Language and Cognition at Birmingham (LACAB)

Language and Cognition at Birmingham (LACAB) is a network of researchers working on a wide variety of aspects of language and cognition at the University of Birmingham, UK. 


Language and Cognition at Birmingham (LACAB) is a network of researchers working on various aspects of language and cognition. We are based in different Colleges, Schools and Departments at the University of Birmingham – Education; English Language and Linguistics; Modern Languages; Psychology - but we share a profound interest in the relationship between language and cognition, and we actively research, supervise and teach in the area. Our research interests broadly relate to language and cognition in adults and children, in individuals with diverse needs, in bilinguals and language learners, and across modalities.

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Network Lead: Dr Andrea Krott,

Lead for Psychology: Dr Andrea Krott,

Lead for English and Modern Languages: Professor Jeannette Littlemore,

Language in individuals with diverse needs

Key staff

PhD students

  • Katherine Groves. Supervisors: Thompson, Schembri
  • Catherine Walker. Supervisor: Terlektsi

Language and cognition in bilinguals and language learners

Key staff

PhD students

  • Nouf Alharbi. Supervisors: Carroll, Bassetti
  • Sharon Hill. Supervisor: Schembri 
  • Xiaomei Huang
  • Maria Kyuseva. Supervisor:  Schembri 
  • Wanyin Li (word learning/processing in bilinguals). Supervisors: Bassetti, Frisson 
  • Yanan Lu. Supervisors: Bassetti
  • Thurstan Russell. Supervisor: Carrol
  • Yifan Wang. Supervisor: Krott
  • Freya Watkins. Supervisors: Thompson, Winters
  • Shijun (Iris) Yu. Supervisor: Krott
  • Bingjun Zhang

MRes Students

  • Abbie Lewis. Supervisors: Bassetti, Breadmore

Language over the lifespan

Key staff

PhD Students

Shijun (Iris) Yu. Supervisor: Krott 

Language representation and processing across modalities

Key staff

  • Bene Bassetti (second language writing systems, orthography and phonology), School of Education
  • John Barnden (metaphor, metonymy, irony and hyperbole), School of Computer Science
  • Helen Breadmore (writing and reading systems, morphology, phonology and orthography), School of Education
  • Gareth Carrol, Department of English Language and Linguistics
  • Catherine Darnell (reading, phonics), School of Education
  • Dagmar Divjak (language and cognition), Department of Modern Languages, Department of English Language and Linguistics
  • Steven Frisson (literacy, reading)
  • Jason Grafmiller Department of English Language and Linguistics
  • Nicholas Groom (discourse, constructions and social cognition), Department of English Language and Linguistics 
  • Peter Hansen (reading, MRI and MEG methods), School of Psychology 
  • Jeannette Littlemore (metaphor and metonymy), Department of English Language and Linguistics
  • Petar Milin (word reading), Department of Modern Languages
  • Gerardo Ortega (signed languages as second languages), Department of English Language and Linguistics
  • Amanda Patten (construction grammar), Department of English Language and Linguistics
  • Florent Perek (construction grammar), Department of English Language and Linguistics
  • Marcus Perlman (iconicity), Department of English Language and Linguistics
  • Adam Schembri Department of English Language and Linguistics
  • Katrien Segaert (production, comprehension, behavioural and imaging methods), School of Psychology
  • Robin Thompson (signed languages, iconicity, multimodal processing), School of Psychology
  • Bodo Winter (iconicity, metaphor and metonymy), Department of English Language and Linguistics

Postdoctoral researchers

  • Dr Adnane Ez-zizi (Leverhulme project: Divjak, Milin)
  • Dr Hui Sun (Leverhulme project: Divjak, Milin) 

PhD students

  • Christian Adam. Supervisors: Divjak, Milin
  • Ashley Blake. Supervisors: Dąbrowska, Divjak
  • Maciej Borowski. Supervisors: Divjak, Milin
  • Hadjira Cherif. Supervisor: Schembri
  • Daisy Collins. Supervisors: Divjak, Milin
  • Jane Dilkes (metaphor use by cancer patients). Supervisor: Littlemore
  • Samantha Ford (cognitive linguistics, metaphor, metonymy, advertising, iconicity). Supervisors: Littlemore, Winter
  • Marta Gasiorowska. Supervisors: Divjak, Milin
  • Shiyu He. Supervisors: Divjak, Milin
  • Lola Marinato. Supervisors: Jeannette Littlemore, Maarten Lemmens (Lille), Giuditta Caliendo (Lille)
  • Roksana Markiewicz. Supervisor: Segaert
  • Alex Murphy 
  • Niamh O'Dowd (figurative thought and communication, multimodality, environmental crisis discourse). Supervisors: Saric (University of Oslo), Littlemore
  • Eloise Parr (metaphor use in online pregnancy discourse). Supervisors: Jeannette Littlemore, Paul Thompson
  • Paulina Poplaswka. Supervisor: Schembri
  • Keith Wilson. Supervisors: Littlemore, Groom
  • Greg Woodin. Supervisors: Littlemore, Winter, Perlman

Doctoral Supervision

We welcome applications from prospective doctoral researchers who would like to be co-supervised by two LACAB members who are based in two different units (Education, English Language and Linguistics, Modern Languages, or Psychology). Current jointly-supervised students include:

  • Nouf Alharbi. Supervisors: Carroll, English Language and Linguistics; Bassetti, Education
  • Katherine Groves. Supervisors: Thompson, Psychology; Schembri, English Language and Linguistics
  • Wanyin Li. Supervisors: Bassetti, Education; Frisson, Psychology
  • Freya Watkins. Supervisors: Thompson, Psychology; Winter, English Language and Linguistics