Linguistics and English Language

Language variation and change

Exploring linguistic variation and change, with a particular focus on quantitative models

Our research interests cover many areas of linguistics, including phonetics, historical phonology, historical syntax, syntactic variation, dialectology, sociolinguistics, and computational linguistics.

The group is inherently interdisciplinary and invites membership from any interested researchers in or around the University of Edinburgh community. Our members are interested in patterns of variability at all levels of linguistic structure. We share an interest in both synchronic and diachronic variation, with the goal of developing empirical models of variation and change.


Staff who work in this area include:

  Research interests
Dr Claire Cowie

World Englishes; language contact; morphological productivity; pragmatics

Dr Josef Fruehwald Language variation and change; sociolinguistics; phonology; phonetics; quantitative methods
Dr Lauren Hall-Lew Sociolinguistics; sociophonetics; phonetic methods; English variation and change; language and ethnicity; language and tourism
Dr Patrick Honeybone Historical phonology; phonological theory; northern Englishes
Dr Pavel Iosad Theoretical phonology; phonological interfaces; historical phonology; Celtic languages; Germanic languages
Dr James Kirby Phonetics and phonology; sound change; tone and register; language and music; languages of Southeast Asia
Dr Warren Maguire Dialectology; varieties of English and Scots; phonetic and phonological variation and change
Dr Mits Ota First and second language acquisition; phonology
Dr Graeme Trousdale Historical linguisitcs; language variation and change

Postgraduate study

PhD and MSc by Research programmes

For more information about postgraduate study in language variation and change, contact Dr Lauren Hall-Lew.

Lauren Hall-Lew


Meetings are usually held on (certain) Wednesdays from 1:10pm - 2pm. This year, semester 1 meetings will be held in room 1.20, Dugald Stewart Building, 3 Charles Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AD. Semester 2 meetings will be in Seminar Room G.13 – Doorway 4, Medical School (Old Medical School), Teviot Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9AG. Forthcoming events will be listed on the LEL events page. For more information about this year's meetings, contact Victoria Dickson or visit the research seminar pages.

Victoria Dickson

Language variation and change group

Language variation and change seminars


Current research students

Who works in this area

Edinburgh Speaks

Looking at variation in speech and language use in Edinburgh

Talks given by visiting speakers

List of visiting speakers and talk titles