Lauren Hall-Lew

Personal Chair of Sociolinguistics


​I'm Professor of Sociolinguistics in Linguistics and English Language, at the University of Edinburgh. I'm also currently the director of the Lothian Diary Project, and on research leave with a Personal Research Fellowship from the Royal Society of Edinburgh. When I'm not on research leave, I co-organise the Sociolinguistics Reading Group and the Language Variation and Change Research Group. I've spoke briefly about my academic journey on this episode of the Undersong podcast.

I'm a 5th-generation mixed-race Chinese American with ancestors who were born in San Francisco in the late 1800s. I'm also 1/4 German with family from Düsseldorf. Most of my family is Californian, but I was raised in snowy Flagstaff, Arizona.


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Undergraduate: University of Arizona (BA in Linguistics, minor in Psychology, 2002, summa cum laude)

Postgraduate: Stanford University (MA & PhD in Linguistics, 2009)

Previous post: Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Oxford

Responsibilities & affiliations

I am one of the representatives of the UoE's Staff BAME Network and the UoE's Womxn of Colour Collective. Between 2019-2021, I founded the Mentoring Programme for the Staff BAME Nework, and my work was recognised by being short-listed for the CAHSS Staff Award for Advancing Inclusion (2021) and a Principal's Medal. When I'm not on research leave, I'm also involved in EDI (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion) work and work in Research Ethics.

Undergraduate teaching

I have previously taught on various prehonours, honours, and MSc courses. In 2022-2023 I am Course Organiser and Co-instructor for the combined honours/MSc course, Language Variation and Change. Previous teaching awards include:

  • Winner, EUSA Award for Teaching in CHSS (2013)
  • Joint Runner-Up, CAHSS Outstanding Contribution to the Student Experience (2016)

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Current PhD students supervised

Past PhD students supervised

  • Elizabeth Adelou
  • Zac Boyd
  • Zuzana Elliott
  • Ruth Friskney
  • Daniel Lawrence
  • Ifigenia Papageorgiou

Project activity

Latest research grants/projects

Current project grants

For the calendar year 2022 I am on a Personal Research Fellowship from the Royal Society of Edinburgh for work on the The Lothian Diary project.

More video

In the press

Race.ED podcast episode: "Dominant Speech: the Category of 'Race' in Sociolinguistics"