Language and Linguistics

The Faculty includes a small but very active group of scholars whose research interests are in English language. Work on the history of English is particuarly strongly represented.

Several researchers have a particular interest in the history of English lexicography—an area where we benefit from close links to the Oxford English Dictionary - and they are assisted by an advisory group that includes Brewer and Mugglestone. Faculty members also participate in the dictionary’s regular research seminar, the OED Forum.

There is also an important strand of socio- and applied linguistic research, associated particularly with the Murdoch Chair of Language and Communication (Deborah Cameron) which was established in the 1990s to support work in these areas.

Some research is at the interface between linguistic and literary studies, dealing with topics such as the language used by particular authors (Horobin), the uses of literary sources in lexicography (Brewer, Mugglestone) and the representation of the spoken language in literature (Mugglestone). But several researchers are also engaged in collaborative and interdisciplinary work beyond the field of English studies. Cameron has co-authored books with anthropologists and has published work addressed to professionals in the fields of architecture, education, media and health and social care; Mugglestone has contributed to work on the history of education. Mugglestone and Cameron, along with Cunningham and Paulin, are among the contributors to Rude Britannia, an interdisciplinary collection of papers edited by Gorji (who held a research fellowship at Oxford until recently) on rudeness in British culture past and present.

Examining the Oxford English Dictionary homepage (Directed by Charlotte Brewer)

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