Linguistics and English Language have a strong tradition at Westminster.

Our work is mainly in the areas of language contact and its effects, with a particular focus on bi- and multilingualism and their sociolinguistic contexts including: code-switching; minority ethnic and regional languages; creole linguistics and language acquisition; and translanguaging in refugee settlements.

Some of these themes carry over into our work in historical linguistics, which examines the multilingual context of medieval England and the development of Middle English and the influence of Anglo-Norman, with a particular focus on semantics, lexicography and lexicology. This work has attracted funding for a number of large-scale projects including the Lexis of Cloth and Clothing in Britain c. 700-1450 and the Bilingual Thesaurus of Everyday Life in Medieval England. Further research themes are discourse analysis, with a focus on language, gender and politics; pragmatics and relevance theory in relation to literary texts; and metaphor and metonymy.

Current and recent PhD projects

  • Manx English: a phonological investigation into levelling and diffusion from across the water
  • Translanguaging in a Denied Community: a sociocultural linguistic investigation of the new Italian migrants in London