Ewch i’r prif gynnwys
Nik Coupland  BA (Oxon.) B.Ling (Manchester) MA (Reading) PhD (Wales)

Professor Nik Coupland

BA (Oxon.) B.Ling (Manchester) MA (Reading) PhD (Wales)

Professor / Sêr Cymru Research Chair in Neurobiology

Ysgol Saesneg, Cyfathrebu ac Athroniaeth

Adeilad John Percival , Ystafell Ystafell 2.64, Rhodfa Colum, Caerdydd, CF10 3EU


Professor Nikolas Coupland is an elected member of the Academy of Social Sciences. 

For many years he was Research Director of the Centre for Language and Communication Research. He is now Research Professor at Cardiff, and holds a part-time chair appointment at the University of Copenhagen, where he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate for career services to Sociolinguistics. 

He is also Distinguished Professor Sociolinguistics at University of Technology Sydney.


Nik Coupland is currently involved in two collaborative international research projects.

Peripheral Multilingualism: A Sociolinguistic Ethnography of Contestation and Innovation in Multilingual Minority Language Sites
The project is conducting comparative situated ethnographies of minority language sites in four '˜peripheral'™ European spaces: Sámiland (Lappland), Ireland, Wales, Corsica. It is funded by The Finnish Academy.
Principal Investigator: Professor Sari Pietikäinen, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Strand Directors: Sari Pietikäinen (Sámi); Nikolas Coupland (Welsh); Helen Kelly-Holmes (Irish); Alexandra Jaffe (Corsican)
Key theoretical concepts: periphery-centre dynamics and discourses; language and place/ territoriality; globalisation and location of language practices; language revitalisation outside of governmental/ institutional language planning and policy processes.
See http://www.peripheralmultilingualism.fi/

Standard Language in Contemporary Europe ('˜SLICE'™)
A consortium of (currently) 12 European countries investigating the different histories of language standardisation in different contexts, and contemporary moves away from/ revisions of linguistic normativity, both in general spoken usage and in media contexts. Adminstered through the University of Copenhagen'™s LANCHART Centre ('˜Danish National Research Foundation Centre for Language Change in Real Time'™ - http://lanchart.hum.ku.dk/).

Key theoretical concepts: standard language ideologies; standardisation and various modes of '˜de-standardisation'™ (vernacularisation, demoticisation, informalisation); relationships between ideologies and practices; social change and linguistic change.

Two principal empirical strands: (i) Quantitative, experimental studies of '˜language attitudes'™ (coordinated by Tore Kristiansen); (ii) Qualitative/ critical studies of media discourse (coordinated by Nikolas Coupland).

Work in progress is reported in the following book: Kristiansen, T. and N. Coupland (eds.) (2011) Standard Language in Contemporary Europe. Oslo: Novus.

Research interests

  • Sociolinguistics
  • sociolinguistic theory
  • the sociolinguistics of Wales
  • language and globalisation
  • speech style and social identity
  • intergenerational talk
  • the social meaning of numbers

Please note that Professor Coupland is no longer accepting new PhD students. If you are interested in applying for a PhD, and would like advice on potential supervisors, please contact the Postgraduate Office - encap-pg@cardiff.ac.uk


Professor Coupland was founding editor, with Allan Bell, of the Journal of Sociolinguistics, published by Blackwell. With Adam Jaworski he edits the Oxford University Press book series, Oxford Studies in Sociolinguistics.

He has published more than 20 books and 170 articles and chapters on wide-ranging aspects of sociolinguistics, discourse analysis and human communication. He was formerly a Fulbright Scholar and has held visiting positions at the University of California, Macquarie University, Victoria University of Wellington, and the University of Canterbury (New Zealand).

He directed a 4-year, ESRC-funded research programme on 'Communication and the Elderly' (with Howard Giles) and a six-year programme, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, on '˜Language and Global Communication' (with Theo van Leeuwen and other Cardiff colleagues). He has served as a member of the ESRC Research Grants Board and assessed PhD studentship applications for ESRC.