UoA 58: Linguistics

This return includes Department of Phonetics and Linguistics staff whose research centres primarily on theoretical linguistics, pragmatics and phonetics, and their interfaces, with a growing component of experimental work in all these areas. The focus is on a) the knowledge systems and cognitive mechanisms that comprise syntax, semantics, pragmatics and phonology, and b) speech production mechanisms and their role in speech perception.  Research from this Department returned to UoA12 with research from the Department of Human Communication Sciences (HCS), focuses on auditory and psychoacoustic mechanisms of speech perception.

This return includes the output of four main research groupings: Syntax, Pragmatics, Phonetics and Phonology.

The Department of Phonetics and Linguistics has undergone important changes in recent years. On the one hand, there have been senior staff retirements and subsequent appointments of early career academics. On the other hand, UCL has initiated a reorganisation of the Faculty of Life Sciences, to which the Department belongs. The Faculty is being reorganised into two divisions, one of which (Division of Psychology and Language Sciences) will include staff in Phonetics and Linguistics, Human Communication Sciences and Psychology. The restructuring aims to facilitate world-class research at UCL, both within and across disciplines. The new Linguistics research department will include staff in the current Syntax, Pragmatics and Phonology research groups, as well as clinically-oriented linguists returned to UoA12, while the Phonetics group will join the Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences research department, with researchers returned to UoA12. There will be strong cross-disciplinary links between these two research departments and other departments in the Division (Language and Communication, Developmental Science and Cognitive Science). Our virtual Centre for Human Communication will continue to foster these inter-disciplinary interactions. 

The strength of the research groups is apparent from:

  • the quality of the research produced, reflected in the international renown of all research groups and their publications in the best journals in their respective fields
  • a close to threefold increase in external research funding in the period 2005-2007 as compared to the period 2002-2004
  • the quality of training given to our doctoral students (60% of our graduates over the census period are in lectureships or postdoctoral fellowships)


UCL’s strong commitment to this research area is shown by the recent funding of four lectureships, and by a £12 million investment (SRIF3 funding) to collocate research groups in speech and language sciences returned to UoA58 and UoA12 in a single flagship location in 2008, facilitating a further strengthening of links across the related research areas.  UCL provides an excellent research environment, with a number of linguistics collections available locally. Staff and students have direct and remote access to library information, email and central computing facilities. Departmental servers guarantee a state-of-the-art office environment and support our experimental research and web presence. Research facilities include digital speech recording equipment, anechoic chamber, suite of soundproof rooms, and facilities for speech analysis and behavioural experiments.

Download full text of the RA5a statement for Linguistics (pdf 144Kb)

Staff names below link to submitted publications:

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Page last modified on 20 jan 08 09:36