Linguistics in Modern Languages


Linguistics in Modern Languages is a thriving research cluster, with a strong track record in attracting external funding (AHRC, British Academy and Leverhulme). It is made up of modern languages staff, postdoctoral researchers, and postgraduates working on a wide range of projects. Current research foci include language prescriptivism and standardization, contemporary and historical sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, as well as the history of linguistics and of language teaching. 


The School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies (CLAS) at the University of Nottingham is the ideal place to study any aspect of the linguistics of a modern language.

Expertise in our school covers French, German (and Dutch), Spanish & Portuguese, Russian and Slavonic languages. We also have expertise in Chinese and Italian, and a Centre for Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies.

We have particular expertise in sociolinguistics, language standardization, historical linguistics, history of language education, history of linguistic theory (including history of grammars and dictionaries), intercultural communication, and discourse analysis.

In addition to our funded projects we also collaborate with colleagues across the University through the Languages, Texts and Society Research Priority Area to understand how communication, languages and texts function and change in social, scientific and cultural contexts.



Our regular linguistics reading group meets every few weeks during semester, in addition to our research symposia, conferences, and public engagement events.

Over the past few years, many of our activities have been linked to our involvement in the AHRC-funded MEITS project (Multilingualism - Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies, 2016-2020, Nottingham CI Nicola McLelland), and the research network on the history of language learning and teaching, the result of and AHRC research network (PI Nicola McLelland, 2012-2014).

Most recently (2020-21) our AHRC-funded project Language Teaching: Learning from the Past has been developing teacher-trainer materials to embed the history of language learning and teaching in teacher training. We continue to explore the sociolinguistics of multilingualism and of language standardization, and their real-world implications.  


Significant results

Selected publications of the Linguistics in Modern Languages research cluster



Linguistics in Modern Languages

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5822