Linguistics at Newcastle

Staff Profile

Dr Damien Hall

Lecturer in French Linguistics, School of Modern Languages Director of the Year Abroad



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.

Language is endlessly fascinating, and I often tweet about it @EvrydayLg.

I am a member of the managing committee of the Buchanan Esperanto Endowment at the University of Liverpool. From 2015 to 2019 I was External Examiner for undergraduate degrees involving French at the University of Surrey.

I organise the annual competition to represent Newcastle University at British Conference of Undergraduate Research events.

To contact me, please see the Teaching tab.


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)


Current projects:

  • Towards A New Linguistic Atlas of France (TANLAF), 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.  For further details, see my article ‘The Linguistic Geography of the French of Northern France: do we have the basic data?’.
  • The linguistics of the Regional French of Normandy: I have recently published articles about the pronunciation of the -ais and -é endings in Normandy, and about the Regional French of Le Havre, Normandy. I am working on one (with Ian Mackenzie, also SML) on the variable doubly-filled complementiser there (Standard French La maison où j’habite 'The house where I live' would be La maison où que j’habite 'The house where that I live' in RFN).
  • Political language in France and the UK: I am working with Chloé Gaboriaux (Sciences Po Lyons, France) on the language used by UK and French politicians in the 2017 election campaigns, and public comment on it.

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.

To contact me, please see the Teaching tab.


Present your research and represent the University at a conference!

If you're a student and you've come here looking for details of my teaching, you might like the opportunity to present your research at a British Conference of Undergraduate Research event—University funding is available! Ask me for details.

Feedback and consultation hours in Semester 1 2020-21

As the University is mainly working off-campus at the moment, my office hours are online by Zoom:

  • Monday 12.30-1.30
  • Tuesday 9.30-10.30
  • Thursday 9.30-10.30

Occasional changes will be announced in my e-mail signature and auto-messages.


In Semester 1 2020-21 I will be teaching:

  • SML1019: Introduction to Linguistics - I will be giving some lectures and leading the French seminar groups, and I am also the Module Leader, so I'm the person to contact if you have a question that your seminar leader can't answer
  • SML4099: the SML undergraduate Dissertation. I will be giving most of the dissertation workshops this semester.
  • FRE2044: Linguistic Variation in French

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.