Our department has long been recognized as an internationally excellent centre for the study of English Language and Linguistics. For the last forty years, we have been known for cutting-edge empirically-based theoretical and applied linguistics research in a wide range of areas. Our mission is to shape and inform pressing cultural, social and educational issues through engagement with key stakeholders in the UK and at a global level.
In our research, we aim to:
- continue to develop areas where our research has been especially distinctive
- embed linguistic research in an interdisciplinary social science and humanities context
- promote work across sub-disciplines within linguistics, especially collaborations between theoretical, social and applied researchers
- to engage with users of our research in academia, education, business enterprises and social action
Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF2021)
In the Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF2021) Linguistics was submitted to Modern Languages and Linguistics. The department achieved the highest possible score for impact and was rated ‘outstanding’ for 100% of our research impact. Linguistics is also rated ‘world-leading’ for 100% of its research environment and ranked 2nd in the UK for overall research quality.
- 100% of research impact rated 'outstanding'
- 100% of research environment rated 'world-leading'
- Ranked 2nd in the UK for overall research quality
The REF shows that Linguistics continues to be a large and diverse department in which nearly all staff both teach and do internationally-recognised research.
Research centres & groups
With research groups in corpus studies, discourse analysis, literacy studies, second language learning and teaching, and language testing, the opportunities for learning extend far beyond the classroom. We encourage all postgraduate students to become active members of our engaging and dynamic Department.
Lancaster Literacy Research Centre (LLRC)
The Literacy Research Centre (LLRC) at Lancaster University works to understand the role of literacy in all areas of social life and to improve communication and collaboration between researchers and educational practice. We welcome all practitioners and students concerned with literacy, including new MA and PhD students as well as other academic visitors.
- ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS)
University Centre for Computer Corpus Research on Language (UCREL)
UCREL specialises in the automatic or computer-aided analysis of large bodies of naturally-occurring language ('corpora') and we have a record of achievement of more than thirty years as pioneers in this field whilst remaining at the leading edge of computer corpus construction and analysis. Our work focuses on modern English, early modern English, modern foreign languages, minority, endangered, and ancient languages. We operate at the interface of corpus linguistics and natural language processing.
Discourse and Text Research Group (DisTex)
The Discourse and Text Research Group (DisTex) brings together researchers interested in how meaning is made in different contexts, modes and genres of communication. Our research addresses social, historical, cognitive and interactional dimensions of meaning in text and discourse.
FACTOR: Forensic linguistics, Cybersecurity and Technology Research
FACTOR (Forensic linguistics, Cybersecurity and Technology Research) focuses on the ways that forensic linguistics and forensic speech science intersect with cybersecurity and technology. Our research includes linguistically-informed investigations, intelligence, and evidence; the challenges and opportunities afforded by technologies like generative artificial intelligence (GenAI); and how developments in these areas play out in (cyber)security and protection contexts.
Language, Ideology and Power Group (LIP)
Language, Ideology and Power Group (LIP) investigate the way language and other semiotic resources are used to communicate, legitimate and instantiate social identities and relations in a variety of discursive contexts.
As such, our work falls broadly in the field of Critical Discourse Studies (CDS), an approach to discourse and discourse analysis which focusses on the way social issues are constructed through text and talk.
Language Testing Research Group (LTRG)
The Language Testing Research Group (LTRG) is a forum open to staff and research students interested in language testing issues. We discuss:
- current issues in language testing research,
- individual research projects,
- research students’ interests
- research worries.
Perception and Learning Laboratory (PERLL)
The Perception and Learning Laboratory (PERLL) is the EEG lab of the Department of Linguistics and English Language. Our facilities enable and facilitate research by staff and students into the neural basis of language and linguistically mediated perception, and psycholinguistic aspects of language learning. Lab research strengths include linguistic/cultural relativity, bilingual cognition, perceptual/statistical learning, and lexical processing/representations in bilinguals.
Phonetics Lab Research Group
The Phonetics Lab research group meets regularly and our facilities are used by staff, undergraduates and postgraduates working on phonetics projects.
We do phonetic fieldwork and laboratory research across a range of languages and dialects. We specialise in the following areas:
- Phonetics, bilingualism and language contact
- Phonetics of minority languages
- Acoustic and articulatory sociophonetics
- Forensic phonetics
Cognitive Linguistics Research Group
The Department of Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University is one of the largest and most diverse centres for cognitive linguistics research in the UK. Our research addresses 'core' areas of cognitive linguistics, including metaphor and figurativity, construction grammar, usage-based approaches to language acquisition and change, linguistic typology, and cultural and linguistic relativity. We also have strengths in more ‘applied’ areas of cognitive linguistics, including cognitive critical discourse analysis, cognitive stylistics, cognitive sociolinguistics, and second language learning.
Second Language Learning and Teaching Research Group (SLLAT)
The Second Language Learning and Teaching Research Group (SLLAT) welcomes staff, students, and visitors interested in issues in second language learning and pedagogy.
Activities include talks, reports of research work-in-progress, the development of research projects, workshops, and occasional guest speakers. Membership of SLLAT is open to all Lancaster University staff, students and visitors.
Culture and Communication Research Network (CULCOM)
The Culture and Communication Research Network (CULCOM) connects colleagues from across the University who are interested in any aspect of communication and culture. CULCOM is open to all Lancaster University staff, students and visiting scholars.
The Department has some outstanding resources. We have fully equipped laboratories for eye-tracking, phonetics, EEG (Electroencephalography) and child language analysis. These facilities are used by undergraduate students, postgraduate students and staff for a variety of research projects.Research Facilities
Staff research interests
Our staff have a wide range of research interests across linguistics and the English language.Research Interests