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Perception and use of Northern English speech (advert reference: ADSS/DRFASS7/53657)

   Department of Humanities

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  Dr R McKenzie  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Project Description

This PhD level study, working in tandem with similar sociolinguistic research currently being undertaken within the Northern English Project by Dr Robert Mckenzie and Dr Phillip Wallage and associated PhD students in the Discourse and Sociolinguistics research group.


The project will involve an empirical investigation into the perception and/or production of varieties of English speech in the north of the UK, including the English spoken in Northern England, Scotland or Northern Ireland. The project may investigate language diversity at both micro and/or macro levels.
Studies investigating the ways in which specific phonological and/or morpho-syntactic variables are indexed to social categories, such as gender, socio-economic status or age, will be considered. The precise focus of the study is open to negotiation with the most suitable candidate for the studentship. However, applications with a specific focus upon the link between linguistic use, perception, and evaluation of Tyneside English or the emergence of supra-local varieties of ‘Northern English’, as distinct forms of speech, are particularly welcomed.

Informal Enquiries
Enquiries regarding this studentship should be made to):
Dr Robert M. McKenzie
Senior Lecturer in Sociolinguistics
Tel: +44 (0) 191 227 3122
email: [Email Address Removed]

Eligibility criteria:

Applicants should hold a first or upper second class honours degree (in a relevant subject) from a British higher education institution, or equivalent. Students who are not UK/EU residents are eligible to apply, provided they hold the relevant academic qualifications, together with an IELTS score of at least 6.5.

To apply, contact Andrea Percival to request the appropriate application form, quoting the advert reference above, via email to [Email Address Removed] or by using the application link on this page.

Deadline for applications: 14th April 2014
Start Date: 7th October 2014

Funding Notes

The studentship includes a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (in 2014/15 this is 13,863 pa) and Home/EU fees. Overseas candidates are also eligible to apply.


Dr Robert McKenzie
McKenzie, R.M. (accepted) The sociolinguistics of variety identification and categorisation: Free classification of varieties of spoken English amongst UK-born listeners Language Awareness.
McKenzie, R.M (under review) UK University students’ folk perceptions of spoken variation in English: The role of explicit and implicit attitudes. Journal of Sociolinguistics.
McKenzie, R.M. (2010) Social Psychology of English as a Global Language. Dordrecht: Springer.

Dr Phillip Wallage
Wallage, P. (in preparation) Identifying the role of pragmatic activation in the changes to the expression of English negation. To appear in Pierre Larrivee and Chungmin Lee (eds.) Negation, interfaces and cognition. Springer. (in preparation)
Wallage, P. (2012) ‘Negative inversion, negative concord and sentential negation in the history of English’. English Language and Linguistics 16 (1): 3-33.
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