Research in English Language and Linguistics covers a wide range of areas and has contributed, for example, to understanding autism and improving English language teaching methodologies for refugees.

Our research is focused on experimental and theoretical linguistics, sociolinguistics and stylistics. Our international links place us at the centre of the current dialogue in the discipline, and reflect our commitment to impact and public engagement. 

In addition to English and its varieties, our staff work on French, German, Greek, Romani, Spanish, Korean and Russian. 

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), Kent's research in Modern Languages and Linguistics was ranked third in the UK.

world-leading experts

Our international lecturers are highly respected in their fields. All are active researchers who contribute to contemporary debates through their publications.

research excellence

Building on our excellent REF results, we continue to produce high-quality research, work with partners nationally and internationally, engage with current debates and establish new areas of study.

Our research: Making a difference

We have excellent links with national and international organisations and our staff have won prestigious research awards from the European Research Council, the Academy of Korean Studies, the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, and the National Science Foundation.

The Department also has its own dedicated research laboratory, the Linguistics Laboratory, which is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for empirical research and statistical modelling in speech production and perception, language processing and language acquisition. 

Our research is centred around four clusters with a continuous dialogue and exchange between members of the different groups. 

Experimental Linguistics  

We are committed to applying rigorous experimental methodologies, informed by formal linguistic theory, in the investigation of topics ranging from the nature and form of representations to language acquisition and processing. 

Theoretical Linguistics 

We model linguistic competence, ie the rules and processes through which speakers generate and understand language.


Using a variety of methodologies – from corpus analysis and acoustic studies to traditional variationist and historical paradigms – we investigate socially meaningful linguistic variation and its implications for communication and language change.


Taking an eclectic, interdisciplinary focus, we work at the frontiers of linguistics and literary studies. Our research explores and analyses a wide range of genres, drawing significantly on our own creative practice.

Visit our People page to discover more about our academic staff, their interests and activities, and how to contact them.