Linguistics at Canterbury

Welcome to the UC Linguistics Department. Welcome to the Linguistics Department at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.

This page is for prospective and current students, alumni or anyone interested in what's going on in Linguistics at the University of Canterbury.

Operating as usual

Photos from Linguistics at Canterbury's post 11/04/2024

Congratulations to our Linguistics graduates!


If you are around Christchurch over the next month, please consider helping one of our Masters students with their thesis research!


Are you a NZ English speaker, aged 18-39? Pease consider helping Steph with her study!


Congratulations to Dr Marie Fournier who passed her viva today for the thesis entitled "Scottish Independence and Accent Variation in the Scottish Parliament"!

Similarities and Differences in NZ Voices 11/09/2023

Hi, we are looking for participants in our online experiment which will take around 30 minutes in total. We are looking for people meeting the following criteria:

🇳🇿 you have lived in NZ since before you were 7;
1️⃣8️⃣ you are currently 18 years or older;
🏞️ you currently live in the South Island;
💻 you have access to a computer and headphones to complete the experiment.

Your participation will help us to better understand similarities and differences in NZ voices.

You will receive a NZ $10 e-voucher from giftpay.

During the experiment, you will be asked to listen to sound files over headphones and follow the instructions on screen to perform a simple task. The task is to group together speakers who you think sound similar. The experiment will end with a brief questionnaire about your background.

If you are interested in participating in this experiment, please follow this link:

Thank you!

This study has been reviewed and approved by the University of Canterbury Human Research Ethics Committee

Similarities and Differences in NZ Voices Toggle navigation Caution: JavaScript ex*****on is disabled in your browser or for this website. You may not be able to answer all questions in this survey. Please, verify your browser parameters. Similarities and Differences in NZ Voices Welcome! Thank you for your interest in our experiment. To pa...


Congratulations to Dr Stephanie Kaefer who tonight defended her PhD thesis titled “Antarctic English Lexis: A Mixed-Methods Investigation of its Development and Formation”. 🎉🥳👏


I hope this is true!!

What linguistics does for Aotearoa 15/06/2023

The NZ Linguistic Society response to possible cuts to Linguistics at Victoria University of Wellington. It’s also a really good read and provides a good answer to the question “why should I study Linguistics?”

What linguistics does for Aotearoa If Victoria University close its linguistics programme, it won’t just be students and staff who suffer the consequences.


Tonight we said farewell to our friend and colleague Dineke Schokkin. Dineke has been a lecturer in Linguistics at UC since 2020. We wish her and her family well on their next adventure in Europe ❤️


Congratulations to Dr Mineko Shirakawa, our newest Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics, and congratulations to all of our April graduates 🎓

Perceived and actual language variation across Christchurch Schools 09/02/2023

If you're from Christchurch and went to high school here, please consider taking a few mins to complete this survey to help out a current UC Masters of Linguistics student :-)

Perceived and actual language variation across Christchurch Schools Does the Christchurch school you attend make you speak differently? Help me find out! If you are 18 years old or older and went to school in Christchurch, please fill out this survey, it is for my Masters Thesis in Linguistics at UC. It should take you no more than twenty minutes to complete. Click....


Guilty?! ✋


Congratulations to all Linguistics graduates who graduated this afternoon!

The RP accent of King Charles III analysed 14/09/2022

You've surely heard a lot of this accent on the news lately - here's a really interesting video explaining the accent features of King Charles III.

The RP accent of King Charles III analysed A discussion of the King's RP accent and how it differs from modern SSB (Standard Southern British). Picture credits:Thumbnail Charles:https://commons.wikime...


Congratulations Linguistics Graduates 🎓

Linguist career paths — Jennifer Nycz 30/08/2022

Dr Jen Nycz, a linguist at Georgetown University, has created this helpful blogpost about careers in Linguistics (see the awesome links at the bottom of the page)

Linguist career paths — Jennifer Nycz Today I’d like to address one of the most common questions we get here at DUS Headquarters: What kind of job can I get with a linguistics degree? I mean, what kind of job CAN’T you get with a linguistics degree? As a major in Linguistics, you’ll build lots of skills that will serve you well in...

UC Aho Hīnātore | UC Accelerator Scholarship 29/06/2022

Calling all Masters students or recent Masters graduates (< 5 years). If you've ever considered doing a PhD, this might be your opportunity. Get in touch with Lynn Clark ([email protected]) if you're interested and want to know more.

UC Aho Hīnātore | UC Accelerator Scholarship The kupu, Aho Hīnātore, refers to luminescent light, which is a fitting name for this scholarship. The UC Aho Hīnātore | Accelerator Scholarship is designed to assist the transition of the best and brightest current, and recently completed, students to doctoral studies at UC.


Congratulations to Dr Jacq Jones who successfully passed their PhD viva last night. Jacq's thesis is titled "Authentic Self, Incongruent Acoustics: A corpus-based sociophonetic analysis of nonbinary speech".


Who knew?!


Please check out our new course offering in semester 2 - LING230 Exploring Linguistic Anthropology. This is a 'special topic' which means it's not one of our regular course offerings, and we're thrilled to have Clare Dannenberg - who is a linguist AND anthropologist - teach it for us. It looks like a lot of fun, and there are no pre-reqs, so share this with your friends in other courses too (especially if you know anyone in Anthropology!)

Two UC schools stand their ground in the 2022 QS subject rankings 10/04/2022

The QS rankings are out and Linguistics at UC moved up from 92 to 78! Linguistics at UC is one of only two departments at the university in the top 100 in the world for their subject area (the other is Civil Engineering). Huge congratulations to all the Linguistics staff for continuing to be world-leaders in your field.

Two UC schools stand their ground in the 2022 QS subject rankings The 2022 subject rankings have been released by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), and two subjects at the University of Canterbury (UC) remain placed in the ...


Congratulations to our new *Professor* of Linguistics, Prof Kevin Watson!

Research into spiders that can count among Marsden-funded University of Canterbury projects 03/11/2021

3 new research projects in Linguistics were funded by the most recent Marsden round of funding!

"I am especially happy to see research into speech and language coming through in this funding round. The University of Canterbury is ranked in the top 100 globally for linguistics and computational linguistics and this funding provides more opportunity for our researchers and PhD students to further excel in this field,” Professor Ian Wright Tumu Tuarua Rangahau | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation

Research into spiders that can count among Marsden-funded University of Canterbury projects What will we do with the knowledge that spiders can count and make calculated decisions?


Dr Andreea Calude from the University of Waikato is looking for people familiar with NZ English aged 18-35 to take part in an online study - please see details below if you're interested in taking part:


Kia ora kiwi students,
Would you like to donate an hour of your time for a linguistics experiment? Are you a speaker of New Zealand English? You don't have to be a native speaker but to feel confident enough that you have good familiarity with New Zealand English. Doing this study would help us learn more about our own way of speaking English, here in New Zealand!
Just click on the link below (it is anonymous!) - please note that if you don't finish the survey all the data will be automatically discarded as incomplete answers cannot be used at all. Most people find it takes them one hour to complete it. (The task involves looking at some pictures and matching them to words.)
Here is the link:

I would be extremely grateful for your help as this study is the first in a long research programme I am currently developing!

Many thanks,
Andreea Calude
P.S I would be also grateful if you might pass this link on to any of your friends who are between 18-35 yo.

Qualtrics Survey | Qualtrics Experience Management Qualtrics makes sophisticated research simple and empowers users to capture customer, product, brand & employee experience insights in one place.


Congratulations to Dr Muneir Gwasmeh! Muneir defended his thesis this morning and passed with minor corrections. The thesis is titled “Language Attitudes, Accentedness and Comprehensibility: a Sociolinguistic Study of Arabic and Arabic-accented English”. Thank you also to Prof Janet Holmes who examined the thesis.


NZ sign language classes: classes will be held in the Puaka James Hight building each Thursday of Term 4 (Sept 16, 23, 30, Oct 7, 14, 21) from 12 to 12.50pm. Participants will learn the finger-spelling alphabet and basic phrases, some university specific vocabulary and basic grammar.

No previous NZSL experience is required.

The course is open to both students and staff and the cost is $60.00.

Want your school to be the top-listed School/college in Christchurch?

Click here to claim your Sponsored Listing.

Videos (show all)

Please check out our new course offering in semester 2 - LING230 Exploring Linguistic Anthropology.  This is a 'special ...
LING101/ENLA101 2018
LING615 is available as a distance learning course, and can be part of Honours in Linguistics, the Master of Linguistics...
LING103 Basics of Language for Language Learners
LING219 'Language Acquisition' University of Canterbury
Looking for a summer course? We're running LING101/ENLA101 'The English Language' in summer school - starting on Novembe...



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