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SCDTP Studentship - The missing link: language and heritage, identity and belonging Project proposal

Modern Languages and Linguistics

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £14777
(18/19 UKRI rate)
Closing Date:  Thursday 24 January 2019
Reference:  1079818AR

The missing link: language and heritage, identity and belonging

A fully funded studentship awarded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (SCDTP) commencing in 2019/20 Academic Year.

Supervisory Team:

Dr Sophie Holmes-Elliott ( (socio-phonetics, linguistic variation) and Dr Laura Domínguez (heritage languages, changes to native grammars, second language acquisition).

Both supervisors have extensive experience conducting this type of research and can provide adequate training and guidance.

This project investigates how young heritage children (children who learn a minority language at home which is different to the majority language of the ambient community) negotiate the transition to school, a crucial time in their lives when their parents are no longer the only source of linguistic information. In school, these children face three challenging tasks: to maintain their minority language (e.g. Polish), to develop new linguistic abilities in the majority language (e.g. English) and to find their own identity as bicultural and bilingual members of the community. You will investigate possible changes in the grammars of these speakers throughout the first year in school and whether these can be link to specific social practices and the types of social networks established during this critical year.

Skills Required

A good Undergraduate, or Masters level degree in Linguistics (or closely related discipline: psychology; English Language etc.) with demonstrable expertise in language acquisition/language attrition/language change and phonetics. Ideally, the student will have a good knowledge of one of the immigrant languages well represented in the UK and Southampton in particular (e.g. Polish).


South Coast DTP Funding provides an annual maintenance grant (tax free) of £14777 (2018/19 UKRI rate), plus payment of all programme fees.  Other funding available for SCDTP funded students can be found on the SCDTP website (

Funding is provided for 3 years full-time PhD study (pro-rata for part-time students).  Applications for 1+3 funding for students completing a Master's year prior to the commencement of PhD study are also welcome (details available at

Application Procedure

The closing date and time for applications is 11.59pm on 24th January 2019.  The full application procedure, the funding application form, and more information on the South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership can be found at:

For further information about this project, please contact the lead supervisor detailed above.  For questions relating to the application procedure, or for more information about the SCDTP, please visit the SCDTP website or contact us at

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

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