In the Department of Linguistics and English Language here at the University of Manchester, we are committed to extending and deepening understanding of natural languages by fostering an environment favourable to empirical research on all aspects of linguistic theory. Because we believe that it is important to develop linguistic theory on a solid but wide empirical base, we particularly encourage fieldwork by members of staff and students. This latter emphasis has led to Manchester's current leading role in the study of endangered languages internationally. Yet all members of staff, whether or not they conduct fieldwork on endangered languages, are committed to an understanding of the nature of human languages based on serious theoretical reflection. Current staff regularly conduct research in Variationist Sociolinguistics, Sociology of Language, Phonetics, Phonology, Morphology, Semantics, and Syntax..
Find out more about Staff Interests
We believe that a thriving discipline will offer a range of theoretical perspectives. Consistent with this view, we both teach and conduct research in theories as diverse as Construction Grammar, Lexical-Functional Grammar, Optimality Theory, Minimalism, and Role and Reference Grammar, among others, and members of the Department have published significant studies in each of these theories.
Our achievements in research were recognised once again by excellent results in the Higher Education Funding Council's 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. There are at present fifteen permanent professors and lecturers in the discipline, and several post-doctoral research fellows. Click on the link Staff to go to the home pages of members of the discipline, and to find out how to contact them.
We are a leading centre for research , which means that many of your courses will be taught by linguists actively involved in world-leading research in the relevant field. Our specialisms cover almost the whole spectrum of activities in English language studies and linguistics: sociolinguistics, child language development, English dialects, the history of the English language, experimental phonetics, phonology, endangered languages, language contact, linguistic typology, semantics, Romance languages, Germanic languages, Romani, various syntactic theories, morphology and morphological theory.
We participate in a network in Linguistics under the Socrates scheme, involving exchanges with Amsterdam, Berlin, Gerona, Helsinki, Lund, Madrid, Naples, and Odense. Under the aegis of this programme a European M.A. exists whereby students who register in one country can do part of their degree in other countries.
Amongst the excellent resources available are a Phonetics Laboratory with facilities for signal analysis, speech synthesis, laryngography and electropalatography, a large collection of networked software and linguistic corpora, and (in the John Rylands Library) one of the largest holdings in linguistics and related areas in the UK. Its collection of electronic resources and journal subscriptions is the largest in the UK, amongst the largest in Europe and rivals the best in the world.