Professor Neil Bermel
Professor of Russian and Slavonic Studies
BA (Yale), MA, PhD (Berkeley)
Room 2.40, Jessop West, University of Sheffield, 1 Upper Hanover St, Sheffield S3 7RA
Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 7405
A native of New York, I studied Russian at school and university, and picked up Czech in graduate school as a secondary interest that has gradually become my primary one.
I came to Sheffield in 1996 as lecturer in Czech language and linguistics and after some years found myself as Head of Russian and Slavonic Studies (2007-2009, 2016-17) and Head of the School of Languages and Cultures (2009-2014).
Having served a term as Director of Admissions for the School, I am now taking a turn as its Director of Research.
When not engaged in weighty academic pursuits, I can often be found taking long but not overly strenuous walks through Sheffield or the Derbyshire countryside.
External institutional reviews and advisory boards:
• Research Infrastructure for Diachronic Czech Studies, Advisory Board member, 2017-2020
• Associate Editor of the Journal of Slavic Linguistics, 2016-
Membership of editorial boards:
• Slavonic and East European Review, 2013-.
External examining of PhD theses:
• Charles University, Prague, PhD (Mathematical Linguistics), 2018
External examining of taught courses:
• University of Bristol, BA/MA (Czech studies), 2015-2019
My research has centred on variation in grammar and form in Czech and Russian, but has extended into other areas of language culture, including language regulation and planning and management of multilingual interactions. Currently it has four major strands:
1. Methods of evaluating variation in language, including the use of questionnaires, tests and corpora (for more information about current work see Leverhulme Trust funded project);
Research supervision as primary supervisor:
• Jonathan Israel Escobar Farfán, A Corpus-based Study of Nahuatl Contemporary Writing: Investigating a Continuum for Language Planning, awaiting viva
I am interested in supervising postgraduate research on:
• Topics relating to the morphology of Slavonic languages, especially involving the use of corpora or experiments with a usage-based focus;
I currently teach on the following modules:
• Beginners’ Russian
I maintain an active interest in language teaching methods and practices:
• Co-author Ilona Kořánová and I created the Interactive Czech web course and coursebook, which is an extensive and comprehensive B1-level course in the Czech language oriented around a communicative core (rather than purely focused on grammar topics).