The Henry Sweet Society for the History of Linguistic Ideas held its Annual Colloquium in the Faculty of English on Saturday 19 March 2011, organised by Deborah Hayden with the help of several members of the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic. The day began with the Leslie Seiffert Lecture, given this year by Professor Emeritus Richard Hudson of UCL, who discussed ‘Why History Matters: From Babylon to Sweet, Tesnière, Chomsky and the National Curriculum’. This was followed by a variety of stimulating papers on topics ranging across the historical study of Chinese, Dutch and Italian. In the afternoon members were treated to a series of Celtic-themed talks, including a discussion of the study of Gaulish in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and two papers on medieval and early modern Irish respectively by ASNaC members Paul Russell and Denis Casey. The event ended with an engaging contribution from Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade concerning her recent book on the life and work of the eighteenth-century English grammarian Robert Lowth.
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