Dr Kathryn Allan

Email: kathryn.allan@ucl.ac.uk
External phone: 020 7679 7653
Internal phone: 37653
Office: Foster Court 136


Education and Experience

Kathryn Allan joined UCL in 2008 and holds a senior lectureship in the history of English. She completed her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in the English Language department at the University of Glasgow, where she also worked for several years as a part-time research assistant on the Historical Thesaurus of English, now published as the Historical Thesaurus of the English Language. From 2004–2008 she was a lecturer at the University of Salford, where she was Programme Leader for the BA in English Language and Linguistics, and she has done a variety of other work including  transcription for the Scottish Corpus of Texts and Speech and the Middle English Grammar project, and tutoring and guest lectures at the University of Oxford. She is the Honorary Membership Secretary of the Philological Society, and a member of both the International Society for the Linguistics of English, and the International Cognitive Linguistics Association.  She is also a contributor to the Keywords Project, a collaborative research project which builds on Raymond Williams' work in exploring social/cultural 'keywords'. 


Kathryn’s main research interests are in historical and cognitive semantics and lexicology, and these are themes in most of her work. She is particularly interested in the intra- and extra-linguistic factors in semantic change, and in tracing polysemy in terms of its relationship to social-cultural change; her monograph Metaphor and Metonymy: A Diachronic Approach, which uses data from the Historical Thesaurus of English, explores the motivation for metaphor and metonymy in the semantic field intelligence. She focuses on more recent shifts in lexical meaning as part of the Keywords Project. Much of her research uses the Oxford English Dictionary as a starting point, and her interest in methodological issues around this approach has led to the volume, Current Methods in Historical Semantics, co-edited with Justyna Robinson and published with Mouton de Gruyter in the Topics in English Linguistics series. Her other co-edited volume is on Historical Cognitive Linguistics, published in Mouton’s Cognitive Linguistics Research series.  This brings together papers that focus on historical data within a cognitive linguistic framework, and was edited with Margaret Winters and Heli Tissari.  She is currently working on a textbook on English Historical Semantics with Christian Kay, to be published in 2014 by Edinburgh University Press.

Kathryn would be interested in supervising PhDs in the area of historical lexicology, lexical semantics and cognitive semantics.

Selected Publications

• Forthcoming 2014.  With Christian Kay.  English Historical Semantics. Edinburgh Textbooks on the English Language - Advanced.  Edinburgh:  Edinburgh University Press.

• Forthcoming 2013. ‘Lost in Transmission?  The sense devlopment of borrowed metaphor.’  In J. Diaz Vera (ed.) Metaphor and Metonymy Through Time and Cultures. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

• Forthcoming 2013. ‘An inquest into metaphor death:  exploring the loss of literal senses of conceptual metaphors.’ In R. Fusaroli & S. Morgagni (eds.) Conceptual Metaphor Theory:  Thirty Years After. Special issue of Cognitive Semiotics.

• 2012. ‘Using OED data as evidence’. In Allan, K. & J. Robinson (eds.) Current Methods in Historical Semantics, 17-39. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

• 2010. ‘Tracing metonymic polysemy through time: MATERIAL FOR OBJECT mappings in the OED’. In Winters. M., H. Tissari & K. Allan (eds.) Historical Cognitive Linguistics: Syntax and Semantics, 163-196. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

• 2009. Metaphor and Metonymy: A Diachronic Approach. (Publications of the Philological Society 42). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

• 2007. ‘Excellence: a new keyword for education?’, Critical Quarterly 49.1: 54-78.

• 2006. ‘Glossary’. (141 pp.) Co-author Dr Philip Durkin, Oxford English Dictionary. In Brown, E.K. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd edition, vol. 14. Oxford: Elsevier.

• 2006. ‘On groutnolls and nog-heads: a case study of the interaction between culture and cognition in intelligence metaphors’. In Stefanowitsch, A. & S. Grondelaers (eds.) Corpora in Cognitive Linguistics. Vol. 1: Metaphor and Metonymy, 175-190. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.