Language contact and transfer between Somali and English in Bristol

Somali and English in contact

Dr Jeanette Sakel is investigating language contact, second language acquisition and bilingualism among speakers of Somali in Britain. Her main concern is grammatical borrowing and transfer across different (contact) varieties, comparing first generation speakers of Somali with the language of those born in Britain. A number of extralinguistic factors play a role in the project as well, such as issues of (linguistic) identity, language maintenance and shift.

Amazonian Languages - Moseten, Chimane and Piraha

Dr Jeanette Sakel has conducted extensive fieldwork on the Mosetenan languages Mosetén and Chimane. She is the author of ‘A grammar of Mosetén’ (Mouton de Gruyter, 2004) and is currently working in collaboration with Roger Levy (University of California San Diego) and Ted Gibson (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) on Chimane cognition. Apart from that, Dr Sakel is continuing to investigate aspects of language contact and bilingualism among speakers of Mosetén (with Spanish) and Pirahã (restricted, with Portuguese).


Dr Jeanette Sakel has been authoring a range of textbooks, which are combining her undergraduate teaching and research interests.

Linguistic Fieldwork – a student guide (Cambridge University Press, 2012, with Daniel Everett) introduces students to different types of fieldwork – both in exotic settings and ‘at home’. The book includes many examples, anecdotes and practical exercises, making the techniques of fieldwork accessible to students of linguistics.

Study Skills for Linguistics (Routledge, to appear 2015) is an introduction to studying Linguistics, from overviews of core terminology often taken for granted (such as word classes) to study techniques, research methods, how to do well in exams and essays and how to prepare for and find employment with a Linguistics degree.

Multilingualism and Language Contact (Cambridge University Press, to appear 2016) is an introduction to these fields, based on newest research findings. Incorporating recurring examples from a variety of multilingual situations, it focuses not only of the theoretical background, but also on the practical applications of the subject.

Back to top