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Dr Sara Pons-Sanz

Dr Sara Pons-Sanz


+44 (0)29 2087 6128
3.33, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a member of the Centre for Language and Communication Research.

My research focuses on the make-up of medieval English vocabulary from different perspectives (etymology, sociolinguistics and stylistics).

After completing two BAs (BA in English Philology and BA in Spanish Philology) and the equivalent of an MA in English Philology at the University of Valencia (Spain), I pursued an MPhil and a PhD at the University of Cambridge, in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic. I was then granted a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, which I took at the University of Nottingham (School of English).

Having spent six years in Nottingham (2004-2010), first as a postdoctoral fellow and then as a lecturer, I joined the Department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies at the University of Westminster, where I taught over five years (2010-2016). I have been at Cardiff University since January 2016.


Professional memberships






















I teach various modules on topics associated with language variation and change, such as historical linguistics, sociolinguistics and stylistics.

I am a historical linguist and work mainly on the medieval period. I am particularly interested in Anglo-Scandinavian linguistic contact and its effects on Old and Middle English. I am currently involved in a collaborative project on this theme:

  • ‘The Lindisfarne Gloss in its Dialectal Context: A Comparison between Lindisfarne and the Gloss to the Durham Collectar’ (funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation) focuses on two texts attributed to the tenth-century glossator Aldred. These texts are written in Old Northumbrian, a dialectal variety of Old English that exhibits some lexical and morphological features characteristic of early Middle English texts. These features are, to some extent, attributable to Scandinavian influence.

I have recently co-led two other projects on this subject:

  • 'Medieval English (ca600-1500) in a Multilingual Context' Network (funded by the AHRC; 2018-20) aimed to bring together scholars working on a wide range of topics (linguistic, literary, sociocultural) that throw light on the impact that multilingualism had on medieval English: its lexical and morphosyntactic development, and its textual manifestations.
  • Follow-on-Funding from the AHRC to develop the impact activities of The Gersum Project: Scandinavian Influence on English Vocabulary (also funded by the AHRC; 2019-20). The Gersum Project, in its two phases, aimed to present a detailed and rigorous survey of Norse-derived words in six English texts from the late period. Its outputs are presented in a publicly available website which includes, amongst other resources, a database where users can explore the terms’ etymology, meaning, textual attestations and dialectal distribution; and a series of educational resources aimed at primary and secondary school children.

I am also interested in English historical stylistics, the topic of one of my books: The Language of Early English Literature: From Cædmon to Milton (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

Postgraduate students

I am interested in supervising doctoral projects on a topic broadly related to my areas of research: English historical linguistics (including historical dialectology, sociolinguistics and stylistics), medieval English studies, and Germanic linguistics. Please visit the Supervision tab for further information about my current and past students.


I am interested in supervising doctoral projects on a topic broadly related to my areas of research:

  • English historical linguistics (including historical dialectology, sociolinguistics and stylistics);
  • (Historical) language contact;
  • Medieval English studies;
  • Germanic linguistics.

Current supervision

Donna Marshall

Research student

Elisa Ramirez Perez

Research student


Ellen Bristow

Research student

Aeshah Alnemari

Research student

Past projects

Co-supervisor (33%) for Xoana Costa Rivas, ‘Language Change in Late Old Northumbrian: The Strong Verbal System' (awarded 2021)