Dr Joanne Close

Senior Lecturer in English Language; Programme Leader, BA English Language (Combined Honours)

Qualifications

BA, PhD (York), PGC Learning and Teaching HE

Overview

Staff profile image

I joined the Department of English as a Lecturer in English Language in September 2011. Prior to this I was a Teaching Fellow at the University of Leeds and a Research Fellow at University College London.

 I completed a PhD on the syntax of the English auxiliary system in non-standard varieties of English at the University of York in 2005. I am a member of the Philological Society and ISLE (the International Society for the Linguistics of English).

Teaching

I have taught on a range of English Language and Linguistics courses over the years, including research-led modules on dialect syntax and change in contemporary English. I currently teach on and/or convene:

  • EN4301 Structures of English
  • EN4303 Introduction to Language and Society
  • EN5308 Professional and Academic Development: Linguistics Study Placement (Germany)
  • EN5310 Accents and Dialects of English
  • EN6308 Corpus Linguistics
  • EN6310 Dissertation (English Language)
  • EN6311 Topics in Syntax

Research

My main research interests are in syntactic theory, the syntax of English dialects, the English auxiliary system, corpus linguistics and language change, particularly the changes taking place in present-day English. 

From November 2007 to August 2009, I was Research Fellow on The changing verb phrase in present-day British English project based in the Survey of English Usage, UCL.  In this project we conducted a large-scale investigation of changes in the (morpho)syntax of the spoken British English verb phrase over a period of twenty-five to thirty years (1960s-1990s) using the Diachronic Corpus of Present-Day Spoken English (DCPSE) compiled at UCL.

In 2009 I co-organised (with Bas Aarts and Geoffrey Leech) a one-day symposium as part of the third International Conference on the Linguistics of Contemporary English (ICLCE 3). This symposium celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Survey of English Usage and was based around the theme of Current Change in the English Verb Phrase.  Following the conference, I co-edited (with Bas Aarts, Geoffrey Leech and Sean Wallis) The Verb Phrase in English: Investigating Recent Language Change with Corpora which was published by Cambridge University Press in the Studies in English Language Series in spring 2013.    

I have presented papers on change in contemporary English at ICEHL (the International Conference of English Historical Linguistics) and ISLE (the International Society for the Linguistics of English).  I have published papers on changes in the English modal verbs and the progressive construction and I am currently working on the stative possessive construction(s) and the subjunctive.

Published work

Recent chapters

  • ‘Choices over time: methodological issues in investigating current change’ (2013). (with Bas Aarts and Sean Wallis). In: Aarts, Bas, Joanne Close, Geoffrey Leech and Sean Wallis (eds.) The Verb Phrase in English: Investigating Recent Language Change with Corpora. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • ‘Recent changes in the use of the progressive construction in English’. (2010). (with Bas Aarts and Sean Wallis). In: Cappelle, Bert and Naoaki Wada (eds.) Distinctions in English Grammar. Offered to Renaat Declerck. Japan: Kaitakushu.
  • ‘Current change in the modal system of English’. (2010). (with Bas Aarts). In Lenker, Ursula, Judith Huber and Robert Mailhammer. English Historical Linguistics 2008. Selected papers from the fifteenth international conference on English Historical Linguistics (ICEHL 15), Munich, 24—30 August 2008. Volume I: The history of English verbal and nominal constructions. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Recent conference papers

  • 'The stative possessive in present-day spoken British English'. Presented at ICAME 35, University of Nottingham, 3rd May 2014.
  • ‘Recent changes in the modal system of English’. Invited talk at the Cambridge Historical Linguistics Workshop, University of Cambridge, March 2010.
  • ‘Choices over time: Methodological issues in current change’. (with Bas Aarts and Sean Wallis, UCL). Presented at the symposium on Current Change in the English Verb Phrase at the Third International Conference on the Linguistics of Contemporary English (ICLCE 3), London, July 2009.
  • 'The subjunctive in spoken British English.' (with Bas Aarts, UCL). Presented at ICAME 30, Lancaster, 28 May 2009.
  • ‘Changes in the use of the modals have to, have got to and must’. (with Bas Aarts, UCL). Presented at the International Conference for English Historical Linguistics (ICEHL) 15, Munich, August 2008.
  • 'MUST and its rivals in the Diachronic Corpus of Present-Day Spoken English'. (with Bas Aarts, UCL). Presented at the First Triennial Conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE), Freiburg, 8 October 2008.