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About Dr Paul Flanagan

I am a member of the Association of Linguistic Typology (ALT), the British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL) and the National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum (NALDIC). I am a proficient learner of British Sign Language (BSL) and a supporter of the National Deaf Children’s Society.


I have taught a range of topics and modules at Chester, including the history of English, discourse analysis, language typology, and language, identity and popular culture.

Modules I teach and/or convene include:

  • EN5314 Roots and Development of English
  • EN5315 Language, Identity and Popular Culture
  • EN5308 Linguistics Study Placement
  • EN6310 Dissertation
  • EN6313 Beyond English


My PhD and research specialisms are in language typology, grammar, syntax, and, in particular, the adjective class, although I also have experience in the fields of historical linguistics, creoles, sociolinguistics and discourse analysis. I have worked both with English and a range of other languages including Welsh, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Tagalog and Northern Sotho (a Bantu language of South Africa) and produced some of the most comprehensive work in the field of adjective ordering in cross-linguistic perspective. In 2017, I hosted a successful one-day symposium on the syntax of complex nominals, in conjunction with Edge Hill University. I am currently working on a number of articles related to language use in popular culture including projects on the Arctic Monkeys, britpop bands, and the intersection between language and identity in magical films.

PhD Thesis:

Flanagan, P. J. (2014). A cross-linguistic analysis of the ordering of attributive adjectives. PhD Thesis: Edge Hill University, UK.


Published Work

Flanagan, P. J. (2013). Adjective stacking and classification in Northern Sotho, a Bantu language of South Africa. Papers from the LAEL Conference, 8, 4-40

Flanagan, P.J. (2014). Arcade Fire, Super Furry Animals, Jennifer Lopez and the art of codeswitching. Liverpool Echo 11/1/14. Available at:

Flanagan, P. J. (2016, February 1). Northern Sotho. Babel, 14, 15-17.



BA, PGCert, PhD, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.