Dr Gabriel Ozon

Lecturer in Applied Linguistics

Contact

Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
Sheffield
S3 7RA


Overview

I joined the School of English in 2013, having worked previously at the University of Sussex, Queen Mary University of London, and University College London (where I completed my PhD research).

I work on morpho-syntactic variation in World Englishes, looking at the impact of the sociolinguistic context on formal structures. My current research interests include: verbal complementation (light verb constructions and serial verb constructions) in World Englishes; grammaticalisation; contact-induced language change; and Englishes in Europe.


Research

Both my teaching and my research have engendered a keen interest in linguistic variation, a significant influence in my current projects. My interest in language favours the application of quantitative (corpus linguistics) techniques in order to extract patterns and conditions of use from authentic data. I am interested in working with issues where theoretical claims can be tested by empirical evidence, and I favour the use of corpus linguistics methods. My research looks into the sociolinguistics of grammar, i.e. how and to what extent the wider (sociolinguistic) context of language use impinges on formal grammatical structures.

For the past 5 years, I have been working on Cameroon Pidgin English (CPE), a typical Atlantic pidgin/creole language in that it has a European colonial language as one of its ancestors, but also has characteristics of West African languages. Along with Melanie Green (Sussex) and Miriam Ayafor (Yaounde I), we built a pilot corpus of Cameroon Pidgin English (CPE), which was supported by a British Academy/Leverhulme Grant. 

I have written extensively using data from our CPE corpus. Additionally, the CPE pilot project provides the foundation for a 2019 AHRC Global Challenges application to build a one-million-word corpus of CPE.

My current projects involve:

  • Light verb constructions in the contact continuum: research monograph proposal for the Studies in English Language series of Cambridge University Press. 
  • Codeswitching/Translanguaging in Cameroon Pidgin English: After publishing extensively about the formal structure of CPE, it became apparent that many research results required a social explanation. This project looks at integrating the collected metadata with the corpus search tools, which in turn allows research into both structural and social variables.

I am a member of the British Association for Applied Linguistics, the Philological Society, Societas Linguistica Europaea, and the South East European Research Centre.


Teaching

I teach both on the BA in English Language and Linguistics, and on the MA in Applied Linguistics, on modules such as:

  • World Englishes
  • Using Corpora in Applied Linguistics
  • Patterns in Grammar
  • Varieties of English
  • Structure of English
  • English Grammar and Discourse
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Research Practice

Publications

I’ve recently published a textbook on the grammar of words and sentences (helpfully called English Words and Sentences!), published as part of the CIEL series by Cambridge University Press and co-written with my colleague Eva Eppler. I’ve written a chapter on language acquisition and language contact for the forthcoming Handbook of Language Contact (for Oxford University Press), plus a number of journal articles on certain grammatical aspects of CPE for World Englishes and the Journal of Language Contact.

My colleague Andrew Linn is writing and editing a volume on Englishes in Europe (Mouton), to which I’m contributing a couple of sections (on the notion of the native speaker, and on Englishes in Europe and beyond).


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