Linguists in the School of Modern Languages are key members of the Newcastle linguistics community, which is in turn one of the biggest of its kind in the United Kingdom and beyond. Few Modern Languages departments in the UK have such a strong presence of specialist linguists as Newcastle has.
An uncommonly broad range of linguistic expertise is represented in the School. As a group, we cover most of the major subfields of linguistics. All of us are affiliated with one of the School’s sections (French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, Applied East Asian Languages). We branch out to other languages as well though, resulting in a wider coverage of languages of the world than the sheer number of staff would suggest: Bosnian-Serbian-Croatian, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Quechua, and Spanish. There is also research at the comparative-typological level with respect to the Germanic and the Romance languages.
Within the School, our research overlaps with the Translation & Interpretation, the History, Politics, and Society, Literature, and the Cultural Studies fields of study. Outside the School, the Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Sciences (CRiLLS) fosters collaboration with linguists in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, with whom we run the MA in Linguistics and Language Acquisition and the MA in Linguistics of European Languages, and in the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, as well as with colleagues in other disciplines, e.g. in psychology.
Our research consistently offers new insights into the structure, acquisition, use, and history of our target languages, while also advancing linguistic theory.
One focus of research is in Language Acquisition, with two full-time members of staff specializing in it and several large externally funded projects (French Learner Language Oral Corpora, Linguistic development in L2 Spanish). The interaction of morphology and phonology, the study of syntax, semantics and pragmatics, sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, and philosophy of language are equally well represented. Research covers the present state of the respective languages as well as the historical (diachronic) perspective. Furthermore, School of Modern Languages staff are authors of reference grammars of some of the major European languages and of highly successful linguistics textbooks.
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