Dr Florent Perek

Dr Florent Perek

Department of English Language and Linguistics
Associate Professor in Cognitive Linguistics
Deputy Director of the Centre for Corpus Research

Contact details

Frankland Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am a cognitive linguist, a quantitative corpus linguist, and a construction grammarian. I teach classes on topics surrounding the grammar and semantics of English.


  • PhD in English Linguistics from the University of Freiburg, Germany and the University of Lille 3, France (co-tutelle)
  • MA in Linguistics and Natural Language Processing, University of Lille 3
  • Engineer’s degree (software engineering) from the Institut de Génie Informatique et Industriel, Lens, France


Hailing from France, I first graduated in computer science in Lens before studying linguistics in Lille. I completed my PhD in English linguistics in Freiburg, Germany, in 2012. I spent my postdoc years as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Psychology in Princeton University, USA, and as a Teaching and Research Fellow at the English department in Basel, Switzerland. I joined the Department of English Language and Linguistics in Birmingham as a Lecturer in April 2016.


I teach on and/or convene the following modules on the BA and campus MA programmes:

  • Fundamentals of Language: Grammar and Discourse (1st year BA, with Phil Freestone)
  • English Grammar (2nd year BA)
  • Describing Language (MA, with Garry Plappert)

Postgraduate supervision

Florent Perek would be happy to take on prospective PhD students interested to pursue a project in cognitive linguistics with a particular focus on the syntax, morphology, or semantics of English (and/or other European languages), and preferably using corpus-based and/or experimental methods.

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


My main research interests lie in the study of grammar from a cognitive and corpus linguistic perspective. I focus in particular on how syntactic constructions are mentally represented, how they are learned, and how they change over time.

Other activities

I am a board member of the French Cognitive Linguistics Association (AFLiCo), and webmaster of their website. I am also an editor for the journal CogniTextes.


Recent publications


Perek, F 2015, Argument Structure in Usage-Based Construction Grammar: Experimental and Corpus-based Perspectives. Constructional Approaches to Language, vol. 17, John Benjamins, Amsterdam. <https://www.jbe-platform.com/content/books/9789027268754>


Sommerer, L & Perek, F 2023, 'Some as an indefinite article in Present Day English: a case of paradigmatization and constructional competition', Functions of Language.

Hilpert, M & Perek, F 2022, 'You don't get to see that every day: on the development of permissive get', Constructions and Frames, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 13-40. https://doi.org/10.1075/cf.00056.hil

Busso, L, Perek, F & Lenci, A 2021, 'Constructional associations trump lexical associations in processing valency coercion', Cognitive Linguistics, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 287-318. https://doi.org/10.1515/cog-2020-0050

Busso, L, Lenci, A & Perek, F 2020, 'Valency coercion in Italian: An exploratory study', Constructions and Frames, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 171-205. https://doi.org/10.1075/cf.00039.bus

Perek, F & Patten, A 2019, 'Towards an English constructicon using patterns and frames', International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 354–384. https://doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.00016.per

Perek, F & Hilpert, M 2017, 'A distributional semantic approach to the periodization of change in the productivity of constructions', International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 490-520. https://doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.16128.per

Perek, F & Goldberg, A 2017, 'Linguistic generalization on the basis of function and constraints on the basis of statistical preemption', Cognition, vol. 168, pp. 276-293.

Perek, F 2016, 'Recent change in the productivity and schematicity of the way-construction: a distributional semantic analysis', Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory. https://doi.org/10.1515/cllt-2016-0014

Perek, F 2016, 'Using distributional semantics to study syntactic productivity in diachrony: A case study', Linguistics, vol. 54, no. 1, pp. 149-188. https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2015-0043

Perek, F & Goldberg, A 2015, 'Generalizing beyond the input: The functions of the constructions matter', Journal of Memory and Language, vol. 84, pp. 108-127. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2015.04.006

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Patten, A & Perek, F 2022, Pedagogic applications of the English Constructicon. in HC Boas (ed.), Directions for Pedagogical Construction Grammar: Learning and teaching (with) constructions. Applications of Cognitive Linguistics [ACL], vol. 49, De Gruyter, pp. 179-216. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110746723-007

Perek, F 2020, Productivity and schematicity in constructional change. in L Sommerer & E Smirnova (eds), Nodes and Networks in Diachronic Construction Grammar. Constructional Approaches to Language, John Benjamins, pp. 141-166.


Winter, B & Perek, F 2023, Cognitive linguistics. in L Wei, Z Hua & J Simpson (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Applied Linguistics: Volume One. 2nd edn, Routledge handbooks in applied linguistics, Routledge, London, pp. 309-321. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003082644-26

Perek, F 2023, Construction Grammar and Usage-Based Theory. in M Diaz-Campos & S Balasch (eds), The Handbook of Usage-Based Linguistics. Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken, NJ, pp. 215-232. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119839859.ch12

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