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Research in Linguistics and the English Language


We have an active diversified research profile that is recognised internationally, with specialisms including Welsh language change, Access Semantics, processing and acquisition of prosody and syntax, the language of victims of crime, language development, corpus linguistics and language change, contested languages, Cognitive Discourse Analysis (CODA), temporal language and the nature of figurative language. The most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) marked the quality of our research publications as top 13 in the UK – and as having clear effects on society: all of the impact case studies that were submitted were rated as either ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

Research strengths/ Specialisms

We have two research priorities each with attendant world-class expertise. These research priorities inform our teaching provision at all levels, and provide Linguistics & English Language with a distinctive focus in both UK and international contexts.


Bilingualism is the study of the way speakers of two (or more) languages acquire and use their languages and how these languages are represented in the mind. Bangor University is situated in the UK’s only truly bilingual region (Welsh-English). Members of staff in the School conduct research on all aspects of bi/multilingualism, and adopt a multidisciplinary, empirically-informed perspective. The School also spearheaded the successful bid for a £5m Bilingualism Research Centre (2007-12), funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Science Research Council (ESRC). The Bilingualism Research Centre features state of the art research facilities and a speech processing lab ( Moreover, the study of Bilingualism is central to our Linguistics and English Language undergraduate curriculum. We also offer Welsh medium provision throughout our undergraduate and MA programmes.

Cognitive Linguistics

Cognitive Linguistics is the study of language that is informed by the psychological sciences. It provides an interdisciplinary approach that situates language within the study of the mind, culture and communication. Cognitive linguists assume that language reflects general cognitive abilities, and can be deployed to investigate certain aspects of the way the mind is organised. Members of staff conduct research on various aspects of language, mind, text and culture from the perspective of cognitive linguistics. Students can also specialise in cognitive linguistics at the PhD level. Cognitive linguistics is central to our teaching portfolio.

Research Partnerships

Linguistics and English Language staff collaborate with researchers around the world within the areas of their expertise. Here are some examples:

ESRC/Wales Doctoral Training Centre

The Wales DTC is a strategic partnership between the four leading research universities in Wales. The School of Linguistics and English Language is part of the Wales DTC and offers research training through the ESRC accredited Bilingualism Pathway.

International Research Network on Contested Languages

Bangor hosts the International Research Network on Contested Languages, a network that aims to harness interdisciplinary expertise to research, advise on and explore the issues surrounding contested languages, particularly their maintenance, development and recognition.

MPC Network for the Study of Media and Persuasive Communication

This Bangor based network brings together researchers from various disciplines with an interest in topics such as communicating flood risk, persuasion, corporate and governmental surveillance, climate change, and crime reporting. You will find more information here.

UK-CLA: The UK Cognitive Linguistics Association

The central objectives of the UK-CLA are to develop and promote the multi-disciplinary field of Cognitive Linguistics within the UK, as well as contribute to the research- and event-based synergy currently growing across Europe, and to foster initiatives and exchanges at the wider international level. To this end, the Association organises a biennial UK-based conference in Cognitive Linguistics, which was hosted by Bangor in 2016.

Research Events

Our vibrant research environment is also manifest through various events throughout the year, ranging from individual talks via workshops to large conferences. Here are some current and recent examples: