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Professor Nik Coupland - BA (Oxon.) B.Ling (Manchester) MA (Reading) PhD (Wales)


Professor Nik Coupland Position: Research Professor Email:
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 74243
Extension: 74243
Location: John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3EU.

Research Group

Centre for Language and Communication Research

Research Interests

Sociolinguistics, including sociolinguistic theory, the sociolinguistics of Wales, language and globalisation, speech style and social identity, intergenerational talk, the social meaning of numbers.

Please note that Professor Coupland is no longer accepting new PhD students. If you are interested in applying for a PhD, and would like advice on potential supervisors, please contact the Postgraduate Office -

Selected Publications

Coupland, N. (2007) Style: Language Variation and Identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Coupland, N. and A. Jaworksi (eds.) (2009) The New Sociolinguistics Reader. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Coupland, N. and Jaworski, A. (eds.) (2009) Sociolinguistics: Critical Concepts in Linguistics. London: Routledge. (Six volumes.)

Coupland, N. (ed.) (2010) Handbook of Language and Globalization.Malden, MA and Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Winner of British Association for Applied Linguistics book prize, 2010.

Kristiansen, T. and N. Coupland (eds.) (2011) Standard Languages and Language Standards in a Changing Europe. Oslo: Novus.


Forthcoming and recent publications

Coupland, N. (ed.) (2010) Handbook of Language and Globalization. Malden, MA and Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. Winner of British Association for Applied Linguistics book prize, 2010.

Kristiansen, T. and N. Coupland (eds.) (2011) Standard Languages and Language Standards in a Changing Europe. Oslo: Novus.

Coupland, N. (2009) The mediated performance of vernacularsJournal of English Linguistics 37, 3: 284-300.

Coupland, N. (2009) Dialect style, social class and metacultural performance: The pantomime Dame. In N. Coupland and A. Jaworski (eds.) The New Sociolinguistics Reader. Palgrave Macmillan. Pp.311-325.

Coupland, N. (2010) Welsh linguistic landscapes ‘from above’ and ‘from below’. In A. Jaworski and C. Thurlow (eds.) Semiotic Landscapes: Language, Image, Space. London: Continuum. Pp.77-101.

Coupland, N. (2010) Language, ideology, media and social change. In K. Junod and D. Maillat (eds)Performing the Self. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag. (Swiss Papers in English Language and Literature.) pp.127-151.

Coupland, N. (2010) The authentic speaker and the speech community. In Carmen Llamas and Dominic Watts (eds.) Language and Identities.  Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Pp. 99-112.

Nikolas C. and P. Garrett (2010) Linguistic landscapes, discursive frames and metacultural performance: The case of Welsh Patagonia. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 205: 7-36.

Coupland, N. (2011) How frequent are numbers? Language and Communication 31, 1: 27-37.

Coupland, N. (2011) The sociolinguistics of style. In Rajend Mesthrie (ed.) The Cambridge Handbook of Sociolinguistics. Pp.138-156.

Coupland, N. (2011) Voice, place and genre in popular music performance. Journal of Sociolinguistics 15, 5: 573-602.

Coupland, N. (2012) Bilingualism on display: The framing of Welsh and English in Welsh public spaces. Language in Society 41: 1-27.

Coupland, N. (2013) Welsh tea: The centering and decentering of Wales and the Welsh language. In Sari Pietikäinen and Helen Kelly-Holmes (eds.) Multilingualism and the Periphery. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pp.133-153.

Coupland, N. (2014) Researching style in sociolinguistics. In Janet Holmes and Kirk Hazen (eds.) Research Methods in Sociolinguistics. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. pp.290-303.

Coupland, N. (2014) Language change, social change, sociolinguistic change: A meta-commentary. Journal of Sociolinguistics 18, 2: 277-286.

Coupland, N. (in press) Coupland, N. (in press) Sociolinguistic change, vernacularization and broadcast British media. In Jannis Androutsopoulos (ed.) Mediatization and Sociolinguistic Change. FRIAS Linguae & Litterae series. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Pp.67-96.

Coupland, N. (in press) Wales and Welsh: Boundedness and peripherality. In D. Watt and C. Llamas (eds.) Language and Borders. Edinburgh University Press. Pp.137-153.

Coupland, N. (in press) Language, society and authenticity: Themes and perspectives. In Véronique Lacoste, Jakob Leimgruber and Thiemo Breyer (eds.) Indexing Authenticity: Sociolinguistic Perspectives. FRIAS Linguae & Litterae series. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Pp.14-39.

Coupland, B. and N. Coupland (in press) The authenticating discourses of mining heritage tourism in Cornwall and Wales. Journal of Sociolinguistics.


Nik Coupland is currently involved in two collaborative international research projects.

Peripheral Multilingualism: A Sociolinguistic Ethnography of Contestation and Innovation in Multilingual Minority Language Sites
The project is conducting comparative situated ethnographies of minority language sites in four ‘peripheral’ European spaces: Sámiland (Lappland), Ireland, Wales, Corsica. It is funded by The Finnish Academy.
Principal Investigator: Professor Sari Pietikäinen, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Strand Directors: Sari Pietikäinen (Sámi); Nikolas Coupland (Welsh); Helen Kelly-Holmes (Irish); Alexandra Jaffe (Corsican)
Key theoretical concepts: periphery-centre dynamics and discourses; language and place/ territoriality; globalisation and location of language practices; language revitalisation outside of governmental/ institutional language planning and policy processes.

Standard Language in Contemporary Europe  (‘SLICE’)
A consortium of (currently) 12 European countries investigating the different histories of language standardisation in different contexts, and contemporary moves away from/ revisions of linguistic normativity, both in general spoken usage and in media contexts. Adminstered through the University of Copenhagen’s LANCHART Centre (‘Danish National Research Foundation Centre for Language Change in Real Time’ -

Key theoretical concepts: standard language ideologies; standardisation and various modes of ‘de-standardisation’ (vernacularisation, demoticisation, informalisation); relationships between ideologies and practices; social change and linguistic change.

Two principal empirical strands: (i) Quantitative, experimental studies of ‘language attitudes’ (coordinated by Tore Kristiansen); (ii) Qualitative/ critical studies of media discourse (coordinated by Nikolas Coupland).

Work in progress is reported in the following book: Kristiansen, T. and N. Coupland (eds.) (2011) Standard Language in Contemporary Europe. Oslo: Novus.


Professor Nikolas Coupland is an elected member of the Academy of Social Sciences. For many years he was Research Director of the Centre for Language and Communication Research. He is now Research Professor at Cardiff, and holds a part-time chair appointment at the University of Copenhagen, where he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate for career services to Sociolinguistics. He is also Distinguished Professor Sociolinguistics at University of Technology Sydney.

He was founding editor, with Allan Bell, of the Journal of Sociolinguistics, published by Blackwell. With Adam Jaworski he edits the Oxford University Press book series, Oxford Studies in Sociolinguistics.

He has published more than 20 books and 170 articles and chapters on wide-ranging aspects of sociolinguistics, discourse analysis and human communication. He was formerly a Fulbright Scholar and has held visiting positions at the University of California, Macquarie University, Victoria University of Wellington, and the University of Canterbury (New Zealand).

He directed a 4-year, ESRC-funded research programme on 'Communication and the Elderly' (with Howard Giles) and a six-year programme, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, on ‘Language and Global Communication’ (with Theo van Leeuwen and other Cardiff colleagues). He has served as a member of the ESRC Research Grants Board and assessed PhD studentship applications for ESRC.