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Languages, Cultures and LinguisticsPart of Humanities

Professor Patrick Stevenson BA, MA, PhD, PGCE

Emeritus Professor

Professor Patrick Stevenson's photo

Professor Patrick Stevenson is a Professor of German and Linguistic Studies in Modern Languages and Linguistics at the University of Southampton.

I studied Modern Languages, Linguistics and Education at the Universities of Oxford, Sussex and Reading. I have taught at Southampton since 1979 and I am currently Professor of German and Linguistic Studies. I was awarded the Jacob-und Wilhelm-Grimm-Preis 2009 for outstanding contributions to the international promotion of German language and culture.

Member of International Scientific Committee of the Institut für Deutsche Sprache.

External assessor
I frequently act as external assessor for senior appointments at other universities, for research funding bodies (e.g. AHRC, British Academy, ESRC, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Swiss National Science Foundation) and for academic journals.

Research interests

My main research interests are in German sociolinguistics, language ideologies, the politics of language, language contact and multilingualism, and language biographies.

Recent research projects

The German Language and the Future of Europe (2004-8)
A 4-year project funded by the AHRC investigating different roles of the German language in contemporary processes of identity formation – as the dominant ‘national’ language in Germany and Austria, and as important regional language across central and eastern Europe. The other members of the project team are Dr Jenny Carl, Research Fellow; and Livia Schanze, doctoral student. As part of the project, we organised an international conference on Language, Discourse and Identity in Central Europe in July 2007 and selected papers from this event were published by Palgrave (2009) in a book with the same title. A monograph (Language and Social Change in Central Europe: Discourses on policy, identity and the German language) was published by Edinburgh University Press in 2010. Further information and details of all conference papers and publications relating to the project are on the website (visit for full details).

Testing Regimes (2005-7)
A collaborative project with other Southampton colleagues (Prof. Clare Mar-Molinero and Euan Reid) and researchers at the universities of Bristol, Birmingham, Ghent and Tilburg exploring the relationships between language, migration and citizenship in EU member states. The project was supported by an AHRC Workshops grant and its main outcomes were published in two books in 2009: Discourses on Language and Integration: Critical perspectives on language testing regimes in Europe (edited by Gabrielle Hogan-Brun, Clare Mar-Molinero and Patrick Stevenson) (Benjamins), and Language Testing, Migration and Citizenship: Cross-national perspectives on integration regimes (edited by Guus Extra, Massimiliano Spotti and Piet Van Avermaet) (Continuum).

LINEE: Languages in a Network of European Excellence (2006-2010)                                                                                                                   

A 4-year programme funded by the European Commission under the 6th Framework (2006-10) and involving collaboration on a wide range of language-related research projects with colleagues at 8 partner universities across Europe (in Belgium, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Croatia, Italy, Hungary and the Czech Republic). Individual projects are clustered in 4 themes: Language, Identity and Culture; Language Policy and Planning; Multilingualism and Education; and Language and Economy. I was co-ordinator for the Southampton team, which includes Dr Jaine Beswick, Dr Jenny Carl, Dr Alessia Cogo, Dr Amanda Hilmarsson-Dunn, Prof. Jennifer Jenkins, Prof. Clare Mar-Molinero, Prof. Ulrike Meinhof, Prof. Rosamond Mitchell, Dr Darren Paffey, Dr Dick Vigers and doctoral students Lisa Carroll-Davis and Vanessa Mar-Molinero. The network continues to collaborate as LINEE+ on research projects and international conferences (the latest was in Dubrovnik, 28-30 April 2014, see conference website:

Recent invited lectures, keynotes and plenaries

‘Moving stories: writing Berlin lives’, Ó Briain Memorial Lecture, National University of Ireland, Galway, September 2017

‘Language and migration in Berlin’, Collinson Lecture, University of Liverpool, March 2017

‘Intimate strangers: language stories in a Berlin Mietshaus’, Free University of Berlin, October 2016

'SprachGeschichten mit Migrationshintergrund: demografische und biografische Perspektiven auf Sprachkenntnisse und Spracherleben', invited lecture at the annual conference of the Institut für Deutsche Sprache, Mannheim, 13 March 2012

'Die Sprache der Anderen', lecture to mark the award of the Jacob- und Wilhelm-Grimm-Preis in Bonn, 3 November 2009

‘Migration und Mehrsprachigkeit in Europa: Diskurse über Sprache und Integration’, plenary lecture at the conference Sprache und Integration, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, 19 September 2009.

‘A linguist’s journey to the centre of Europe: on time, place and space in language biographies’, invited lecture at the conference on European Minorities in Cross-Disciplinary Perspective, Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, University of Manchester, 26 June 2009

‘Orders of multilingualism in central Europe: Linguistic regimes, social categorisation and belonging’, paper given in invited panel on ‘The politics of language in contemporary Europe: institutions, ideologies and interactions’ at the annual conference of the Council for European Studies, University of Chicago, 6 – 8 March 2008

‘The stratigraphy of language policy discourses: the German language in central Europe’, paper given in invited panel on ‘Language and identity’ at colloquium on Other Europes: Agents of Transformation, ISET (Institute for the Study of European Transformations), London Metropolitan University, 1 February 2008

‘Experiences with language in central Europe: citizenship and belonging’, keynote paper at the conference on Nationalism and National Identities Today: Multidisciplinary Perspectives, Centre for Research on Nationalism, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism, University of Surrey, 12-13 June 2007

Affiliate research groups

Testing Regimes, Modern Languages eLearning Group

My teaching interests include German sociolinguistics, the politics of language in Germany, general sociolinguistics, language and communication, and translation.

Postgraduate supervision

I would welcome proposals for doctoral research projects in any aspect of sociolinguistics, especially (but not necessarily) in relation to German. Subjects of particular interest to me include:

  • Discourses of migration and integration in European societies
  • Multilingualism in urban neighbourhoods
  • Language and processes of identification
  • Language biographies
  • Language ideological debates in contemporary Europe
  • Language policies at national and supra-national levels in Europe

Current postgraduate supervision


I am currently supervising 2 doctoral students: 

Stavri Eleftheriou (co-supervisors Dr Anja Timm and Dr Ying Zheng) Lexical awareness and written production of technical and sub-technical vocabulary by students of medicine in a UK university

Marta Bas-Szymaszek (co-supervisor Prof Jennifer Jenkins) Language policy in a network of environmental NGOs

I am also advisor for 6 other research students.

Recent completed postgraduate supervision

Catherine Blundell (co-supervisor Dr Dick Vigers) A narrative analysis of the stories told by foreign female care workers, living and working in Bologna Italy

Jalal Almathkuri (co-supervisor Dr Lisa Bernasek) An investigation of motivations for language alternation in medical contexts

Caroline Hyde-Simon (co-supervisor Dr Laura Dominguez) Predicting relative difficulty through the acquisition of 'new' and 'similar' phonemes in second language phonology : a case study of L2 Zurich German phonology

Daniel Jendrissek (co-supervisor Prof Ulrike Meinhof) Narratives of economic migration

Professor Patrick Stevenson
Building 65 Faculty of Arts and Humanities University of Southampton Avenue Campus Highfield Southampton SO17 1BF United Kingdom

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