Dr Damien Hall
Lecturer in French Linguistics, contact for students on their Year Abroad in French-speaking countries

  • Email: damien.hall@ncl.ac.uk
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8521
  • Address: Office 4.32, Old Library Building
    School of Modern Languages
    Newcastle University
    NE1 7RU


I came to Newcastle after degrees in the UK and the USA and research positions back in the UK. My main research and teaching is in sociolinguistics and dialectology, particularly phonetic and phonological.  I specialise in French linguistics, though I also teach and research in general linguistics.


Newcastle University
Completed Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship (2012 - 2013)
Lecturer in French Linguistics (2013 -)

University of Kent
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Towards A New Linguistic Atlas of France (2011 - 2012)

University of York (UK)
Research Assistant: Accent and Identity on the Scottish–English Border (2008 - 2011)

University of Pennsylvania
PhD: A Sociolinguistic Study of the Regional French of Normandy (2003 - 2008)

University of Cambridge
MPhil, Linguistics (2002 – 2003)

London School of Economics and Political Science
MSc, European Studies (1996 - 1997)

University of Oxford
BA, Classics and Modern Languages (French and Latin) (1992 - 1996)

From 2011 to 2013 I was a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, working on a project titled Towards A New Linguistic Atlas of France (TANLAF). TANLAF is a phonetic and phonological survey of speech in the largest cities in the Northern third of France, along the lines of the Atlas of North American English.  I began the project at the University of Kent in 2011, and moved to Newcastle in 2012. For further details, see my article ‘The Linguistic Geography of the French of Northern France: do we have the basic data?’. The funded part of the project is now over, but this is still my primary research project.

From 2008 to 2011 I was a Research Assistant on the Accent and Identity on the Scottish-English Border project at the University of York (UK).  AISEB was one of the first sociophonetic projects to investigate personal identity as a possible predictor of accent variation.

My future research plans include projects on the dialectology, sociolinguistics, phonetics and phonology of French and English, in particular:

·       the dialectological potential of the recordings made for the Phonologie du Français Contemporain (‘Phonology of Contemporary French’) project

·       the phonetic cues to distinctions between French nasal vowels

·       the phonetics of French rhotics

·       the phonology of stress assignment for French loanwords in English

I welcome enquiries about potential research and supervision on these topics and others of interest.

My regular office hours in 2015 - 16 are:

  • Tuesday 10.00 - 11.00
  • Thursday 2.30 - 3.30
  • Friday 11.30am - 12.30pm
In some weeks, these may have to change because of other commitments that don't happen every week - sorry about that; in those weeks, I'll at least put a notice on my door about the change.

In Semester 2 of 2015 - 16 (February - May 2016), I am teaching the following modules:

  • some of FRE4014 (Historical Perspectives on the French Language)
  • some of FRE4061 (French Level D - HE Further Advanced, for final-years)
  • HSS8005, Stream C (Introduction to Quantitative Methods - Quantitative Linguistics)
  • some of SML1019 (Introduction to Linguistics) - and I am leading that module

Generally, I have taught topics in sociolinguistics, dialectology and general linguistics, with particular emphasis on phonetics and phonology.  My speciality is French, though I also teach in general linguistics and English linguistics.  I am keen to supervise research students with an interest in one or more of these areas.

I am also Year Abroad Officer (French Outgoing), and a member of the School Marketing and Recruitment Team with special responsibility for social media.