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Personal profile

Current Research Interests

World Englishes: I am interested in what happens to varieties such as Indian English in contact with L1 Englishes, mostly specifically in call centre communication. My current research examines the convergence of Indian agents towards American callers. I use experimental methods to generate dialogues in which phonological variables can be measured to determine convergence. My earlier work was concerned with beliefs about accents and attitudes towards accents in the Indian call centre industry. In order to better understand the variables of Indian English, I am also conducting sociolinguistic fieldwork on urban Indian English in local settings. I am building links with call centres in South Africa, Kenya and the Philippines, as well as with researchers in these countries so that I can ultimately undertake international comparative studies.

Morphological Productivity: My doctoral dissertation was a study of morphological productivity (abstract nouns) in historical English corpora. Subsequently I have used the OED to compile very large databases on English word-formation processes in order to chart the emergence of productivity in these processes over time. I have challenged the view that Latinate word-formation processes in English uniformly develop productivity in the Early Modern period.

Pragmatics: Topic-restricting constructions (in corpora of L1 Englishes); intensifiers (in corpora of World Englishes).

Visiting and Research Positions

2005- Lecturer in Linguistics and English Language, University of Edinburgh

2000-2005- Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics, University of Sheffield

1999-2000- Visiting lecturer, Chemnitz University of Technology

1999- Editor/Lexicographer, Dictionary Unit for South African English, Rhodes University

1996-1997-Instructor, English Department, Northern Arizona University

1995-1996- Supervisor for the Paper in History of English Language, Cambridge University

1994- Teaching assistant, Department of Linguistics, University of Cape Town


My teaching has focused on three areas over the past ten years: World Englishes, Pragmatics, and Corpus Linguistics. I have taught these subjects at all levels of the curriculum at Edinburgh, and my Global Englishes course for honours and MSc students is especially popular.

Previous courses offered at undergraduate level: Morphology, Linguistic Anthropology, History of English, Varieties of English.

 I am one of the architects of the English across time and space course for the new LEL pre-honours curriculum and will be a major contributor.

Administrative Roles

Convenor (with Prof. Bettelou Los) of LEL2c (English in Time and Space) 2013-14

Convenor of MSc in English Language: 2007-08 (sem 1 and sem 2), 2008-09 (sem1); from April 2010, 2010-2011 (sem 1 and sem 2), 2011-12 (sem 1). 

I convened the research training module Introduction to Language Research (for MscEL and MscAL students) for these periods

Semester 2 2010-11 (sem 2) Quality assurance representative

Convened pre-honours English Language 2: 2005-06 (sem 1), 2006-07

Convened the Language in Context research group in 2010-11 and 2011-12 (sem 1) with graduate students Agata Dalesynska and Ruth Friskney.

Membership of Committees

PPLS PG group: 2007-08, 2008-09 (sem1); from April 2010, 2010-2011, 2011 (sem1)

PPLS Undergraduate Studies Committee 2005-06 (sem 1), 2006-07


2001- 2003    Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning for University

Lecturers, University of Sheffield

1994-1999     PhD Cambridge University

1993- BA Hons in Linguistics, University of Cape Town (1st class)

1990-1992- BA, University of Cape Town, Majors: Linguistics (1st class); English Literature (1st class)


External positions

Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics , University of Sheffield

1 Aug 20001 Aug 2005


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