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'.
- 'Smith-Dennis, Ellen, 2021. 'Don?t feel obligated, lest it be undesirable : the relationship between prohibitives and apprehensives in Papapana and beyond. Linguistic Typology, 25 (3), pp. 413-459
- Smith, Ellen, 2016. Papapana Re~redu~reduplicates : multiple reduplication in an endangered Northwest Solomonic language. Oceanic Linguistics, 55 (2), pp. 522-560
- Smith, Ellen, 2016. Contact-induced change in a highly endangered language of Northern Bougainville. Australian Journal of Linguistics, 36 (3), pp. 369-405
- Smith-Dennis, Ellen, 2020. A grammar of Papapana : an oceanic language of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea.
- Aarts, Bas, Smith-Dennis, Ellen, 2018. Using corpora for English language teaching and learning. In McIntyre, Dan; Price, Hazel (eds.), Applying Linguistics : Language and the Impact agenda, London, Routledge, pp. 163-175
- Smith, Ellen, 2016. Measuring and understanding ethnolinguistic vitality in Papapana. In Filipovic, Luna; Pütz, Martin (eds.), Endangered languages and languages in danger : issues of documentation, policy and language rights, Amsterdam ; Philadelphia, John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp. 249-279