School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Staff Profile

Dr SJ Hannahs

Reader in Linguistics



Journal of Linguistics

Google Scholar:


PhD in Linguistics, University of Delaware
MA in Conference Interpretation, Monterey Institute of International Studies (California)

Previous Positions

University of Durham, 1993-2004 (Lecturer, Senior Lecturer)


Member, AHRC Peer Review College 

Linguistics Association of Great Britain
Linguistic Society of America
The Philological Society


Research Interests

My research interests include theoretical phonology, morphology and morphophonology, in particular concerning questions of prosodic structure. I have further interests in bilingualism and language contact, especially with regard to grammatical influences of contact. My primary focus has been on Celtic, Germanic and Romance linguistics.

Current Work

My current work focuses on the phonology, morphology and morphophonological interaction in modern colloquial Welsh.

Postgraduate Supervision

  • I particularly welcome research students wanting to focus on phonology and phonological structure, morphophonology, and morphology, as well as on grammatical aspects of language contact.

  • I currently supervise a number of PhD students and have supervised PhD and MA (research) students working in theoretical phonology and morphology, cognition (with focus on linguistic relativism), and language learning.

PhDs completed under my supervision

Rebecca Musa. August 2017: Production and Perception of the Contrast between Orthographic and Phonological Representation among Tera L2 Learners of English. Examiners: Paul Tench (Cardiff) & Elaine Lopez (Newcastle)

Fawziah Alkandari, 2017: Arabic codas: Phonological structure compensating for grammatical loss. Examiners: Nancy Kula (Essex) & Danielle Turton (Newcastle)

Hamid, Twana, 2016: The prosodic phonology of Central Kurdish. Examiners: Sam Hellmuth (York) & Danielle Turton (Newcastle)

Hwaidi, Tamader, 2015: Syllable structure and syllabification in Al’ain Libyan Arabic. Examiners: Janet Watson (Leeds) & Damien Hall (Newcastle)

Li, Ying. 2015: The perception of English phonemic contrasts by Chinese speakers. Examiners: Valerie Hazan (University College London) & Ghada Khattab (Newcastle)

Choi, Jaehyeok. 2014: Vowel reduction and consonant lenition in the history of English. Examiners: Mike Davenport (Durham) & Joel Wallenberg (Newcastle)

AlQahtani, Mufleh. 2014: A contrastive analysis of the syllable structure in Najdi and Hijazi Arabic. Examiners: Nancy Kula (Essex) & Anders Holmberg (Newcastle)

Elramli, Yousef. 2012: Assimilation in the Phonology of a Libyan Arabic Dialect: A Constraint-based Approach. Examiners: Janet Watson (Salford) & Anders Holmberg (Newcastle).

Mangrio, Riaz Ahmed. 2011 : Morphological adaptation of English loans in Urdu . Examiners: Andrew Caink (Westminster) & William van der Wurff (Newcastle)

Thorp, Ben. 2011: Stress in Nuuchaanulth: placement and implications.Examiners: Emmon Bach (SOAS) & Ricardo Bermúdez-Otero (Manchester)

Ramasamy, Mohana Dass, 2010: Topics in the morphophonology of Standard Spoken Tamil. Examiners: Elinor Keane (Oxford) & Martha Young-Scholten (Newcastle)

Soutsane, Karima, 2008: Syllabification and phonological rule application in Tashlhiyt Berber. Examiners: Mike Davenport (Durham) & Patrick Honeybone (Edinburgh)

Pourcel, Stéphanie, 2005: Testing linguistic relativity: language and cognition relative to path and motion events. Examiners: Randal Holme (Durham) & Chris Sinha (Portsmouth)

Al-Fuhaid, Mohammad, 2004: Vocabulary learning strategies with reference to Arabic-speaking L2 English learners. Examiners: Paul Starkey (Durham) & Francis Jones (Newcastle)

Bosisio, Nicole, 2004: The behaviour of vocoids, with special reference to Italian and Arabic. Examiners: Mike Davenport (Durham) & Martin Maiden (Oxford)

Masa’deh, Orieb, 2003: The application of the theory of norms to translations of international treaties: a case study of the Jordan-Israeli Peace Treaty. Examiners: James Dickins (Durham) & Stephen Thomas (Manchester)


Esteem Indicators

  • Member, Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Peer Review College
  • LinguistList Advisory Panel member:
  • Manchester Phonology Meeting (mfm) Advisory Board member:
  • PhD External Examiner, including Durham University, University of Essex, University of Salford, University of Sussex, University of Tromsø, Newcastle University, University of Azad Jammu & Kashmir
  • External Examiner (UG), Manchester University, 2016-
  • External Examiner (UG), Lancaster University, 2011-2015
  • External Examiner (UG), University of Sussex, 2008-2012
  • External Examiner (UG), University of Wolverhampton, 2002-2006


Undergraduate Teaching

SEL2000 - Phonological theory
SEL3006 - Topics in phonological theory

Postgraduate Teaching

SEL8154 - Issues in phonological theory I
SEL8205 - Issues in phonological theory II