skip to content

Cambridge Language Sciences

Interdisciplinary Research Centre
Blue MRI_590x288px

Technological advances such as brain imaging and machine learning mean that applied research in language sciences is having a growing impact on our everyday lives – from the development of search engines and virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa, to biomedical text mining and dementia research. We also face new research challenges posed by the increasingly multilingual and multicultural society associated with migration and social change. 

Cambridge Language Sciences is one of a select group of University-wide Interdisciplinary Research Centres at Cambridge, designed to build research capacity in tackling some of today’s greatest challenges. Our mission is to promote dialogue between language scientists of all disciplines, to stimulate innovative thinking and to catalyse the formation of new interdisciplinary partnerships for novel research and creative teaching.

Our virtual network includes members from across the university including humanities, social sciences, biological sciences, medicine, computer science, engineering and technology. We also collaborate closely with Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press, and have strong links with other world-leading partners in the field of language sciences.

The interdisciplinary approach and collaboration between researchers across the Cambridge Language Sciences network strengthens our ability to tackle complex issues in key areas including technology, health, education and society.

Management Committee

The centre is governed by a Management Committee co-chaired by Prof. Brechtje Post (Theoretical & Applied Linguistics), Prof. Paula Buttery (Computer Science and Technology) and Dr Matt Davis (MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit). The Management Committee includes representatives from across the University of Cambridge including Cambridge University Press and Assessment. Executive Director, Dr Guy Emerson, also leads in the development of new large-scale interdisciplinary proposals on behalf of the centre. The centre activities are overseen by Jane Walsh (IRC Manager) and Jane Durkin (Communications Manager).

External Advisory Board

An Advisory Board, appointed by the Management Committee and drawn from external research institutions or non-academic bodies, meets once a year and provides expert and strategic advice to the Co-Directors and Management Committee. Current Advisory Board members are Prof. Stephen Levinson (Director Emeritus, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics), Prof. Stephen Pulman (Professor of Computational Linguistics Emeritus, University of Oxford), Prof. Antonella Sorace (Professor of Developmental Linguistics, University of Edinburgh), Prof. Maria Teresa Guasti (Professor of Linguistics, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca (UNIMIB)).and Prof. Alex Lascarides (Chair in Semantics, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh).

Internal Advisors

The internal advisory group are critical friends within the University with in-depth knowledge of CLS who are consulted on an ad hoc basis. Current Advisors are Prof. Ann Copestake (Computer Science & Technology), Prof. Henriëtte Hendriks (Theoretical and Applied Linguistics) and Prof. Robert Foley (Archaeology).  


What we do

Cambridge Language Sciences is an Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. Our virtual network connects researchers from five schools across the university as well as other world-leading research institutions. Our aim is to strengthen research collaborations and knowledge transfer across disciplines in order to address large-scale multi-disciplinary research challenges relating to language research.