provide the tools and language to discuss such variation and the factors governing how people speak and write in different situations, where such situational conventions come from, and how these conventions have changed over time and are still changing. It is important to see that language is not arbitrary but varies for a number of situational, social, cultural, and historical reasons.

Assistant Professor Grund's Curriculum Vitae

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