Jill Bowie

Honorary Research Fellow, Survey of English Usage


My research interests include English syntax and morphology, language evolution and change, the grammatical analysis of spoken discourse, and the teaching of grammar in schools.

I worked on the Survey project The Changing Verb Phrase in Present-Day British English. In this project we contributed to the emerging research area of 'recent change' in syntax. We used data from the Diachronic Corpus of Present-Day Spoken English (DCPSE) to investigate morphosyntactic changes in the English verb phrase from the 1960s to the 1990s.

I also worked on the Teaching English Grammar in Schools project. Our team created a website of materials for secondary English education, with a focus on the grammatical structure of the language. In creating the materials, we drew extensively on the rich resources of authentic English provided by the Survey's computerised corpora.


I completed a PhD on language evolution at the University of Reading in 2008. Previously, I gained a BA in linguistics and an MA in applied linguistics at the University of Queensland in Australia, where I also worked as a Research Assistant on the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language project team led by Professor Rodney Huddleston.


Bowie, Jill (2008). Proto-discourse and the emergence of compositionality. Interaction Studies 9(1), 18–33. (In special issue of journal edited by Michael A. Arbib and Derek Bickerton, and republished 2010 in Benjamins Current Topics series as The emergence of protolanguage: holophrasis vs compositionality. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: Benjamins.)

Bowie, Jill, and Bas Aarts (2012). Change in the English infinitival perfect construction. In: Terttu Nevalainen and Elizabeth Closs Traugott (eds.) The Oxford handbook of the history of English, pp. 200-210. Oxford; New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press. » Draft version of paper (PDF).

Bowie, Jill, Sean Wallis and Bas Aarts (2013). Contemporary change in modal usage in spoken British English: mapping the impact of 'genre'. In: Juana I. Marín-Arrese, Marta Carretero, Jorge Arús Hita and Johan van der Auwera (eds.), English modality: core, periphery and evidentiality. Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter. » Draft version of paper (PDF).

Bowie, Jill, Sean Wallis and Bas Aarts (2013). The perfect in spoken British English. In: Bas Aarts, Joanne Close, Geoffrey Leech and Sean Wallis (eds.) The verb phrase in English: investigating recent language change with corpora, pp. 318-352. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. » Draft version of paper (PDF).

Aarts, Bas, Sean Wallis and Jill Bowie (2014). Profiling the English verb phrase over time: modal patterns. In: Irma Taavitsainen, Merja Kytö, Claudia Claridge and Jeremy Smith (eds.), Developments in English: expanding electronic evidence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. » Draft version of paper (PDF).

Bowie, Jill, and Bas Aarts (2016). Clause fragments in English dialogue. In: María José López-Couso, Belén Méndez-Naya, Paloma Núñez-Pertejo and Ignacio M. Palacios-Martínez (eds.), Corpus linguistics on the move: exploring and understanding English through corpora (Language and Computers: Studies in Digital Linguistics, 79), pp. 259–288. Leiden; Boston: Brill Rodopi.

Bowie, Jill, and Sean Wallis (2016). The to-infinitival perfect: a study of decline. In: Valentin Werner, Elena Seoane and Cristina Suárez Gómez (eds.), Re-assessing the present perfect: corpus studies and beyond (Topics in English Linguistics, 91), pp. 43–94. Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter.

This page last modified 28 November, 2018 by Survey Web Administrator.