The notion of communicative space forms the general theoretical leitmotif of this volume. Within communicative spaces of all kinds, the contributors present their views and research on language variation, language contact and language change. The majority of contributions centre on the Middle English period. Yet, all other historical stages of English are discussed within the given framework. A number of papers address aspects and developments which belong to adjacent fields, such as Romance and Slavonic linguistics as well as cultural studies. The volume celebrates Ursula Schaefer’s scholarly merits on the occasion of her 65th birthday in 2012.