Linguistic Diversity Collective

The Linguistic Diversity Collective (LDC) is a group of academics in the Departments of Linguistics and English Language and Modern Languages and Cultures who research and champion linguistic diversity both locally and globally.

We work on a diverse range of languages and linguistic settings across the globe.

We study the languages’ morpho-syntactic and semantic make-up, and draw theoretical generalisations about the nature of language and cross-linguistic variation.

We document languages, study language use and acquisition in multilingual settings and contribute to language revitalisation and policy.


Learn about some of the experts from the Collective.

Professor Thea Cameron-Faulkner

I am a child language development researcher. My fieldwork takes place in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Over the years I have worked on Irish language development and language development in heritage communities.

Professor Delia Bentley

My research explores the interplay of grammar with the meaning of words and the information provided by the context of linguistic interactions. I seek evidence in the Romance languages, particularly those which have little socio-political recognition. I conduct my fieldwork in villages of Italy, especially Sicily and Sardinia, and have frequently investigated the dialect spoken in Palermo.

Dr Martina Faller

I conduct fieldwork on Quechua with speakers in and around Cusco, Peru, exploring various aspects of the language. The aim of my work is to contribute to our understanding of how languages differ from each other and what they have in common, and to the development of linguistic theories that are informed by data from a variety of languages.

Dr Leonie Gaiser

I use linguistic ethnographic methods to explore multilingualism, language maintenance, language policy, language provisions and questions of identity in ‘superdiverse’ urban diaspora settings. My research focuses on Arabic and other so-called ‘heritage’ languages in Manchester, UK.

Dr Vera Hohaus

My research is on the building blocks of meaning in natural languages and how they vary. I have spent more than ten years working on Samoan, an Austronesian, Oceanic language spoken on the islands on the Samoan archipelago in the South Pacifc. Other languages that have more recently featured in my research include Afrikaans, Hijazi Arabic, and Turkish.

Dr Jens Hopperdietzel

I am conducting fieldwork on indigenous languages in the Pacific region, with a focus on Daakaka, an endangered language spoken by a small community in Vanuatu, and Samoan. Studying the grammar of these understudied languages, my research not only refines the language specific description, but also contributes to our knowledge about the variation found in the world’s languages.

Professor Andrew Koontz-Garboden

I research Misumalpan languages, especially Ulwa (Nicaragua), Basaá (Bantu; Cameroon), Huave (isolate; Oaxaca),  Tongan, Spanish and Portuguese. My most detailed fieldwork has been in Karawala, Nicaragua, where I work on the relationship between word meaning and sentence structure.

Dr Serge Sagna

I conduct my research in the southwestern Senegal, on Gújjolaay Eegimaa, a language spoken in a former kingdom of 10 villages called Mof-Ávvi. I have done research on language documentation and description, child language acquisition and sociolinguistics, especially on multilingualism.

Professor Eva Schultze-Berndt

I have worked with some of the few remaining speakers of two – neighbouring but unrelated – languages of Northern Australia, Jaminjung-Ngaliwurru and Ngarinyman, since 1994, with the aim of creating a lasting documentation. I have described aspects of Jaminjung-Ngaliwurru and I have also worked on the grammar of Kriol, an English-lexified creole language spoken in the same region.

Dr Simone de Cia

My research investigates the relation between sentence structure and how information is organised in discourse to meet the speaker’s communicative goals. My focus is on lesser-known Romance languages spoken in north-eastern part of Italy, which include Friulian, Ladin and Venetan. I carry out my fieldwork in villages along the Venetian Prealps.

Dr Ryan Walter Smith

My research in semantics and syntax draws on elicitation with speakers of various Iranian languages, such as Persian, Ossetian, Balochi, and Kurdish, with an eye toward understanding how the grammar of these languages can inform our understanding of natural language syntax and semantics more generally. I also work on Japanese, and more recent work of mine has included Spanish as well. 

Dr Nicholas Weise

I am a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry working with international biotechnology researchers and multilingual communities across Manchester to provide personal and relevant public engagement to underserved audiences. This comprises outreach in languages other than English to address gaps in aspiration and access to science education for bilingual young people in the region.

Dr Rebecca Tipton

Based in the department of Modern Languages and Cultures, I am a specialist in translation and interpreting studies with particular interest in the ways in which multilingualism is addressed by public services. My research focuses on the organisation and implementation of language support provisions in police, asylum and social work contexts, and on how insights from academic research can be translated into professional practice to enhance service delivery.

Dr Khoi Nguyen

I use a practice-based approach to heritage language use in a variety of settings, including social and commercial spaces, religious environments as well as social media. My main interest lies in how multilingual practices are connected to heritage and diasporic identity construction, mostly among Southeast Asian diasporas in the UK.

Hazel Gardner

I am the Public Engagement and Communications Officer for the Linguistic Diversity Collective, based within the Creative Manchester team. I provide organisational, public engagement and communications support and I have a background and interest in Linguistics.

News and activities

Keep up-to-date with the latest news from the Linguistic Diversity Collective.Multilingual World podcast episode 2: 


Get involved

The LDC are available to engage with local school pupils on the subject of linguistic diversity and to support and enrich the work of third sector organisations such as community groups and language schools.

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LDC Partners

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