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Exeter Modern Languages Linguistics has particular strengths in sociolinguistics, with particular expertise in French, Italian and Portuguese.

Recent externally-funded projects include Dr Zoë Boughton's AHRC Research Leave 'Social and Regional Variation in the Phonology of Standard French' and Dr Francesco Goglia's AHRC Fellowship 'Language Contact in the Immigrant Context: The Case of Igbo-Nigerian Immigrants in Italy'.

In May 2013 Drs Afonso and Goglia hosted the workshop Language Contact in Immigrant Contexts at Exeter.

NameResearch Area Email 
Dr Susana Afonso Language contact, variation and change. Cognitive linguistics and construction grammar.
Dr Zoë Boughton The sociolinguistics and dialectology of French
Dr Aidan Coveney Variation and change in the French language
Dr Francesco Goglia Multilingualism and language contact in Italian immigrant communities

Listed below are the projects associated with the Linguistics research group that secured external funding. For information on other projects, please see individual staff pages or the research pages for each individual language.

Recent projectsStaff member
Patterns of Multilingualism Among Different Generations of East-Timorese in Portugal Dr Francesco Goglia; Dr Susana Afonso
Language Contact in Immigrant Communities: The Case of Igbo-Nigerians in Italy Dr Francesco Goglia
Emerging Multilingualism in Italy Dr Francesco Goglia
Phonological Variation in Standard French Dr Zoë Boughton
Multilingualism in UK secondary schools  Dr Francesco Goglia

Staff in the Linguistics research group have directly contributed to social policy. For example, Dr Aidan Coveney's support and advice helped secure funding from the Mayor of Paris for a project on contemporary Parisian French, and Dr Francesco Goglia advised regional Italian government bodies on interactions with immigrant communities.

Related to education, Dr Zoë Boughton’s work on pronunciation differences in French has informed teacher-training resources in the UK, and Dr Aidan Coveney’s research into linguistic variation has informed language textbooks used across secondary schools and the higher education sector.

As part of Dr Susana Afonso and Dr Francesco Goglia's project Patterns of multilingualism among different generations of the East Timorese diasporic community in Portugal, a corpus of spoken Portuguese by the different generations of the East Timorese immigrant community was collected and can be freely accessed via Linguateca, a distributed language resource centre for Portuguese which provides resources that enable sophisticated processing of Portuguese. The corpus may therefore be used by the Linguistic community for research.

Student nameSupervisorsThesis topic
Claudia Bortolato Francesco Goglia and Aidan Coveney Language maintenance-attrition among generations of the Venetian-Italian community in Anglophone Canada
Adrian Chrimes Zoe Boughton and Aidan Coveney Language and identity in the margin of Brittany
Marianne Connors Zoe Boughton and Aidan Coveney An empirical study into politeness phenomena in the English subtitling of French cinema
Laurie Dekhissi Aidan Coveney and Zoe Boughton Variation syntaxique dans le français multiculturel du cinéma de banlieue 
Sarah Foxen Zoe Boughton and Aidan Coveney Investigating the effects of proximity and national borders on language attitudes in France and Belgium
Damien Gaucher Aidan Coveney and Zoe Boughton The agreement of the past participle in spoken French, as a sociolinguistic variable: production and perception
Aidan Coveney and Zoe Boughton Variation in the use of prepositions in spoken French
Katharine Pipe Zoe Boughton and Aidan Coveney Accent levelling in local variety of French spoken in Alsace and how this is affected by age, gender and socio-economic background of speakers
Lucie Riou Aidan Coveney and Zoe Boughton Le désaccord et la critique entre amis: strategies d’aoudicssement dans le discours pré-conflictuel
Helen Simmonds Zoe Boughton and Aidan Coveney Channelling change: evolution in Guernsey Norman French phonology