Dr Amanda Patten BA MA PhD

Photograph of Dr Amanda Patten

Department of English Language and Linguistics
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, and construction 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 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 Research Skills in English Language. I also teach a postgraduate level module on 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

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 analysis of 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 is on the topic of copular constructions and inversion sentences.

Other activities


  • 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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