Christian Ilbury



I am a sociolinguist who is principally interested in exploring the social meaning of variable patterns of language.

My research explores the intersection of digital culture and language variation and change. I am an interdisciplinary scholar utilizing methods and approaches from sociolinguistics, (linguistic) anthropology, and media studies.

I am particularly interested in exploring variable patterns of language across offline (i.e., face-to-face) and online (i.e., social media) space. Most of my research has focussed on the digital and linguistic practices of young people.

I am also interested in language, politics, and globalisation. My work has examined the sociolinguistic dynamics of gentrification, the effects of standard language ideology and youth language, and the impact of accent bias on perceptions of professional competence.

Prior to this appointment, I held teaching and research positions at Queen Mary University of London, the University of York, Newcastle University, the University of Suffolk, and Regents University London.


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PhD Linguistics, Queen Mary University of London, 2019. 

MA Linguistics, Queen Mary University of London, 2015.

BA Linguistics, the University of Sussex, 2013.

Responsibilities & affiliations

Research Associate, Speaking Citizens, 2021 -

Visiting Research Fellow, the University of Suffolk, 2021 -

Undergraduate teaching

During Semester 2 2021-22, I am teaching on the following courses:

LASC10102 & LASC11141: Language Variation and Change (Honours/MSc)

LASC10112: Guided Research in Linguistics and English Language B (Honours/MSc) - where I run the seminar in 'Language Variation and Change in Digital Communication'

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I am happy to receive applications for PhD supervision on a number of sociolinguistic topics including: Language + technology, ethnography, language variation & change (particularly youth language), queerness+language, & Language-social-class-ethnicity. I particularly welcome proposals from minoritized students and those who are first-gen/state school educated.

Research summary

Sociolinguistics ∙ digital language ∙ orthographic, discourse-pragmatic, grammatical, phonological variation ∙ ethnography ∙ technology & language ∙ linguistic appropriation ∙ diffusion ∙ gentrification ∙ ‘youth’ language ∙ AAVE ∙ accent bias ∙ Digital Culture ∙ social media ∙ media language ∙ affordances and constraints ∙ society and technology ∙ youth online ∙