Dr Amanda Patten BA MA PhD

Photograph of Dr Amanda Patten

Department of English Language and Linguistics
Senior Lecturer in Historical Linguistics

Contact details

Frankland Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am a lecturer in Historical Linguistics in the Department of English Language and Linguistics at the University of Birmingham. I teach a range of modules at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. My research interests fall into the areas of historical linguistics, corpus linguistics, construction grammar, and Pattern Grammar.


  • PhD English Language, University of Edinburgh, 2010
  • MA Historical Language Studies (research track), University of Sheffield, 2005
  • PGCE Secondary English 11–18, University of Sheffield, 2004
  • BA English Language with Linguistics, University of Sheffield, 2003

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


I joined the Department of English Language and Linguistics in 2016. Prior to this, I was a Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at Northumbria University.


At undergraduate level, I teach the modules History of the English Language and Language Change. I also teach a postgraduate level module on Exploring English Grammar

Postgraduate supervision

I am particularly interested in supervising MA and PhD research in the areas of:

Historical linguistics and language change
Construction grammar and the relationship between form and meaning
Information packaging constructions and other specialised linguistic patterns
Pattern Grammar and the relationship between words and grammar

Find out more - our PhD English Language and Applied Linguistics  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


I am interested in the structure and function of English grammatical constructions, and how they change over time. 

Much of my work has focused on English information packaging constructions. In my 2012 monograph, I examined the development of the English it-cleft from a constructional perspective. My current research in this area is on the topic of copular constructions and inversion sentences.

Other activities


  • Perek, Florent & Amanda L. Patten. 2019. ‘Towards an English Constructicon using patterns and frames’. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 23(3): 354–384. [special issue, Hunston, Susan & Florent Perek (eds.) ‘Constructions in Applied Linguistics: Innovation and application of corpus-based construction grammar’].
  • Patten, Amanda L. and Ela McSorley. 2019.  ‘Addressing the vocabulary gap using the Pattern Grammar approach’. Impact (6: “broad and balanced curriculum”)
  • Patten, Amanda L. (2018) Well-formed lists: specificational copular sentences as predicative inversion constructionsEnglish Language and Linguistics, 22(1), pp. 77-99. 
  • Patten, Amanda L. 2012. The English it-cleft: A constructional account and a diachronic investigation. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton [Topics in English Linguistics TiEL 79].
  • Patten, Amanda L. 2012. The historical development of the it-cleft: a comparison of two different approaches. Studies in Language 36:3, 548-575 [Special issue: Theory and data in cognitive linguistics, Gisborne, Nikolas and Willem Hollmann (eds.)].
  • Gisborne, Nikolas. & Amanda L. Patten. 2011. Constructions and grammaticalization. In Bernd Heine and Heiko Narrog (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Grammaticalization. Oxford: OUP, 92-104.
  • Patten, Amanda L. 2010. Grammaticalization and the it-cleft construction. In Elizabeth C. Traugott and Graeme Trousdale (eds.) Gradience, gradualness and grammaticalization. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 221-243.

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