Dr Jonathan Morris BA, MA, PhD, FHEA

Dr Jonathan Morris



School of Welsh

+44(0) 29 2087 7266
1.74, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU
Welsh speaking
Available for postgraduate supervision

I work as the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol Lecturer in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at the School of Welsh and teach modules on the Welsh language and linguistics.

My research focuses on sociolinguistic aspects of bilingualism and second language acquisition. This means that I am interested in how languages are used and how social factors influence languages in bilingual and second-language contexts. These social factors might influence how bilinguals produce their languages or how they use and feel about them.

Research interests

  • Language Variation and Change
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Bilingualism
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Phonetics and Phonology

Postgraduate students

I am eager to hear from potential students who would like to pursue projects on language variation and change in Welsh and Welsh English, Welsh-English bilingualism and the acquisition of Welsh as a second language in schools and by adults.

I completed a BA in French and German Studies, MA in Languages and Linguistics, and PhD in Linguistics from the University of Manchester. During my undergraduate degree, I spent time at the University of Bourgogne (Dijon, France) and Basel University (Switzerland). My early work focussed on the relationship between language and identity in the German-speaking countries.

I began work on Welsh sociolinguistics and phonetics (sociophonetics) during my Master’s degree and my PhD examines the influence of linguistic and social factors in the speech of Welsh-English bilinguals.

I joined the School of Welsh as a research assistant in 2012. Before moving to Cardiff, I worked as a teaching assistant at the University of Manchester and as a lecturer in Welsh at Coleg Cambria, Wrexham. I have also worked as a research assistant on projects funded by the ESRC and British Academy.

Since September 2014, I have been the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol Lecturer in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at the School of Welsh.

Honours and awards

Shortlisted for Most Innovative Member of Staff Award, Cardiff University, 2016.

Professional memberships

  • British Association of Applied Linguists
  • British Association of Academic Phoneticians
  • COST New Speakers Network
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

    Departmental Service

  • Director of Postgraduate Research
  • Research Ethics Officer
  • International Officer
  • Co-Organiser of the Sociolinguistics Reading Group (with Mercedes Durham)

Speaking engagements

You can see a list of my talks here.









  • Morris, J. 2010. Phonetic variation in Northern Wales: preaspiration. Presented at: Second Summer School of Sociolinguistics, Edinburgh, Scotland, 14-20 June 2010 Presented at Meyerhoff, M. et al. eds.Proceedings of the Second Summer School of Sociolinguistics, The University of Edinburgh. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh pp. 1-16.

I teach (or have taught) modules on the Welsh language and linguistics. These include:

  • CY1500 Sgiliau Llafar yn y Gymraeg (Oral Skills in Welsh)
  • CY1501 Defnyddio'r Gymraeg (Using the Welsh Language)
  • CY1742 Cyflwyniad i'r Gymraeg (Introduction to the Welsh Language)
  • CY1750 Diwylliant y Gymraeg (Culture of the Welsh Language)
  • CY3900 Blas ar Ymchwil (BA Research Project)
  • CY3905 Ymchwil Estynedig (BA Dissertation)

I have been module leader on the following modules:

  • CY2200 Cymraeg y Gweithle a'r Gymuned (Welsh in the Workplace and Community)
  • CY3530 Sosioieithyddiaeth (Sociolinguistics)
  • CY3910 Caffael Iaith (Language Acquisition)

I also teach on the MA in Welsh and Celtic Studies and supervise PhD students.

MA Students

  • Morgan, Nia. 2015. Cynllunio Ieithyddol Bwriadus ar Ynys Môn (Intentional Language Planning on Anglesey).

Current PhD Students

  • Tom Learoyd, Language Variation and Change in Machynlleth.
  • Kaisa Pankakoski, Trilingual families in Finland and Wales - sociolinguistics, children's trilingual first language acquisition and language development barriers.

My research focuses primarily on language variation and change in the speech of Welsh-English bilinguals. A number of societal developments in the twentieth century have changed the demographics of Welsh speakers. Firstly, inward migration and language shift have resulted in a decline in the number of speakers who acquire Welsh in the home, particularly in traditionally Welsh-speaking areas. Secondly, the establishment of Welsh-medium education has meant an increase in ‘new speakers’ of Welsh across Wales. The aim of my research has been to examine the extent to which linguistic and extra-linguistic factors (such as sex, proportion of Welsh speakers in the community, and home language) influence phonetic and phonological variation in both English and Welsh. The work therefore takes a sociolinguistic approach to bilingualism and second language acquisition and compares how speakers produce their two languages.

My work in communities in North Wales (as part of my PhD) and South Wales (with Robert Mayr, Cardiff Metropolitan University and Ineke Mennen, Graz University) indicates that certain features are phonetically identical in both languages due to long-term language contact. I have also shown, however, that extra-linguistic factors influence the realisation of some phonological features. By analysing the language practices and attitudes of speakers, I have argued that the use of certain variants over others may be a marker of identity.

I am also interested in the sociology of language. I have published on attitudes towards Welsh and use of the language amongst young people in two towns in North Wales and I am currently part of a Welsh Government-funded research project on the transmission of Welsh. This project is entitled Research into conditions influencing Welsh language transmission and use in families (Contract No C86/2015/16) with Dr Jeremy Evas (Principal Investigator, School of Welsh), Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh (School of Psychology) and others.

Other research projects include an investigation of preaspiration in Welsh (with Michaela Hejná, Newcastle University) and a preliminary study of the acquisition of Welsh phonology by learners (funded by Cardiff University Undergraduate Research Opportunities in 2014 and 2015).