Our research

Our research

Our research centres, clinical groups, research labs and research groups collaboratively foster a dynamic and interdisciplinary teaching and research environment for our staff and students.

We carry out research and PhD supervision across a wide range of areas of linguistics such as language acquisition and disorders of language, language, speech and hearing, and languages in society.

Linguistics is one of the main centres for PhD studies at Macquarie, with no fewer than 150 PhD students working in the department at any given time. We make a substantial and unique contribution through extensive and pioneering distance and online courses for international HDR students. We currently host eleven joint PhD (co-tutelle) students (from China, Denmark, Germany, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Thailand).

Research groups

Language acquisition and disorders of language

Linguistics showcases research strengths in child language across the spectrum, from children whose language is developing typically, to children with developmental disorders. Our researchers conduct experimental studies on topics in child phonology, acquisition of grammatical morphemes, syntactic structures and children's semantic knowledge. We have ongoing treatment studies on stuttering and investigations of the grammatical knowledge of children with specific language impairment. Our expertise extends to acquired language disorders, with a focus on language interaction with aphasics. Our researchers in speech pathology also focus on augmentative communication methods for people with speech and language impairments, and on treatment and intervention issues for both developmental and acquired disorders.

Focus areas: Acquisition of phonology and morphology - Child Language Lab; acquisition of syntax and semantics; aphasia; developmental language disorders; stuttering.

Associate Professor Rosalind Thornton

Language speech and hearing

Macquarie Linguistics has a long-standing tradition of excellence in research examining the processes that underlie language, speech, and hearing. Phonetic and phonological theory is investigated through speech perception studies and the analysis of speech production using articulatory and acoustic techniques. A strong focus is our work on accent evolution, variation and differentiation in the Australian context. The inclusion of significant expertise in audiology is a unique feature of Linguistics at Macquarie, which is reflected in ongoing studies of complex auditory disorders, such as tinnitus and auditory neuropathy, outcomes for people with hearing aids or cochlear implants, and the link between auditory processing disorder, language, and reading. Psycholinguistic investigations of reading are another area of strength, especially oral reading ability and instruction for children with specific reading disability, developmental disability, or hearing loss.

Focus areas: Audiology and Hearing; Australian English - Australian Voices; Conversation Analysis; Speech production and perception; Computational and corpus linguistics; Language and literacy.

Professor Linda Cupples

Languages in society

In the light of growing awareness of the roles played by language in a wide range of social contexts, Linguistics at Macquarie has a particular concern with the applications of linguistic theory to issues in social life. Linguistics at Macquarie has a strong tradition of work on the use of language in professional and academic settings, language in education, including both Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages (TESOL) and the teaching of Languages other than English (LOTE), and on the linguistics of Australian Sign Language. Research on multilingualism and intercultural communication is also a strength and translation and interpreting is a developing area. Many of our researchers draw on discourse analysis and Systemic Functional Linguistics and this is reflected in descriptive work on a variety of language systems.

Focus areas: Corpus research; Language Learning and Teaching Research; Language in Social Life; Multilingualism; Sign Language Linguistics; Translation and Interpreting Research.

Binaural Hearing

Focus areas:

Professor David McAlpine

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