Prof. Anita Auer is a historical linguist with a keen interest in interdisciplinary research, particularly the correlation between language variation and change and socio-economic history, as well as textual history. To date, she has carried out research in several related fields, notably philology (Old English, Middle English and Modern English), corpus compilation and corpus linguistics, stylistics, dialectology, (socio-)historical linguistics, the interface between manuscript and print, and language standardisation.
Anita Auer was educated at the University of Vienna (Austria) and the University of Manchester (UK). While a postgraduate student at Manchester, she initiated the GerManC Project – A Representative Historical Corpus of German 1650-1800, which was financially supported by the ESRC and the AHRC. Following the completion of her PhD in the field of English and German historical linguistics in 2005, Anita Auer took up a position as postdoctoral researcher and junior lecturer at the University of Leiden (NL). In 2008, she joined the Department of English at Utrecht University (NL) where she taught medieval literature and culture as well as historical linguistics. While working at Utrecht, Anita Auer was awarded an Aspasia Grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and an Utrecht University Board appreciation award. This allowed her to set up the project Emerging Standards: Urbanisation and the Development of Standard English, c.1400-1700. She also collaborates with Tony Fairman (Independent Scholar), Moragh Gordon (Utrecht University) and Prof. Mikko Laitinen (Linnaeus University) on the corpus project Letters of Artisans and the Labouring Poor (England, c. 1750–1835). In February 2014, Anita Auer has taken up her current position as Professor in English Linguistics at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland). She is a member of the editorial team of the newly established Journal of Historical Sociolinguistics, published by De Gruyter Mouton.
Anita Auer’s book The Subjunctive in the Age of Prescriptivism: English and German Developments in the Eighteenth Century, based on her PhD thesis, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2009. The monograph Writing across the Social Spectrum. Letter Writing Practices in Nineteenth-century Northern England, to be published by Mouton de Gruyter (Series Language and Social Processes), is near completion. Anita Auer has co-edited the volume Letter Writing and Language Change with Prof. Daniel Schreier (Univeristy of Zurich) and Prof. Em. Richard J. Watts (University of Berne), which was published by Cambridge University Press in early 2015. She has also co-edited two volumes of Linguistics in the Netherlands, published by John Benjamins, LiN volume 30 with Suzanne Aalberse (2013) and LiN volume 31 with Björn Köhnlein (2014). Anita Auer is currently co-authoring the book English Subjunctive Constructions: A Corpus-based Historical Study with Prof. Em. Dr. Lilo Moessner (RWTH Aachen, Germany), to be published by Cambridge University Press.