A centre of vibrant, contemporary research in a wide range of areas of linguistic study.

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Current research is focused on topics including discourse analysis, language variation and change, language attitudes, language acquisition and learning (for both children and adults), bilingualism, morphosyntactic structure, and the linguistic ecology of Scotland.

We are open to discussing all potential projects with applicants, including the possibility of undertaking these via Distance Learning.

Our Research

The Centre for Linguistic Research co-ordinates the research activities of staff and students in Language and Linguistics at Aberdeen.


William's main research interests are in sociolinguistics, dialectology and phonological theory. He is currently developing a sociophonetic research project which aims to trace phonological change across the lifespan in an individual speaker.

Agni's main research interests lie in well-being in EFL/ESL education, mindfulness training and second language learning, mindfulness training in language teacher training, positive psychology and second language learning, positive psychology in second language teaching (TESOL), and individual differences in second language learning (memory in particular, but also motivation and learning strategies).

Elspeth's main research interests are in syntactic structure and morphosyntactic variation, especially in varieties of Scottish English and Scots. She also works on methods for collecting grammaticality judgements, as well as the concept of grammaticality and attitudes to grammar more generally.

    Vincent’s research interests lie in Teaching English as a Second or Other Language, Second Language Acquisition, creativity in language learning and teaching, learning environments, innovative approaches to qualitative research, and TESOL Leadership and Professionalism.

    Johannes’s research interests lie in syntax and its interfaces, especially prosody and pragmatics, including acquisition of questionhood, acquisition of intonation, analysis of (non-)canonical questions, syntactic integration of intonation and speech acts, processing of intonation, timing of turn-taking, discourse particles, common ground management, focus constructions, focus particles, and gapping phenomena.

    Rowan's research is in the sub-disciplines of Critical Discourse Studies, Critical Discourse Analysis, Multimodality, and Social Semiotics. Within these, questions of legitimation, identity, gender, and environment are of particular interest.

    Robert's research interests lie in modern Scots dialectology, lexical variation and change, language contact, the history of the English language and the sociology of language.

    Dawn’s main research interests are broadly sociolinguistic, especially concerning language variation and change in the Scottish context (although sociolinguistic studies focusing on any speech community are welcome). She has expertise in the field of language regard and perceptual dialectology (concerned with probing attitudes towards language). As an academic who focuses on the Scots language, she also has a wider interest in minoritised and endangered languages globally.

    Entry Requirements

    Applicants to the MPhil or PhD must provide a detailed research proposal and two academic references from their most recent academic institution.

    International Applicants

    Fees and Funding

    Please refer to our Tuition Fees page for fee information for this Research Area.

    Our Funding Database

    View all funding options in our Funding Database.


    You will find when you leave university that a degree in Language & Linguistics, and the knowledge and skills that it represents, will stand you in good stead with prospective employers. A background in this field can serve as a foundation for careers in media, advertising and marketing, information and communication technology, publishing, language teaching, health-related professions such as speech and language therapy, and any number of professions that require understanding and careful consideration of how language works.

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    Contact Details

    School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture
    University of Aberdeen
    King's College
    AB24 3UB