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date: 05 July 2020

(p. v) Preface

(p. v) Preface

when this handbook was commissioned three years ago, the idea was to produce a book consisting of around 25 chapters. This soon proved to be an underestimate for “a high-level scholarly volume reflecting the cutting-edge ‘state of the art’ in the field and developing a resource that will set the research agenda for the coming decade,” as Peter Ohlin envisioned its contents. Even the present 68 chapters introduce only a selection of the diverse developments in the field, and length considerations have meant that many details had to be sacrificed. We nevertheless hope that the volume will lead to a fuller appreciation of the main research trends and of the rich possibilities for further work at this time.

This volume would hardly have materialized had Elizabeth not responded in the affirmative to Terttu's invitation to embark on the project in early 2009. Our partly complementary specializations in the history of English made it a great partnership. Our first brainstorming session took place in Helsinki in June 2009, when we drew up a wish list for the organization and contents of a new kind of handbook and thought of colleagues whom we could invite to join in the project.

Our heartfelt thanks go to all of the contributors for sharing our enthusiasm for this great opportunity to engage in rethinking the history of English. We owe special thanks to the section coordinators—Ricardo Bermúdez-Otero, Jonathan Culpeper, Mark Davies, Susan Fitzmaurice, Raymond Hickey, Roland Hinterhölzl, Ans van Kemenade, Thomas Kohnen, Bernd Kortmann, Christian Mair, Minna Nevala, Jeremy Smith, and Graeme Trousdale—for skillfully contextualizing and shaping their respective groups of chapters so as to highlight the major issues. We would also like to thank the contributors for acting as peer reviewers and giving invaluable feedback on each other's chapters—and for revising their own with good grace.

Many colleagues outside the project also helped in the review process. We are indebted to Laurel Brinton, Fran Colman, Markku Filppula, Elly van Gelderen, Jonathan Hope, Donka Minkova, Arja Nurmi, Márton Sóskuthy, Dennis Preston, Theo Vennemann, and James Walker. Our thanks go to Mikko Hakala for checking the glossaries.

We are also grateful to Brian Hurley, Peter Ohlin, and Jennifer Vafidis in OUP's New York office for their support and advice throughout the editing process and to the whole production team for the final outcome, especially Lynn Childress for her careful copyediting and Aaron Murray for coordinating the production process (p. vi) with efficiency, understanding, and unfailing good humor. Last but not least, a person who deserves very special thanks is Sara Norja, one of only three people so far to read the entire volume and who preedited its contents with unfailing good humor and superb attention to detail. The project could not have been completed on time without her.

Terttu Nevalainen, Helsinki

Elizabeth Traugott, Palo Alto

April 2012