Janice Carruthers


  • Room 02.003 - 11 University Square

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am open to PhD applications in the following fields:
- French Sociolinguistics and Variation
- The Structure of Spoken French
- Temporality (tense, connectives, frames)
- The Linguistic Structure of Oral Narrative
- Language Policy

1992 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Interests

Janice Carruthers is Professor of French Linguistics at Queen's and Dean of Research in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. 

She took her BA in Modern and Medieval Languages at Cambridge University (St Catharine’s College), where she subsequently took an MPhil in Linguistics, followed by a PhD in French Linguistics under the supervision of Professor Wendy Ayres-Bennett. She was appointed to Queen’s in 1989 where she teaches and researches in French Language and Linguistics. She was Head of the School of Modern Languages from 2011 to 2016 and Priority Area Leadership Fellow in Modern Languages with the Arts and Humanities Research Council from 2017-2021. 

Her main research interests and most of her outputs are in the following areas:

  • the linguistic structure of oral narrative in French, particularly tense, aspect, temporal and spatial framing, negation, detachment, inversion, parataxis/hypotaxis, and speech and thought presentation;
  • language and identity in France, French urban vernaculars, regional languages in France, language policy in France and the UK/Ireland, languages education in the UK/Ireland;
  • corpus linguistics (notably in digital annotation using the Text Encoding Initiative);
  • oral genres (particularly the linguistic features of different types of spoken French);
  • sociolinguistic variation and change in French.  

Janice has led large research projects including the Queen's strand of the AHRC-funded Open World Research Initiative project, Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies, working with partners in Cambridge, Nottingham and Edinburgh.  She has been Principal Investigator on a Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodovska Curie Fellowship held by Marianne Vergez-Couret, exploring the concept of orality in contemporary storytelling in Occitan and French. She is currently Principal Investigator on an AHRC-funded project on 'Foreign, Indigenous and Community Languages in the Devolved Regions of the UK: Policy and Practice for Growth' where she collaborates with Dr Leanne Henderson (QUB). She is active in the area of language policy in the UK and has co-organised Policy Workshops with Wendy Ayres-Bennett (Cambridge), with associated Policy Briefings. She is the AHRC lead in a 5-way collaboration which published and is now implementing Towards a National Languages Strategy for the UK. Education and Skills (https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/documents/2597/Towards-a-national-languages-strategy-July-2020_R0FHmzB.pdf), working with the British Academy, the British Council, Universities UK and the Association of School and College Leaders. 

Janice has supervised PhDs on temporal patterning in sports commentary, on information structuring in French and Dagara oral narratives, on linguistic borrowing in different text-types and registers, on lexical creativity in young speakers in urban France, on the language of cosmetics advertising in women's magazines, on the discourse of asylum seekers and on language policy in France (specifically in relation to Breton). She is currently supervising a PhD on CLIL policy and, with Professor J. Rahilly and Dr Chen-En Ho, she is supervising a thesis on the Beijing dialect of Chinese.  

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities


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