Professor Jennifer Smith
- Professor of Sociolinguistics (English Language)
- Language Variation and Change
- Scottish dialects
- Colonial Englishes
- Acquisition of variation
- Narrative analysis
- Variation and syntactic theory
Professor Jennifer Smith graduated in Linguistics from Durham (MA) and York (PhD). Her research is in sociolinguistics and language variation and change, concentrating on the morphosyntactic features of non-standard dialects through the use of online corpora. She has directed a number of ESRC and British Academy funded projects, including Caregiver and child in the acquisition of variation, Obsolescence vs stability in a Shetland dialect: evidence from three generations of speakers and One speaker, two dialects: bidialectalism across the generations in a Scottish community. She has conducted research on Scottish dialects and their relationships to colonial Englishes in North America (co-author Sali Tagliamonte, University of Toronto) and also works on the interface between formal theories of language and variation (co-author David Adger, Queen Mary, University of London). She is currently the Principal Investigator on the AHRC funded The Scots Syntax Atlas, a major new digital resource for the analysis of speech patterns across Scotland.
- 2015- 2019: The Scots Syntax Atlas. Arts and Humanities Research Council. £ 867,108.
- 2013-2016: One speaker, two dialects: bidialectalism across the generations in a Scottish community. Economic and Social Research Council Award: £371,000.
- 2009-2010: Bidialectalism or dialect death? Young speakers and language change in Lerwick, Shetland. British Academy Small Research Grant: £6930
- 2007-2009: Construction des Connaissances Langagières, Diversité des Usages, Contextes Sociolinguistiques. French National Agency for Research. Share of £48,000.
- 2007-2009: Stability vs change in a Shetland dialect: Evidence from three generations of speakers. Economic and Social Research Council Award £98,000.
- 2007-2008: Do you say hoose or hame? Children and their caregivers in the acquisition of standard and dialect forms in a Scottish community. British Academy Small Research Grant: £6930
- 2003-2005: Caregiver, community and child in the acquisition of variation. Economic and Social Research Council Award: £45,000.
- 2002-2003: Innovation and Priming Research Fund, University of York. Pump priming grant (£5000) for pilot study Caregiver, child and community in acquisition of variable dialect forms.
- 1997-2000: Research Studentship. Economic and Social Research Council. From Synchrony to Diachrony in the Evolution of English. 3 years fully funded.
I welcome applications from students working in the area of language variation and change. Current students include:
Sophie Holmes: London Calling: assessing the spread of metropolitan features in the south east
Cheery Chien: Changing attitudes toward varieties of English by non-native speakers: A view from Taiwan
- Level 1: Children and Language
- Level 1: Scots, Children and Language, Varieties of English
- Level 2: Grammars of Speech
- Honours: Sociolinguistics, History of Scots
- PG: Language Variation and Change
- Head of Subject- English Language, School of Critical Studies, College of Arts.
- External Examiner for the University of Sheffield
- External Examiner for the Open University
- Advisor on AHRC funded project Language and distinctiveness on the Isles of Scilly. PI Dr Emma Moore, University of Sheffield.
- Assessor for ESRC large grant applications
- Assessor for applications to the National Science Foundation