Dr Gabriel Ozon

Job: Senior Lecturer in English Language & Linguistics

Faculty: Arts, Design and Humanities

School/department: School of Humanities and Performing Arts

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: N/A

E: gabriel.ozon@dmu.ac.uk


Personal profile

I joined De Montfort in 2022, having worked previously at the University of Sheffield, the University of Sussex, Queen Mary University of London, and University College London (where I completed my PhD research).

Both my teaching and my research have engendered a keen interest in linguistic variation, a significant influence in my current projects. My research favours the application of quantitative (corpus linguistics) techniques in order to extract patterns and conditions of use from authentic data, thus bridging the gap between structural description and the analysis of motivated choice/s. In this light, my work is applicable to areas such as language variation and change, applied linguistics, World Englishes, and pidgin/creole languages, to name a few.

I have supervised research projects on the grammaticalisation of intensifiers across varieties of English, error annotation in learner corpora, the effects of computer-mediated communication on language learning, and variation and change in popular music.

I would be happy to supervise PhD projects in any area of my research expertise (grammatical variation, corpus-based approaches to linguistic research, applied linguistics, World Englishes (including ELF)). 

Publications and outputs

I have written a number of journal articles on certain grammatical aspects of CPE for World Englishes and the Journal of Language Contact. I have also written a chapter on language acquisition and language contact for the Handbook of Language Contact (Oxford University Press), another on European Englishes for the forthcoming Encyclopaedia of World Englishes (Wiley), and contributed to edited volumes on topics such as corpus linguistics in Africa, World Englishes, contact-induced language change, and English in Europe. Some of these publications are available online from Research Gate and DORA.

I am currently working on the second edition of English Words and Sentences, a textbook I co-wrote with my colleague Eva Eppler for the Cambridge University Press CIEL series.

Journal Articles

• Green, Melanie and Gabriel Ozón (2019). Valency and transitivity in contact: evidence from Cameroon Pidgin English. Journal of Language Contact 12:1: 52-88.
• Ozón, Gabriel, Melanie Green, Miriam Ayafor and Sarah FitzGerald (2017). The spoken corpus of Cameroon Pidgin English. World Englishes 36:3: 427–447.
• Duran Eppler, Eva and Gabriel Ozon (2013). English Words and Sentences. [Cambridge Introductions to English Language]. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 256 pp.

Book chapters

• Ozón, Gabriel (2023). European Englishes. In Bolton, K. (ed.) Encyclopaedia of World Englishes. New Jersey: Wiley Blackwell.
• Ozón, Gabriel and Eva Duran Eppler (2020). First and second language acquisition and contact-induced linguistic change, in Grant, A.P. (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Language Contact. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
• Ozón, Gabriel, Sarah FitzGerald and Melanie Green (2019). Addressing a coverage gap in African Englishes: the tagged corpus of Cameroon Pidgin English. In Esimaje, Alexandra; Gut, Ulrike and Antia, Bassey (eds.) Corpus Linguistics and African Englishes. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
• Green, Melanie and Gabriel Ozón (2018). Information structure in a spoken corpus of Cameroon Pidgin English. In Adamou, Evangelia; Haude, Katharina and Vanhove, Martine (eds.) Information structure in lesser-described languages: Studies in prosody and syntax. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
• Nelson, Gerald and Gabriel Ozón (2017). World Englishes and Corpus Linguistics, in Low, E. and Anne Pakir (eds.) World Englishes: Re-thinking Paradigms. London: Routledge.
• Ozón, Gabriel (2016). European Englishes. In Linn, Andrew. Investigating English in Europe – Contexts and Agendas. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
• Ozón, Gabriel (2016). Native speaker English. In Linn, Andrew. Investigating English in Europe – Contexts and Agendas. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
• Ozón, Gabriel (2006). The Given Before New Principle, and Textual Retrievability: A Corpus-based Study. In Renouf, Antoinette, and Kehoe, Andrew (eds.) The Changing Face of Corpus Linguistics. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
• Ozón, Gabriel (2018). Review of Meierkord et al. (eds.) (2016) Ugandan English. English Language and Linguistics 1-6. doi:10.1017/S1360674317000569.
• Ozón, Gabriel (2017). Review of Höglund et al. (eds.) (2014) Perspectives on complementation. Journal of Linguistics 53:2: 454–459.

Digital datasets

• Green, Melanie, Miriam Ayafor and Gabriel Ozón (2016). A spoken corpus of Cameroon Pidgin English: pilot study. British Academy/Leverhulme funded project (http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12024/2563 )
• Aarts, Bas; Yordanka Kavalova, Gabriel Ozón and Sean Wallis (2006). DCPSE: The Diachronic Corpus of Present-Day Spoken English. ESRC funded project (http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/13769/)

Research interests/expertise

For the past 5 years, I have been working on Cameroon Pidgin English (CPE), a typical Atlantic pidgin/creole language in that it has a European colonial language as one of its ancestors, but also has characteristics of West African languages. Along with Melanie Green (Sussex) and Miriam Ayafor (Yaounde I), we built a pilot corpus of Cameroon Pidgin English (CPE), which was supported by a British Academy/Leverhulme Grant. The corpus is freely available for download at http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12024/2563 .

Additionally, I continue to work on aspects of lexicogrammatical variation, European Englishes, and corpus linguistics applications (see 'Projects' below).

Areas of teaching

I have taught courses in most areas of linguistics and English language, covering a range of approaches to grammar and meaning, as well as World Englishes, corpus linguistics, variationist linguistics, and research methods. I currently teach in the BA in English Language, in modules such as

• Words in Action
• Evolving Language
• Phonetics and Phonology
• Grammar: Analysing Linguistic Structure
• Semantics: Analysing Linguistic Meaning
• Research Methods for Linguists
• Language, Mind, and Culture
• Language Acquisition
• English Language Dissertation


  • PhD English Linguistics, University College London
  • MA Modern English Language, University College London
  • BA (Hons) Translation Studies, IES Lenguas Vivas (Argentina)

Membership of professional associations and societies

• British Association for Applied Linguistics (Language in Africa Special Interest Group)
• Linguistics Association of Great Britain (Linguistics in Education Special Interest Group)
• Philological Society
• Societas Linguisticae Europaea


(i) Lexical Footprints: A Corpus-Based Profile of Cameroon Pidgin English: I am currently working on a new bid, which aims to build and annotate a 1-million-word corpus of spoken Cameroon Pidgin English. The project is broad in scope (descriptive, comparative and applied), and involves collaboration with a team of Cameroonian and UK researchers. We aim to address four interconnected research themes: (i) the lexicon (including historical development), (ii) the lexico-grammatical interface (prototypical items associated with the core grammatical constructions), (iii) the sociolinguistics of language contact (social meanings of speakers’ lexical/grammatical choices), and (iv) literacy and education (de-stigmatising teachers’ attitudes and practices towards CPE).

(ii) English Words and Sentences, 2nd edition: I am preparing the second edition for this textbook for the Cambridge Introductions to English Language series, with an initial release date in 2022.

(iii) Light verb constructions in the contact continuum: A proposal for this research monograph is to be submitted in 2023 to the Studies in English Language series, Cambridge University Press.

Externally funded research grants information

British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grant (ref. SG140663): A spoken corpus of Cameroon Pidgin English (2014-2016)

Case studies

Below are some cases which address both impact and professional standing

(i) Invited talk at the Philological Society (2019)
Along with my co-investigator, Dr Melanie Green (Sussex), I was invited to speak at the prestigious Philological Society (see below). The project generated considerable interest, and we obtained very valuable feedback for our grant application: A spoken corpus of Cameroon Pidgin English: compilation, applications, and prospectus. Philological Society, London (February 2019) https://blog.philsoc.org.uk/2019/01/25/a-spoken-corpus-of-cameroon-pidgin-english-compilation-applications-and-next-steps/

(iii) Invited talk at the IFRA (2019)
I was invited (with my co-investigator/-author, Dr Melanie Green (Sussex)) to speak at a Symposium on Naija (the language that has developed in Nigeria out of Nigerian Pidgin), organised (and funded) by Institut Français de Recherche en Afrique (IFRA-Nigeria) at the University of Ibadan, in late June 2019. The symposium was attended by specialists of creoles and pidgins of various countries and institutions (Cameroon, Hong Kong, Nigeria, UK). The Symposium as a resounding success, and drew considerable attention and positive reactions, activated by the BBC News Pidgin Channel report (https://www.bbc.com/pidgin/tori-48928363). A report is available at www.ifra-nigeria.org/scientific-events/conferences/324-report-symposium-on-naija-institute-of-african-studies-ui-june-27-29-20 .

(iii) Reviewer
I am a regular reviewer for journals (Journal of Linguistics, English Language and Linguistics, Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory), publishers (Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Edinburgh University Press, Routledge, Pearson Longman, Palgrave), and conferences (Corpus Approaches to Lexicogrammar, LAGB)

(iv) External Examiner
-University of Reading (2015-2020): MA Applied Linguistics (campus and distance study); MA English Language Teaching
-King’s College London (2016-2021): BA/MA Linguistics programmes run by the Modern Languages Centre 

ORCID number