Linguistics & Language Heritage

Syntax, semantics, pragmatics, language acquisition, bilingualism, language processing, historical linguistics, discourse analysis, and language policy and planning.


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 policy and 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.

Research in the area of Language and Heritage focuses on the relationship between the state and minority groups – especially linguistic minorities. A focus has been in the area of language policy and planning for (and by) migrant communities. Other research work in the area includes Chinese language and cross-cultural communication as well as CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning).

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