Department of Language and Linguistics

Our research

A row of old looking library books

Pioneering interdisciplinary research in language and linguistics

We are part of a thriving research community, rated 1st in UK for research impact in modern languages and linguistics
(Grade Point Average, Research Excellence Framework 2021). Our ground-breaking researchers publish in leading linguistics journals and have written textbooks which are used in classrooms around the world.

At Essex, we research the complexities of language from the perspectives of theory, application, and experimentation. We tackle diverse topics such as: how children and adults learn languages, how the human brain processes language(s), how social identity is encoded in the way a person speaks, or the variation in structures found in languages across the world, and especially in Africa and the Middle East. We use this expertise to advise various public bodies. For example, we provide testimonials on Language Analysis for the Determination of Origin (LADO) in court cases of refugees and migrants. Furthermore, we advise policy makers and practitioners on the implementation of research evidence in language teaching and language policy.

Our department houses one research centre, nine research clusters and plays host to two national research networks. Use the links below to visit our research structures and learn more about the ground-breaking research taking place within the Department.

Our research centres

Our research centre facilitates pioneering interdisciplinary work at the very forefront of linguistic research:

Our research clusters

Our research encompasses multiple themes with dedicated researchers for each. Use the links below to view the list of research cluster members, view their individual staff profiles and find research supervision:

Our research networks

Our department hosts links to two national research networks. These networks foster collaborative research outside of the University of Essex, whilst providing a platform for outreach beyond the world of academia:

A row of old looking library books
Explore our research

Discover cutting edge research from the University of Essex. Browse our site to find relevant publications, projects, groups, centres, postgraduate opportunities for research supervision and wider areas of interest. Simply search our site to find information relating to your subject.

Search our research

Highlights of our research


Our academic staff frequently publish and contribute to leading texts on language and linguistics: 


Our academic staff regularly publish work in leading journals. Examples of their most recent work include: 


Our work is frequently featured in the media and wider press. Below are some of our most notable appearances: 

Research projects

Our academics are actively working on many exciting research projects:

Contact us
Departmental Director of Research Dr Kyle Jerro
University of Essex
Department of Language and Linguistics University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 873640