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English Linguistics

Research in Linguistics at Birmingham City University covers a variety of areas, including corpus linguistics, critical discourse analysis, forensic linguistics, narrative studies, pragmatics, sociolinguistics, and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). Our work in these fields is known internationally and we have made significant contributions to knowledge, as well as developing innovative approaches to the study of language in all its forms.

Speech bubble postits

We have a strong track record of attracting external funding from a variety of sources, including the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Jisc, Leverhulme Trust, and the Fulbright Commission. Since 2014, BCU has invested almost £100,000 in hardware and other IT resources to support the work of our Research and Development Unit for English Studies (RDUES) and users of its software worldwide.

RDUES is a world-leading centre for research in corpus linguistics that applies linguistic methods to academic fields beyond Linguistics and to contemporary ‘real world’ contexts. As such, RDUES has developed a number of widely used software tools for the study of real language use. The research of RDUES focuses on web data, including analyses of language change over time, sense relations between words (e.g. synonymy/antonymy), collocation, neologisms, and topic ('aboutness'). Beyond RDUES, our specialists are working on the language of litigants in person, and research on the language of toxic masculinities and the language of far-right groups.

Areas of activity

Our research covers a range of topics in the fields of corpus linguistics, critical discourse analysis, forensic linguistics, narrative studies, pragmatics, sociolinguistics, and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). Examples include the application of corpus methods to the analysis of a wide range of social issues including nationalism, racism, sexism, and homophobia, as well as the use of the web as a source of natural language data and the development of software tools to facilitate this.

Staff working in this group

Research students 

  • Gabriela Csulich, Linguistics: (Im)politeness in the EModE Courtroom – a corpus-based analysis

Projects

PHd OPPS

PhD opportunities 

The School of English at BCU is one of the University’s most successful research centres, and offers expert PhD supervision in a wide range of topics within English studies. We currently have students working in English Literature, Linguistics, Creative Writing and Drama. We also have a range of Midlands4Cities courses available.

Find out more