Find out more about the linguistics side of IRiSS.


Linguistics at Ulster University is co-ordinated by Professor Raffaella Folli and spans a wide range of areas in the discipline. Particular strengths are in the areas of syntax, semantics, pragmatics, language acquisition, bilingualism, language processing, historical linguistics, discourse analysis and language planning.

Members of the unit have several on-going collaborations with colleagues in various institutions and centres of excellence in linguistic research in the UK, Europe, Australia and US.

The overarching objectives of research in linguistics are to produce internationally excellent and world-leading research that offers new insights in language, which are directly relevant both globally and to the immediate environment in which we exist. This includes core theoretical issues in linguistics, and their application to multilingualism, language variation and language status. This agenda has driven the group to establish UCoM, the Ulster Centre on Multilingualism which aims to educate and inform the public on the benefits and advantages of bringing up children to be multilingual.

The group also organises a series of research seminars in language and linguistics which takes place on Friday afternoons. These are informal meetings which give the opportunity to staff, students and guests to discuss their ongoing research.

Linguistics Staff and Expertise

Professor Raffaella Folli: Syntax, lexical semantics, language acquisition, language processing

Dr Juliana Gerard : Language acquisition and language processing

Dr Anthea Irwin : Sociolinguistics and discourse analysis

Lynda Kennedy : Language disorders and aphasia, language acquisition, semantics, pragmatics, language processing

Dr Philip McDermott: Language policy and planning, ethnic minorities and language recognition

Dr Jacopo Romoli: Semantics, pragmatics, language acquisition, language processing 

Dr Christina Sevdali: Synchronic and diachronic syntax, Greek linguistics, Syntax–Morphology interface and multilingualism 

Dr Karyn Stapleton: Discourse analysis, pragmatics, interpersonal communication, identity

Dr Catrin Rhys : Conversation analysis, membership categorisation analysis