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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Sophie Holmes-Elliott, PhD (Glasgow)


Senior Lecturer in Sociolinguistics and Director of Postgraduate Research

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 8289
Room Number: Arts One 1.20
Office Hours: On zoom by appointment


I am a Sociolinguist focussing on the on the quantitative analysis of linguistic variation and change. I am especially interested in the relationship between children and language variation - both their acquisition of systemic variability, and their role in the propagation of change. My work combines real and apparent time approaches to track young speakers’ developmental shifts which I examine within the context of ongoing community trends. 

My work also investigates the relationship between language and gender. Again, from a developmental perspective looking at the emergence of gendered patterns of variation between childhood and adolescence. I am also interested in the use of gendered speech patterns in adult language and how these develop into recognisable styles of speech or personae.



  • LIN4211: English in Use
  • LIN6019/7019 Sex, Gender & Language


  • LIN7023 Research Methods in Sociolinguistics
  • LIN7002 Sociolinguistic Theory
  • LIN7027 Trends in Linguistic Research


Research Interests:

  • Language variation and change

  • Developmental sociolinguistics


  • Gender (particularly development of gendered language & queer linguistics)


  • Stance & style


Google Scholar:


  • (Contracted 2025) Holmes-Elliott, S., Rosseel, L. & Zenner, E. The Sociolinguistic Toolbox in Development: Preadolescents' Acquisition of Socially Meaningful Linguistic Variation. Under contract: Routledge, due April 2025

Publications & proceedings

Book reviews

  • (2019) Holmes, Elliott, S. Review: RENA TORRES CACOULLOS & CATHERINE E. TRAVIS, Bilingualism in the community: code-switching and grammars in contact Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018. Journal of Linguistics
  • (2016) Holmes-Elliott, S. Review: SALI A. TAGLIAMONTE, Teen talk: The language of adolescents. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. Pp. 298. Pb. £18.99. Language in Society, 46(5), 742.
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