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Dr Jonathan Morris BA, MA, PhD, FHEA

Dr Jonathan Morris


Director of Research

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 am a Senior Lecturer at the School of Welsh and specialise in 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

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


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.

Between September 2014 and August 2019, I was the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol Lecturer in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at the School of Welsh. Since then, I have been Senior Lecturer in Linguistics and Welsh Language.

Honours and awards

  • Shortlisted for the ‘Innovating Across Borders’ category, Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol Associate Lecturers Awards, 2019.
  • Shortlisted for Most Innovative Member of Staff Award, Cardiff University, 2016.

Professional memberships

  • British Association of Applied Linguists
  • British Association of Academic Phoneticians
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Departmental & University Service

  • Director of Postgraduate Research (School of Welsh)
  • Co-Organiser of the Multilingualism Research Network
  • Co-Organiser of the Sociolinguistics Reading Group

Speaking engagements

You can see a list of my conference presentations here and invited talks here.

There is more information about my consultancy and engagement work here.

Committees and reviewing

  • Member of the Reviewer College, AHRC South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership.












  • 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.


Teaching at Cardiff University

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

  • Sgiliau Llafar yn y Gymraeg (Oral Skills in Welsh)
  • Defnyddio'r Gymraeg (Using the Welsh Language)
  • Cyflwyniad i'r Gymraeg (Introduction to the Welsh Language)
  • Diwylliant y Gymraeg (Culture of the Welsh Language)
  • Yr Ystafell Ddosbarth (The Classroom)

I have been module leader on the following modules:

  • Y Gymraeg yn y Gymru Gyfoes (The Welsh Language in Contemporary Wales)
  • Cymraeg y Gweithle a'r Gymuned (Welsh in the Workplace and Community)
  • Yr Iaith Ar Waith (The Language at Work)
  • Sosioieithyddiaeth (Sociolinguistics)
  • Caffael Iaith (Language Acquisition)
  • Blas ar Ymchwil (BA Research Project)
  • Ymchwilio Estynedig (BA Dissertation)

I also teach on the MA in Welsh and Celtic Studies and supervise PhD students. As part of my role as Director of Postgraduate Research Studies, I also deliver training to PhD students on a variety of subjects.

Previous Teaching in English Language and Linguistics

I have taught on the following modules in English language and linguistics:

  • Introduction to Phonology
  • Discourse Analysis
  • Societal Multilingualism
  • English Dialects

Previous Teaching of Welsh for Adult Learners

I have taught on the following courses for adults who are learning Welsh:

  • National Sabbatical Scheme for Welsh Language Training
  • Welsh in the Workplace (Further Education)
  • GCSE Welsh Second Language (Further Education)
  • Welsh for Adults

Research Themes

Phonological and phonetic variation in bilinguals' speech

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.

The sociology of bilingualism

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 was 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.

The acquisition of Welsh as a second language

I published an article on Welsh for Adults tutors' attitudes towards learners' speech (with Dr Iwan Wyn Rees) and have also examined speech production in adult learners. More broadly, I am interested in the influence of social and psychological factors on second language acquisition in minority-language contexts.

Current Projects


    I am eager to hear from postgraduate research students who are interested in the following areas:

    • Sociolinguistics
    • Language Variation and Change
    • Sociology of Language
    • Bilingualism
    • Second Language Acquisition
    • Phonetics and phonology

    Current supervision

    Kaisa Pankakoski

    Kaisa Pankakoski

    Research student


    Assala Mihoubi

    Research student

    Ianto Gruffydd

    Research student

    Jack Pulman-Slater

    Research student

    Katharine Young

    Research student

    Past projects

    • Co-Supervisor (10%) for Ben Screen - Defnyddio Cyfieithu Awtomatig a Chof Cyfieithu wrth gyfieithu o’r Saesneg i’r Gymraeg: Astudiaeth ystadegol o ymdrech, cynhyrchedd ac ansawdd gan ddefnyddio data Cofnodwyr Trawiadau Bysell a Thracio Llygaid (Awarded 2018).