Department of English
University of Toronto
Ontario, Canada M5S 1A1
If you have comments or questions, you are welcome to e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org My office is Room 122, Wetmore Hall, New College, 300 Huron St., University of Toronto. You can also leave messages at 416-978-8279 (voice).
My most recent paper is "Vocabulary changes in Agatha Christie's mysteries as an indication of dementia: A case study," by myself and Graeme Hirst, and delivered as a poster paper at the 19th Annual Rotman Research Institute Conference Cognitive Aging: Research and Practice, March 2009, in Toronto. Here is the poster; and here is the paper.
I did this research with the help of a grant from the Department of English in late 2007. The University of Toronto Press will be publishing my book, "Forgetful Muses," which includes this study, in 2010. The New York Times gave this work top billing in its Arts and Health sections of its nineth annual year in ideas. See the article, "Literary Alzheimer's," by Amanda Fortini.
Graeme Hirst (Computer Science), Xuan Le (M.Sc. student in Computer Science), Regina Jokel (Speech Pathology, Baycrest), and I continue to work on Christie, Iris Murdoch, P. D. James, and others.
Judy Stoffman's article in the Insight section of the Toronto Star on January 23 gives an account of our research up to that date. In particular, Stoffman describes Xuan Le's M.Sc. thesis, titled "Longitudinal Detection of Dementia Through Lexical and Syntactic Changes in Writing," which was published January 22, 2010. This advances our team research by analyzing Christie, Murdoch, and a healthily-aging control author, P.D. James, together. Xuan Le's results confirm the conclusions of Peter Garrard on Murdoch, and Lancashire and Hirst on Christie, and show that P. D. James's style into her late 80s continues intellectually undiminished. By conducting an analysis of over 50 novels by the three detective-fiction authors with state-of-the-art natural-language-processing software, Xuan Le finds an abundance of new data and confirms that additional suggested potential markers of Alzheimer's Disease can be detected computationally in a subject's language history.
For my previously published papers on authoring, see below as well as my bio on the Department of English Web site.
- " Cybertextuality and Philology.” Digital Literary Studies. Ed. Ray Siemens and Susan Schreibman. Oxford: Blackwell's, 2007. 415-33.
- " Cognitive Stylistics and the Literary Imagination." Companion to Digital Humanities. Ed. Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, and John Unsworth. Blackwell's, 2004. 397-414.
- "Cybertextuality." TEXT Technology 2 (2004): 1-18.
- " Probing Shakespeare’s Idiolect in Troilus and Cressida I.3.1-29." University of Toronto Quarterly 68.3 (1999): 728-67.
- Using TACT with Electronic Texts: A Guide to Text-Analysis Computing Tools, Version 2.1 for MS-DOS and PC DOS. By Ian Lancashire in collaboration with John Bradley, Willard McCarty, Michael Stairs, and T. R. Wooldridge. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1996.
- " Chaucer's Repetends from The General Prologue of The Canterbury Tales." In The Centre and its Compass: Studies in Medieval Literature in Honor of Professor John Leyerle. Kalamazoo, MI: Western Michigan University, 1993: 315-65.
- " Chaucer's Phrasal Repetends and The Manciple's Prologue and Tale." In Computer-Based Chaucer Studies. CCHWP 3. Toronto: CCH, 1993: 99-122.
- "Uttering and Editing: Computational Text Analysis and Cognitive Studies in Authorship." Texte: Revue de Critique et de Theorie Litteraire 13/14 (1993): 173-218.
Lexicons of Early Modern English
LEME is a database of 123 glossaries, bilingual lexicons, and monolingual dictionaries from the Early Modern English period, 1480-1702. Its alpha version contains 430,000 word-entries. Thanks to generous support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation, LEME was made available to the TAPoR network (University of Victoria, University of Alberta, McMaster University, University of Toronto, Université de Montréal, and University of New Brunswick, in late 2004. It will be published by the University of Toronto Press and the University of Toronto Library. LEME is the successor to EMEDD.
For my previously published papers on Early Modern English lexicography, see below as well as my bio on the Department of English Web site.
- "The Theory and Practice of Lexicons of Early Modern English." In Bringing Text Alive: The Future of Scholarship, Pedagogy, and Electronic Publication. Ed. Shawn Martin. Early Modern Literary Studies 14.2 (Sept. 2008).
- "Law and Early Modern English Lexicons." HEL-LEX: New Approaches in English Historical Lexis." Ed. Roderick McConchie, Heli Tissari and Olga Timofeeva. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press, 2006. http://www.lingref.com/cpp/hel-lex/2005/paper1342.pdf
- "The Lexicons of Early Modern English." TEXT Technology 12.1 (Sept. 2003): 29-42.
- "Understanding Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus and the EMEDD." In New Scholarship from Old Renaissance Dictionaries: Applications of the Early Modern English Dictionaries Database. Ed. Ian Lancashire and Michael Best. A special issue of Early Modern Literary Studies (April 1997).
- "An Early Modern English Dictionaries Corpus 1499-1659." Early Dictionary Databases. Ed. Ian Lancashire and T. Russon Wooldridge. CCH Working Papers 4. University of Toronto: CCH, 1994: 75-90.
- "Bilingual Dictionaries in an English Renaissance Knowledge Base." Ed. T. R. Wooldridge. Historical Dictionary Databases. CCH Working Papers 2. Toronto: CCH, 1992: 69-88.
Text-Analysis Computing Tools
TACT, Text-Analysis Computing Tools 2.1, is a general-purpose system of 16 PC programs available freely from
Developed by John Bradley, Lidio Presutti, Michael Stairs and myself since the mid-1980s, the TACT manual can only be obtained from the Modern Language Association of America in Using TACT with Electronic Texts: Text-Analysis Computing Tools Vers. 2.1 (1996), written by myself in collaboration with John Bradley, Willard McCarty, Michael Stairs, and T. R. Wooldridge.
Representative Poetry Online
Representative Poetry Online (vers. 3.0) is a Web anthology of over 3,000 poems and a score of prose works by 501 poets from the English-speaking world. This is now edited by myself and is based on the single-volume collection of the same name printed in 1912 through to the last three-volume collection printed in 1962-67, all published by the University of Toronto Press and edited by many members of the Department of English. It is available from the University of Toronto Library at
UTEL (University of Toronto English Library)
UTEL is an electronic library of English texts whose development is sponsored by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Library, particularly Sian Meikle, with the help of the Information Commons and CHASS (Computing in the Humanities and Social Sciences). Its research assistants in 1996-97 were Christopher Douglas and Dennis Jerz; and in 1998 Marc Plamondon. The UTEL URL is
Renaissance Electronic Texts
Renaissance Electronic Texts is a collection of scholarly electronic texts for the English Renaissance. It is available from the University of Toronto Library Web server at
The first volume is the Elizabethan homilies (1547-71). The second volume is Edmund Coote's The English Schoolmaster. The third volume is Shakespeares Sonnets (1609). Encoding guidelines for COCOA and SGML are also found here.
Early Modern English Dictionaries Database
This was a prototype for Lexicons of Early Modern English, which now replaces it.
Microcomputer Text-analysis System
MTAS, a set of word-frequency and word-distribution programs jointly prepared with Lidio Presutti in Turbo Pascal for the IBM PC. Version 1 (1985). Version 2.0 (March 1988). The complete program (including source code) was published in February 1993 as
Consortium for Computers in the Humanities
COCH/COSH (Consortium for Computers in the Humanities / Consortium pour Ordinateurs en Sciences Humaines) is a Canadian Learned Society with individual and institutional members. I served as its President (English) from 1992 to 2003. Now COCH/COSH is known as the Society of the Digital Humanities. For information, see the society's Web site.
ENG201Y: Reading Poetry
In the winter and spring terms of 2003-2004 I taught an on-line section of a credit course in poetry for the Department of English. See the course description.
ENG237F: Science Fiction and Fantasy
See the course description for my section of sf (speculative fiction) in the Department of English.
ENG258Y: Literature and Science
In 1999-2000 I taught a course in literature and science, 1800-the present, for the Department of English. See the current course description.
ENG367Y: History of the English Language
In the winter and spring terms of 1997-98 I taught a course in the history of the English language for the Department of English. See the current course description.
ENG405F: Studies in an Individual Author, Pre-1800: Shakespeare's Last Works
In the fall term of 1997-98 I taught a course in Shakespeare's last works (1609-) for the Department of English. See the current course description.
ENG440Y: Studies in Renaissance Literature and LanguageIn 2001-2002 I taught a course on interpreting major works of Renaissance England through a knowledge of Early Modern English. See the course description for details.
ENG2530Y: Shakespeare's Language
In the winter and summer terms of 1995-96 I taught a course in Shakespeare's language for the Department of English. See the course description and bibliography for details.
In the winter and summer terms of 2000-2001 I taught a course in Cybertext for the Department of English. See the course description for details.
ENG9001H: Bibliography II (Old and Middle English and Renaissance)
In the spring term of 2001-2002, I taught a course in bibliography from Old English to the Renaissance for the Department of English. See the course description for details.
ENG9002H: Bibliography II (Renaissance)
In the summer of 1999 I taught a course in Renaissance bibliography for the Department of English. See the current course description for details.
Other of my papers are now on-line.
- "Early Books, RET Encoding Guidelines, and the Trouble with SGML" (Nov. 11, 1995, for the Electric Scriptorium Research Network, Calgary Institute for the Humanities, University of Calgary)
- "The Electronic Highway in Teaching and Research" (May 15, 1995, for the Canadian Conference of Deans of Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities in Toronto)
- "Public-Domain Shakespeare" (Dec. 1992, Modern Language Association Convention, New York)
This vita, part of Representative Poetry On-line, describes my main interests, activities, and publications.
Last updated July 2010