Linguistics and Intercultural Communication PhD project opportunities

Find out more about self-funded PhD projects in areas where we already have supervisors active and engaged in the research topic in our School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Contextual influences on linguistic representations

Supervisory team

Dr Melanie Bell

Project outline

We seek PhD projects concerned with the effects of context on linguistic representation.

Context could mean the surrounding text or discourse in which a linguistic expression occurs, or it could mean the wider extralinguistic situation in which the language is being used.

Representation includes the form and/or meaning of linguistic expressions, including morphosyntactic, phonological or phonetic form. For example, you might be interested in how context affects intonation, or meaning, or the choice between different syntactic structures.

The supervisory team has expertise in syntax, morphology, phonetics and phonology, and in a range of languages including English and the Romance languages.

To discuss your interests, please email Melanie Bell at melanie.bell@aru.ac.uk

Where you'll study

Cambridge

Funding

This project is self-funded.

Details of studentships for which funding is available are selected by a competitive process and are advertised on our jobs website as they become available.

Next steps

If you have an enquiry about applying for a research degree, please email ahsspgrrec@aru.ac.uk

For administrative enquiries about our research courses please email ahsspgr@aru.ac.uk

Responsibility for the administration of research degrees is held by the Doctoral School.

Inter and intra-speaker variation

Supervisory team

Dr Melanie Bell

Project outline

We seek PhD projects concerned with how people vary in their use of language, or how the same person's language use varies in different situations. Such variation might involve differences in the words and phrases used in spoken or written text as well as variation in the phonetic or phonological form of spoken language.

The causes of variation could be stylistic or dialectal, or related to a range of sociolinguistic factors such as age, education, languages spoken etc. For example, you might be interested in how people's choice of linguistic structure varies with education level, or how vocabulary changes with age, or how the first language of bilinguals changes with increasing exposure to a second language.

The supervisory team has expertise in syntax, morphology, phonetics and phonology, and in a range of languages including English and the Romance languages.

To discuss your interests, please email Melanie Bell at melanie.bell@aru.ac.uk

Where you'll study

Cambridge

Funding

This project is self-funded.

Details of studentships for which funding is available are selected by a competitive process and are advertised on our jobs website as they become available.

Next steps

If you have an enquiry about applying for a research degree, please email ahsspgrrec@aru.ac.uk

For administrative enquiries about our research courses please email ahsspgr@aru.ac.uk

Responsibility for the administration of research degrees is held by the Doctoral School.

Language and identities

Project outline

We seek PhD projects concerned with the link between identity and language. In particular, we are interested in projects that explore language ideologies, multilingual communities and intercultural communication.

Members of our team have led projects on attitudes towards second language accents, the perception of identity through languages, ethnolinguistic vitality in migrant communities, linguistic landscapes, intercultural pragmatics and interactional use of language using a variety of different theoretical and methodological frameworks.

You can contact the team at:

Where you'll study

Cambridge

Funding

This project is self-funded.

Details of studentships for which funding is available are selected by a competitive process and are advertised on our jobs website as they become available.

Next steps

If you have an enquiry about applying for a research degree, please email ahsspgrrec@aru.ac.uk

For administrative enquiries about our research courses please email ahsspgr@aru.ac.uk

Responsibility for the administration of research degrees is held by the Doctoral School.

Pedagogical linguistics

Supervisory team

Dr Melanie Bell

Project outline

Pedagogical linguistics refers to the intersection of linguistics and education. This includes both the use of theoretical and descriptive linguistics in education but also the effects of education on language (see Hudson 2020 in Pedagogical Linguistics).

Applications are welcome for any project that falls within this broad area of study, but especially projects relating to the inclusion of linguistics in language teaching including heritage language education (see Sheehan et al. 2021 in Modern Languages Open).

Depending on focus, successful applicants may also wish to join the successful Linguistics in Modern Foreign Languages project and/or the Anglia Ruskin Research Centre for Intercultural and Multilingual Studies (ARRCIMS).

Candidates will have a background in linguistics and/or education with a strong interest in the intersection between the two and ideally some experience of teaching. Depending on the nature of the project, additional supervision may be sought from colleagues in Education.

To discuss your interests, please email Melanie Bell at melanie.bell@aru.ac.uk

Where you'll study

Cambridge

Funding

This project is self-funded.

Details of studentships for which funding is available are selected by a competitive process and are advertised on our jobs website as they become available.

Next steps

If you have an enquiry about applying for a research degree, please email ahsspgrrec@aru.ac.uk

For administrative enquiries about our research courses please email ahsspgr@aru.ac.uk

Responsibility for the administration of research degrees is held by the Doctoral School.

Quantitative approaches to morphosyntax

Supervisory team

Dr Melanie Bell

Project outline

The increasing availability of big data and ease of rapid large-scale data collection online are in the process of revolutionising methodologies in the study of morphosyntax. For example, data can be collected online using aural/read acceptability judgement tasks, production experiments and/or artificial language experiments (see Sheehan et al. 2018 in Glossa, 2019 in Frontiers in Psychology).

We welcome any project which involves a substantial empirical component and quantitative analysis, addressing a topic relating to the syntax of any language. Projects focusing on English or Romance languages are particularly welcome, given the research expertise of the supervision team.

Candidates will have a strong background in linguistics, with a particular interest in morphosyntax and a willingness to develop skills in quantitative analysis.

To discuss your interests, please email melanie.bell@aru.ac.uk

Where you'll study

Cambridge

Funding

This project is self-funded.

Details of studentships for which funding is available are selected by a competitive process and are advertised on our jobs website as they become available.

Next steps

If you have an enquiry about applying for a research degree, please email ahsspgrrec@aru.ac.uk

For administrative enquiries about our research courses please email ahsspgr@aru.ac.uk

Responsibility for the administration of research degrees is held by the Doctoral School.

UK heritage languages

Supervisory team

Dr Melanie Bell

Project outline

Over 20% of pupils in English state nurseries and schools speak a heritage language (Schools Census 2020). The study of heritage languages is now well established in the USA and Germany, but the field is underdeveloped in the UK, somewhat surprisingly given the UK’s great linguistic diversity.

Developing this field is important because it is now well documented that heritage grammars tend to be minimally different from L1 monolingual/bilingual grammars and this needs to be taken into consideration in the teaching and assessment of these varieties.

Projects are welcome which contribute to the documentation of the linguistic properties of a UK heritage language. This will ideally be a language that’s spoken widely in the East of England (Urdu, Polish, Bengali, Panjabi or Portuguese).

Projects on heritage Portuguese are particularly welcome in light of Prof Sheehan’s ongoing project, Argument Expression in UK Heritage Portuguese’, joint funded by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust.

The ideal candidate will have a strong background in linguistics, with a particular interest in bilingualism and competence in a UK heritage language.

Working in the Anglia Ruskin Research Centre for Intercultural and Multilingual Studies, and with local schools, you will collect and analyse linguistic data informed by linguistic theory and previous work on bilingualism/language contact.

To discuss your interests, please email melanie.bell@aru.ac.uk

Where you'll study

Cambridge

Funding

This project is self-funded.

Details of studentships for which funding is available are selected by a competitive process and are advertised on our jobs website as they become available.

Next steps

If you have an enquiry about applying for a research degree, please email ahsspgrrec@aru.ac.uk

For administrative enquiries about our research courses please email ahsspgr@aru.ac.uk

Responsibility for the administration of research degrees is held by the Doctoral School.

If you have an idea for a project that does not align with one of the pre-defined projects above, please contact us at ahsspgrrec@aru.ac.uk