The University of Sheffield
School of English

Dr Emma Moore

BA (Manchester); MA (Manchester); PhD (Manchester)

Room 5.03, Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA

Internal extension: 20232
Tel: +44 (0)114-222-0232
Fax: +44 (0)114-222-8481

email :

Dr Emma Moore


I am Senior Lecturer in Sociolinguistics, and Subject Director for English Language and Linguistics.

I joined the department in February 2004, following a Lectureship at the University of Manchester. My PhD research was also completed at Manchester. During the course of my PhD, I also studied at Stanford University, USA.


My research examines the relationship between language and identity. In particular, I explore how individuals and communities use language to construct social styles, differences, and affiliations. I’m also interested in how and why language change occurs over time. This means figuring out which aspects of change can be explained by language-internal constraints and which are caused by social factors.

Much of my published research has focused on the language used by adolescents, but my methods and forms of analysis have enabled me to address the relationship between language and social factors more generally. In particular, I have explored the extent to which speakers are able to adapt their speech to reflect community memberships and associations. My work with adolescents demonstrates that the style of language used by an individual can be used to constitute different identities dependent upon the context in which an utterance occurs. Sometimes language features may indicate class-based affiliations or, at other times, place, peer-group or social aspirations are signalled. Understanding what language features mean socially offers a way to understand how individuals and social groups are evaluated. This may have implications on how we address issues of social inequality.

My latest work is on an AHRC funded project, entitled Language and distinctiveness on the Isles of Scilly. The Isles of Scilly are a highly heterogeneous island community 28 miles west of Land’s End, Cornwall. Scilly’s population includes ethnic Scillonians, incomers, and seasonal workers. This population mix makes Scilly open to on-going social and linguistic change. The project will document the island’s historical trajectory by analysing change in language use over time, and assessing the extent and direction of any change. More generally, the project will increase our understanding of the nature of modern communities and societal structure, and will increase our knowledge of sociolinguistic processes. Most of my previous work has focused on morphosyntax and discourse, but I’m lucky to be working with a great phonetician on this project, Dr Paul Carter.

See Scilly Voices


I´m committed to teaching innovation and, much like my research, my teaching tends to be data-led. I teach on both the BA in English Language and Linguistics and the MA in English Studies. I contribute to modules on `Varieties of English´, `Sociolinguistics´, ‘Issues in Language Change’ and `Language and Gender´ at undergraduate level, and `Language and Interaction' and ‘Text and Contexts’ at graduate level.

In 2008, I undertook a University of Sheffield funded Knowledge Transfer project in collaboration with the Five Islands School on the Isles of Scilly. This produced a publicly-available scheme of work for teaching Language and Identity. I have also contributed teaching materials to the Humbox project (a resource for managing and publishing Humanities teaching resources on the web.

Language and Identity in the National Curriculum: A Scheme of Work

See the Humbox project


I currently supervise in the areas of ethnography, dialectology, gender and sexuality, and ethnicity, and welcome PhD applicants who wish to undertake interdisciplinary work in language and linguistics. My PhD students include:

Selected Publications


Book Chapters

Edited Volumes