Sophie Whittle

School of English

PhD research student
+44 114 2XX XXXX

Full contact details

Sophie Whittle
School of English
Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA

My PhD research focuses on the decline of verb-second (V2) structure in the history of English, and aims to explain its change through an analysis of (morpho)syntax, language contact, language acquisition, and information structure. I am conducting a parsed corpus-based study to collect frequencies of V2 throughout the Old, Middle, and Early Modern English periods, and I am analysing data with a mixed-methods (quantitative and qualitative) approach. More broadly, I am also interested in linking language change to the imperfect acquisition of L1 and L2 learners, and how the errors and innovations they make can drive change. 


- BA English Language and Linguistics, University of Sheffield, 2017

- MA English Language and Linguistics, University of Sheffield, 2018

Research interests

- Historical Linguistics

- Syntax

- Language Acquisition

- Corpus Linguistics

- Pragmatics

Research group


- Dr Graham Williams

- Dr Robyn Orfitelli

Teaching activities

- ELL240 Historical Linguistics

- ELL360 Historical Pragmatics

Professional activities and memberships

I am a member of the New Philologists and Syntactic Theory reading groups and an organiser at Sheffield Feminist Archive.