Find out more about our Linguistics expertise and 2021 seminar series.

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

We also work in collaboration with colleagues in institutions and centres of excellence in linguistic research across 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.

Our research agenda has led us 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 has organised a number of large international research meetings, such as the International Pragmatics Association 2017 and the upcoming Linguistics Association of Great Britain 2021 and regularly engages in public outreach events, such as the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences.

Linguistics Research Seminar series

Staff, postgraduate students and external visitors with interests in linguistics, with a focus on aspects of research, methods, and theory, are invited to attend our seminar session.

They are primarily for presenting research and may also include talks on new projects, or general discussions on a nominated topic (lead by a speaker).

Sessions take place at 3.15pm GMT on Zoom.

Please contact Jack Joyce to join our email list or present at the research seminar.

2021 Semester 2 schedule

  • 25 January: Dániel Z. Kádár - Contrastive Pragmatics – An Overview of RFIE Theory
  • 8 February: Speaker to be confirmed
  • 22 February: Jack B. Joyce & Linda Walz - Brexit divisions and antagonism
  • 8 March: Marco Pino - How do clients share their difficulties with family and friends in bereavement support groups? And how do facilitators respond?
  • 22 March: Marc Olivier-Loiseau - (Historical) Syntax
  • 12 April: Bryan Donaldson - Clitic pronoun position in Old French and Old Occitan
  • 26 April: Morgan Macleod & Christina Sevdali - Indirect Passives in English and Greek
  • 10 May: Clare Cunningham - Teachers’ attitudes to multilingualism (topic to be confirmed)
  • 24 May: Karen Corrigan - Old-Goers-Out and New-Comers-In: The Past and the Present of Language, Migration and Identity in Ulster

Our staff

Professor Raffaella Folli

Professor of Linguistics

Belfast School of Communication and Media

Dr Catrin Rhys

Head of School of Communication and Media

Belfast School of Communication and Media

Dr Juliana Gerard


Belfast School of Communication and Media

Dr Anthea Irwin


Belfast School of Communication and Media

Dr Lynda Kennedy

Lecturer in Speech and Language Therapy

Coleraine School of Health Sciences

Dr Philip McDermott

Senior Lecturer

Magee School of Applied Social and Policy Sc.

Dr Christina Sevdali

Senior Lecturer

Belfast School of Communication and Media

Dr Karyn Stapleton

Senior Lecturer

Belfast School of Communication and Media

Dr Adrian Kerrison

Lecturer in Communication and Language

Belfast School of Communication and Media

Jack Joyce

Research Associate (Conversation Analysis)

Belfast School of Communication and Media

Dr Morgan Macleod

Research Associate in Computational/Text-Corpus Linguistics

Belfast School of Communication and Media