Research at the Bristol Centre for Linguistics (BCL)

Our main strands of research activity.

The current research within the Centre comprises four main strands that examine various disciplines in linguistics – from psycholinguistics to sociolinguistics – looking at the language and communication in the past to the here and now, conducting analyses on writing, speech and non-verbal communication in digital and non-digital contexts and investigating how language is learned and processed by speakers. Our research draws heavily on interdisciplinary frameworks, and it explores several languages, including Finnish, Polish, Welsh, Japanese, Farsi and English.

Society and Community Linguistics

The research performed by linguists in the Centre seeks to provide tangible benefits for the community we serve and beyond. We work with partners to understand the challenges they face which could be tackled through research on language and communication. We consider that language reflects and reinforces differences in power, status and social class and we seek to analyse how these societal inequities emerge and can be challenged. Colleagues in the Centre explore this in research on political discourse, analyses of media language and representations as well as exploring notions of elitism in debates on multilingualism.

See projects within the Society and Community Linguistics strand

Digital: Language in New Media

New media technologies constitute a form of mediated communication. Consequently, BCL researchers investigate digital performances of identity, solidarity, conflict, advocacy, leadership, etc. as well as how representation, knowledge and ideology manifest in the language used on digital platforms.

See projects within the Digital: Language in New Media strand

Language Change: Places, Names and Politeness

How have the words we use today come to mean what they do? How can language shed light on the historical movements of people? What role does misunderstanding have to play in the language we use today? All of these questions fascinate BCL members working in historical linguistics and our explorations of these questions and more contribute to our understanding of the history and development of English and other languages.

See projects within the Language Change strand

Brain, Cognition and Behaviour

This area of research explores how language is organised in the brain and represented in the mind, how language is processed and learned and how/if language affects human cognitive processes.

See projects within the Brain, Cognition and Behaviour strand

Bristol Centre for Linguistics

The Bristol Centre for Linguistics creates a platform for knowledge exchange on linguistics as well as highlights the relevance of language research to the public.


Research centres and groups at UWE Bristol

Find out more about research in each college and school at UWE Bristol.

You may also be interested in