Claire joined the department in 2017 as a Lecturer and became Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics in 2022. Her research interests are in language variation and change, particularly grammatical and discourse-pragmatic variation in dialects of English. She is interested in the integration of syntactic theory into variationist sociolinguistic analysis and the use of quantitative methods to help understand the structure underlying linguistic variation.
- Senior Lecturer
University of York (2022-)
University of York (2017-22)
- Lecturer (fixed term)
Northumbria University (2016-17)
- PhD in Linguistics
Newcastle University (2012-16)
- MLitt in Linguistics
Newcastle University (2011-12)
- BA in English Language
Newcastle University (2008-11)
My research interests are in language variation and change, with a particular focus on grammatical and discourse-pragmatic phenomena. My work on syntactic variation draws from both variationist sociolinguistics and syntactic theory, to gain insight into the structure, limits and loci of variation, as well as the relationship between competence and performance. I am particularly interested in English grammar (e.g. negation, agreement) and discourse-pragmatic phenomena that are syntactically-optional yet have important functions in interaction, such as question tags. My research often takes a comparative sociolinguistic approach to analyse multiple variables in multiple dialects of English, using quantitative methods to ascertain whether constraints at different levels of linguistic structure (as well as social factors) are robust across space.
Language variation and change
- Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Research, Development and Engagement Fellowship. 2021-2023. 'Interactions in Grammatical Systems: North-South Dialect Variation in England'. £199,473.
- British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Grants Scheme. 2019-2021. '"Geordie"? "Mackem"? "Smoggie"?: Dialect Differences in the North East of England. £9,989. (with Carmen Llamas & Dominic Watt)
- Economic & Social Research Council. 2012-16. ‘Variation and Change in English Negation: A Cross-Dialectal Perspective’. North East Doctoral Training Centre PhD studentship.
- Arts & Humanities Research Council. 2011-12. Research Preparation Masters studentship.
- Laura Bailey
- Beth Cole
- Karen Corrigan
- Chris Harvey
- Carmen Llamas
- Sali Tagliamonte
- Dominic Watt
Invited talks and conferences
Invited talks -
- University of Melbourne [online] - 'Expanding the envelopes of grammatical variation' (2021)
- Linguistic Society of America (LSA) 2020 Annual Meeting, New Orleans - invited contribution to the organised session 'Perspectives on Negation': 'A variationist approach to interacting variables: Negation and stative possession' (2020)
- PhilSoc Early Career Researcher Forum, University of Sheffield - 'The present-day interaction of longitudinal changes: Stative possession and negation' (2018)
- Northumbria University – ‘Variation, change and interviewer effects: The phonetic reduction of negative tags in British English dialects’ (2016)
- University of Edinburgh – ‘Not versus no in British English dialects: Syntactic, discourse-pragmatic and social effects’ (2015)
Recent conference presentations -
- Childs, Claire. 2023. ‘Morpho-syntactic co-variation in English dialects’. UK Language Variation and Change 14 (UKLVC14), University of Edinburgh.
- Childs, Claire and Beth Cole. 2022. ‘Local versus widespread agreement systems: was/were in British English dialects’. New Ways of Analyzing Variation 50 (NWAV50), Stanford University.
- Childs, Claire and Beth Cole. 2022. ‘Was/were variation in England: A comparative perspective’. Linguistics Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (LAGB) Annual Meeting 2022, Ulster University.
- Bailey, Laura and Claire Childs. 2022. ‘Tyneside English bipartite negation: Double negative or negative concord’. Linguistics Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (LAGB) Annual Meeting 2022, Ulster University.
- Bailey, Laura and Claire Childs. 2022. ‘Isn’t it not negative concord? Bipartite negation in Tyneside English’. 55th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, University of Bucharest.
- Childs, Claire, Carmen Llamas and Dominic Watt. 2022. ‘Pronoun exchange in the North East of England: Localised patterns in production and perception’. 11th International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE11), University of Vienna [Online].
- Childs, Claire, Carmen Llamas and Dominic Watt. 2021. Pronoun exchange in North-Eastern English: Production versus use. UK Language Variation and Change 13 (UKLVC13), Glasgow [Online].
- Childs, Claire, Carmen Llamas and Dominic Watt. 2021. ‘“We’ve lived there all wor life”: Pronoun variation in the dialects of the North East of England’. International Society for the Linguistics of English 6 (ISLE6), University of Eastern Finland [Online].
- Childs, Claire. 2019. ‘Ripping open the envelope of variation: Stative HAVE (GOT) and auxiliary/negative-contraction in British English’. UK Language Variation and Change 12 (UKLVC12), Queen Mary University of London and University College London. (Poster)
- Childs, Claire. 2019. ‘Widening the envelope of variation: Stative HAVE (GOT), negation and contraction’. International Conference on Language Variation in Europe 10 (ICLaVE10), Fryske Akademy, Leeuwarden.
- Childs, Claire. 2018. ‘Interacting domains of variation: The negation and contraction of possessive HAVE (GOT)’. Linguistics Association of Great Britain (LAGB) Annual Meeting 2018, University of Sheffield.
- Childs, Claire. 2016. ‘Interviewer effects on negative tag realisations in North-East England’. Discourse-Pragmatic Variation and Change 3 (DiPVaC3), University of Ottawa.