Professor Jennifer Smith
- Professor of Sociolinguistics (English Language & Linguistics)
- 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.
- 2013-2016: One speaker, two dialects: bidialectalism across the generations in a Scottish community. Economic and Social Research Council Award.
- 2009-2010: Bidialectalism or dialect death? Young speakers and language change in Lerwick, Shetland. British Academy Small Research Grant.
- 2007-2009: Construction des Connaissances Langagières, Diversité des Usages, Contextes Sociolinguistiques. French National Agency for Research.
- 2007-2009: Stability vs change in a Shetland dialect: Evidence from three generations of speakers. Economic and Social Research Council Award.
- 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.
- 2003-2005: Caregiver, community and child in the acquisition of variation. Economic and Social Research Council Award.
- 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.
Past and present students include:
Eman Abdulrahman Alzahrani: Codeswitching and its functions in bilingual classrooms
Cheery Chien: Changing attitudes toward varieties of English by non-native speakers: A view from Taiwan
Margie Ferguson: The acquisition of dialect in young children
Miriam Krause: Singin’ wi’ a Scots tongue: a study of linguistic variation in Scottish Indie music.
Sophie Holmes-Elliott: London Calling: assessing the spread of metropolitan features in the south east
Sadie Ryan: Language, Migration and Identity at School: a sociolinguistic study of Polish adolescents in Glasgow
- Children and language
- The Linguistics of Scots
- Language and Social Media
- Methods in Linguistic Variation
- Head of Subject-English Language, School of Critical Studies, College of Arts.
- External Examiner, including the University of Sheffield, Queen Mary University, London, Lancaster University, Open University.
- PhD Examiner, including Newcastle University, Trinity College, Dublin (2014) and Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense.
- Member of the ESRC College.
- Assessor for applications to the National Science Foundation
- Journal article reviewer, including Language Variation & Change, Journal of Sociolinguistics, Journal of Child Language, Journal of Linguistics.
- Monograph reviewer for Mouton, CUP and OUP.
- Editorial Board member: Journal of Linguistics