Dr Imogen Marcus

Senior Lecturer in English Language

Department of English, History & Creative Writing


I joined Edge Hill University in August 2016. Before that I worked as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant at Birmingham City University, where I helped to research, design and build a Bilingual Thesaurus of Everyday Life in Medieval England, a database of Anglo-French and Middle English words from c.1200– c.1450. I have also taught at the University of Birmingham and the University of Glasgow.

My research focuses mainly on language change in the history of English, especially during the medieval and early modern periods. I work primarily within the frameworks of historical discourse analysis and pragmatics, often employing corpus-based methods. I have also published on lexical borrowing into Middle English and on the interface between historical semantics and lexicography. I have recently received a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant to carry out a project entitled:  ‘From Manuscripts to Messaging: orality, texts and connectives from late medieval to Present Day English’. This project aims to bring a trans-historical perspective to the linguistic study of digital writing practices.


I currently lead the following undergraduate English Language modules: Studying English Language, Exploring Variation in English, The History and Development of EnglishEarly English 600-1500 AD, Language and Identity and Historical Linguistics. I also teach on Language, Gender and Sexuality and Language of Shakespeare and his Time, and have previously taught on a range of other English language BA modules, including The Structure of English and Sounds of English. At Masters level, I’ve taught on the interdisciplinary taught MA course, Critical Approaches to Postgraduate Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences. I supervise undergraduate dissertations on subjects relating to language change and am currently co-supervising a PhD dissertation.



Marcus, I. 2017. The Linguistics of Spoken Communication in Early Modern English Writing: Exploring Bess of Hardwick’s Manuscript Letters. London: Palgrave. https://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9783319660073


Marcus, I. 2019. Bess’s use of language. In: Hopkins, L (Ed.) Bess of Hardwick: New Perspectives. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Ingham, R., Sylvester, L and Marcus, I. 2019. ‘The penetration of French-origin lexis into Middle English occupational domains’. Current Issues in Linguistic Theory (CILT) Series. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Marcus, I and Evans, M. Forthcoming, 2019. “Right trusty and well-beloved”: The socio-pragmatics of gender, power and stance in sixteenth-century English letters. In: Lutsky, U and Nevala, M. (eds.) Knowing me and knowing you – reference and identity markers in public discourse. Pragmatics and Beyond Series. Amsterdam and New York: John Benjamins.

Marcus, I. 2017. ‘Whose letters are they anyway? Addressing the issue of scribal writing in Bess of Hardwick’s Early Modern English letters’. In: Mostert, M (Ed.) Verbal and Visual Communication in Early English Texts. Utrecht Studies in Medieval Literacy. Turnhout: Brepols.

Sylvester, L and Marcus, I. 2017. ‘Studying French-origin Middle English lexis using the Bilingual Thesaurus of Medieval England: a comparison of the vocabulary of two occupational domains’. In: Delesse, C and Louviot, E (eds). Studies in Language Variation and Change 2: Shifting, Switching and Alternating Patterns in the History of English. Cambridge Scholars, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Sylvester, L, Marcus, I and Ingham, R. 2016. ‘A Bilingual Thesaurus of Everyday Life in Medieval England: Some Issues at the Interface of Semantics and Lexicography’. International Journal of Lexicography. DOI: 10.1093/ijl/ecw018

Ingham, R and Marcus, I. 2016. ‘Vernacular Bilingualism in Professional Spaces, 1200 to 1400’. In: Classen, A (Ed). Multilingualism in the middle ages and early modern age; communication and miscommunication in the premodern world. Berlin: De Gruyter, pp. 145-165.

Ingham, R, Marcus, I and Sylvester, L. ‘Single word code switches or loan words? Evidence from the Bilingual Thesaurus of Everyday Life in Medieval England’. Submitted to Journal of Historical Sociolinguistics.

Marcus, I. A comparative study of clause-level connectives in Anglo Norman French and Middle English letters. In progress. Peer review received from English Language and Linguistics.


2014. Review of Horace Walpole and his Correspondents by Froukje Henstra. Linguist List, 26.


The Bilingual Thesaurus of Everyday Life in Medieval England https://thesaurus.ac.uk/bth/ (Postdoctoral Research Associate)

Bess of Hardwick’s Letters: The Complete Correspondence c.1550-1608 https://www.bessofhardwick.org/ (AHRC-funded PhD student)

The Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary http://www.oed.com/thesaurus/ (Assistant Editor)

Public Engagement


2015 – 2016. Bilingual Thesaurus of Everyday Life in Medieval England project blog.


September, 2018. We Speak French Here. History Today magazine. https://www.historytoday.com/imogen-marcus/we-speak-french-here

Last updated on Last updated on Was this page helpful? Yes NoThanks for your feedback!Please tell us more: