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Dr. Ellen Smith-Dennis



Assistant Professor


Centre for Applied Linguistics
University of Warwick
Tel: +44(0)2476575912

Research Interests

My research expertise is in language documentation; grammatical description; typology; language contact and change; language endangerment; language acquisition. I have carried out fieldwork in urban home and school settings in the UK and Italy, and in an extremely remote community setting in Papua New Guinea, where I lived for a year. With the original data I've collected, I've documented and written a reference grammar of an endangered language, created materials to assist in linguistic and cultural maintenance (such as a short dictionary, story books and illustrated word lists), and investigated topics such as language endangerment, contact-induced grammatical change, bilingual child language acquisition, second language acquisition, and English sociophonetic variation. SUPERVISION: I welcome inquiries from qualified students who intend to pursue doctoral research in the areas of language endangerment, descriptive linguistics or contact-induced grammatical change.


I taught English as a foreign language for several years in Brazil, Portugal and Indonesia and I have been teaching general linguistics at undergraduate and postgraduate level since 2012 at universities in Australia, Fiji and the UK. Prior to joining The University of Warwick in 2016, I was a Teaching Fellow at UCL where I taught English linguistics and worked on an AHRC Knowledge Transfer project 'Teaching English Grammar in Schools'.


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