Research in the School of Linguistics
As a school 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
The School of Linguistics & English Language has two research priorities, in which it has world-class expertise. These research priorities inform the School’s teaching provision at all levels, and provide Linguistics & English Language with a distinctive focus in both a UK and an international context.
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 (www.bangor.ac.uk/bilingualism/). Moreover, the study of Bilingualism is central to the School’s Linguistics, and English Language undergraduate curriculum. The School also offers Welsh medium provision throughout its undergraduate and MA programmes.
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 in the School 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 the School’s teaching portfolio.
Staff in the School of Linguistics and English Language 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.
The School's 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:
- Bangor Linguistics Circle: The Linguistics Circle is a regular research talk series that includes speakers from within and outside the university. The talks are open to all members of Bangor University and to the public in general.
- 2nd workshop on Second Language Prosody (SLaP): Organized jointly by the Department of English Studies (University of Graz) and the School of Linguistics and English Language (Bangor University), 18 and 19 November 2016, as part of the Österreichische Linguistiktagung.
- 6th UK Cognitive Linguistics Conference: In July 2016, Bangor hosted the 6th UK Cognitive Linguistics Conference, which was attended by over 200 participants from 35 countries, who gave over 150 talks in five parallel tracks and presented over 20 posters.