Staff research areas
Professor Rafaella Folli
Professor Raffaella Folli's specialist area is syntax, and particularly the lexicon-syntax interface, within the Minimalist framework. She is also interested in language acquisition, language processing and in the study of syntactic deficiencies in aphasia. She has worked and published on a range of languages including English, Italian, Greek and Persian.
Dr Juliana Gerard
Dr Gerard researches in language acquisition and language processing in children and adults. Her work has focused on how processes that are not specific to language, like memory and inhibitory control, can influence children's language development.
Professor Alison Henry
Best known for her work on Belfast English and microvariation in syntax, she also works on language acquisition, language disorders and the interface between syntactic theory and sociolinguistics.
Dr Anthea Irwin
Dr Anthea Irwin's main research areas are sociolinguistics and discourse analysis. She has two key foci: linguistic construction of identity, particularly in conversational interaction; and linguistic and multimodal constructions of individuals and groups, particularly those who are marginalised, in the media.
Dr Lynda Kennedy
Dr Kennedy's research interests include the language and processing aspects of Broca's aphasia, experimental linguistics, the comparison between language acquisition and disorder. Her work extends the scope of inquiry on Broca's aphasia from the traditional domain of syntax and beyond into the domain of semantics/pragmatics.
Dr Philip McDermott
Dr Philip McDermott's research focuses on the relationship between the state and linguistic minorities. A focus of his previous research has been in the area of language policy in post conflict societies and planning for (and by) migrant communities. He has a specific interest in the perception of minority languages in public places, the ways that government and communities deal with linguistic diversity and the manner in which multilingualism and bilingualism are dealt with in policy contexts. Presently, Dr McDermott's work is focused on cultural identity and diversity (including language) and how this is manifested in public institutions – particularly the heritage sector, and how migrants engage with this sector.
Dr Jacopo Romoli
Dr Jacopo Romoli's research interests are multidisciplinary bridging theoretical linguistics with cognitive psychology and philosophy of language, focusing on formal semantics. More specifically, his current research focuses on Presuppositions, Scalar Implicatures, Free choice inferences, Neg-raising phenomena, Assertability constraints, and the scope interactions of nominal quantifiers and modals.
Dr Karyn Stapleton
Dr Karyn Stapleton's research interests are in the areas of discourse analysis, interpersonal communication, pragmatics, social psychology, and identity construction and management. Her core research involves the application of discourse analytic approaches to issues of culture, politics, community and identity, particularly within the Northern Irish context. Dr Stapleton also supervises in the areas of accountability, social psychology, focusing on the phenomenon of swearing as an interpersonal activity (sociolinguistic, pragmatic, and psychological perspectives).
Dr Christina Sevdali
Dr Christina Sevdali specialises in two main themes: Generative Historical Linguistics and Multilingualism. Within the former, she is focusing on linking historical linguistics, and Ancient Greek language in particular with theoretical (and specifically generative) syntax. She is leading Language made fun, a project that applies linguistics research on multilingualism to an educational setting, assisting newcomer pupils to achieve their full potential.
Dr Catrin Rhys
Dr Catrin Rhys specialises in Conversation Analysis with an emphasis on social interaction with language disordered participants. She has a particular interest in interactional adaptation/ compensation in language impairment. She is also interested in the interface between interaction and the linguistic system the interface between discourse and prosody.