Our research

Our research

Research groups

Our research centres, clinical groups, research labs and research groups collaboratively foster a dynamic and interdisciplinary research and teaching environment for our staff and students. The candidates in our research degrees (MRes, MPhil and PhD) are integral to our transformative research. We carry out research and supervision across a wide range of areas of linguistics such as language acquisition and disorders of language; language, speech, and hearing, as well as languages in society.

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 (see more information from the Child Language Lab and the Language Acquisition Lab). 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: Acquired Communication Disorders; Child Language Acquisition; Developmental Speech and Language Disorders.

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 HearingAustralian Languages; Corpus Linguistics; Language Variation and ChangePhonetics and Phonology.

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: Australian Languages; Conversation Analysis; Multilingualism; Translation and Interpreting.

Pursuing a research degree in linguistics: Finding a potential supervisor

We are proud of the quality and diversity of the work done by our HDR students (you can see a list of recently completed theses here). If you are interested in pursuing a research degree in the Department of Linguistics, you will first need to find a potential supervisor, whose research interests fit with your own. Please follow these steps:

  1. Read about the HDR application process at Macquarie University.
  2. Identify a potential supervisor. A good place to start is to read more about the research areas in which we offer supervision (see above). You can then search for potential supervisors by reading the biographies and research interests of Our people. You can also look for supervisors across the University by searching for your research topic in the Supervisor Database.
  3. Once you have identified a potential supervisor, send them an e-mail. In your e-mail, please include:
    • Your name, your academic qualifications and background, the degree you want to enrol for, the topic of your proposed research, when you would like to enrol.
    • A brief research proposal in which you outline your planned project.
  4. The potential supervisors will reply to you to say (a) whether they are available to supervise additional students and (b) whether they are interested in supervising your topic. They may also ask you to revise your research proposal.
  5. If you are successful in gaining the informal agreement of a potential supervisor to supervise, you may submit a formal application. Please note that potential supervisors are able to express interest in supervising HDR students, but final decisions on admission and supervision are made by the Faculty and Department.

If you have inquiries on the HDR application process, or about your eligibility for PhD or MRes, please email the Linguistics Department Director for Higher Degree Research at:  ling.hdrsupervision@mq.edu.au.

Content owner: Department of Linguistics Last updated: 07 Oct 2020 4:30pm

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