The Department’s research has benefited from financial support from the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) and the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation (Riksbankens Jubileumsfond) as described below. Several members of staff have carried out projects within "High-level Proficiency in Second Language Use", (Swedish acronym AAA) the University’s large research programme funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.

Within linguistics, research on the history of English has been an important area for many years. The tradition is continued by Nils-Lennart Johannesson’s current projects: to produce a complete inventory of the Latin source texts that were used in the production of the Ormulum, an early Middle English exegetical work (now funded by Vetenskapsrådet for three years 2011-2013); and to produce a comprehensive generative grammar of Old English.

Two major research areas, World Englishes and academic uses of English, reflect the current status of English as a global language. Thus, alongside the Department’s literary scholars’ interest in post-colonial writers, a number of staff members are working in World Englishes, or varieties of English: Philip Shaw, Peter Sundkvist, Gunnel Melchers (emerita but still actively publishing on a wide variety of topics) and Kingsley Bolton (on leave) and Sara Lilja Visén. Peter Sundkvist (with generous funding from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond) and Gunnel Melchers between them are among the world’s leading experts on the Scandinavian-influenced English of the Shetland Islands north of Scotland. Kingsley Bolton co-operated in the AAA programme with work on the English of international call centres in the Philippines and elsewhere. Beyza Björkman has built up a name for herself with work on the use of English as a lingua franca in academic environments.

Academic English and its uses for teaching, learning and publication purposes form a closely-related focus of interest in the Department. Maria Kuteeva, Raffaella Negretti, and other members of staff affiliated with the Centre for Academic English (Miguel Garcia and Lisa McGrath) have an increasing number of publications in the area; they are contributing to a turn in the field towards studies of the learning process, in addition to textual studies. Philip Shaw and Alan McMillion have a project within the AAA programme which compares Swedish students’ academic reading and listening with that of native-speaking peers. Zakaria Lemmouh is working on vocabulary acquisition in an academic environment. Philip Shaw and colleagues from several other universities also have a project funded by Vetenskapsrådet which investigates the acquisition of vocabulary and technical terms within the ‘parallel-language’ environment if Swedish universities.

The Department has strengths in a variety of other areas. It has been involved in corpus linguistics since the work of Magnus Ljung (now emeritus, but still actively publishing on a wide variety of topics) in the 1980s. Annelie Ädel’s interest in corpus linguistics and pragmatics and in particular her well-known contribution to the study of metadiscourse have also led to a number of publications in the areas of academic uses of English, learner English, and political discourse. David Minugh has used corpora to study idioms in various genres.

Over the last few years Christina Alm-Arvius’ long-standing work in semantics and in particular polysemy, including figures of speech, has blossomed into the increasingly successful annual Metaphor Festival (co-organized with Nils-Lennart Johannesson and David Minugh), an international conference for scholars in linguistics, literary studies, and other fields related to figurative language. Other work oriented to cognitive linguistics is being done by Alan McMillion.

Apart from extensive work within pragmatics, Britt Erman has made seminal contributions to the study of English collocations and other conventionalized multi-word units in native and non-native speech and writing. Her AAA-funded project with Margareta Lewis compares the use of multi-word units in English by three groups of speakers, university students, advanced L2 users resident in England, and native speakers of English. Their work contributes to a deeper understanding of L2 production in two different spoken genres.

The Department runs a Higher Seminar in English linguistics every week and co-operates with other language departments in the FAS series of research seminars on second language acquisition. The CAE hosted the annual Swedish Symposium in Languages for Special Purposes in 2009 and 2011.

PhD students are researching into World Englishes, cognitive linguistics, discourse markers, academic language use and acquisition, and multi-word units.