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Jonathan Morris  BA, MA, PhD, FHEA

Dr Jonathan Morris


Director of Research

School of Welsh

+44 29208 75394
John Percival Building, Room 1.74, 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















  • 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.


Book sections







Research Themes

Language Variation and Change 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. More recently, I have been looking at how speakers evaluate Welsh accents (with Robert Mayr and Ianto Gruffydd), the acquisition of sociolinguistic competence among young people in Welsh-medium education (with Mercedes Durham and Katharine Young), and stylistic variation in the bilingual repertoire.

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. Another focus of this research strand is how identities intersect. For example, I have been working on a project which examines the experiences of LGBTQ+ speakers of Welsh and the way in which their identities influence each other (with Sam Parker).

The acquisition of Welsh as a second language

I published an article on Welsh for Adults tutors' attitudes towards learners' speech (with 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 among children and adult learners of Welsh.

Resources and digital infrastructure

I have worked on a number of projects which have created Welsh-language resources and contribute towards digital infrastructure in the language. I have also led on projects to create Welsh reading and spelling tests as well as a digital thesaurus.

Current Projects


    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 deliver training to PhD students on data analysis in linguistics.

    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


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


    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

    Assala Mihoubi

    Research student

    Jack Pulman-slater

    Jack Pulman-slater

    Research student

    Katharine Young

    Katharine Young

    Research student

    Shawqi Bukhari

    Shawqi Bukhari

    Research student

    Mohammed Bashiri

    Mohammed Bashiri

    Research student

    Nia Eyre

    Nia Eyre

    Research student