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Cambridge Language Sciences

Interdisciplinary Research Centre
Areas of Interest: 
Language endangerment and revitalization
Language contact and change
New speakers of endangered languages
Corpus linguistics
Creoles and pidgins


I completed my PhD in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics here at the University of Cambridge in 2019 and now lecture in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics. I also act as Director of Studies in Linguistics at Fitzwilliam College and co-convene the Cambridge Endangered Languges and Cultures Group. Funded by a Cambrige Humanities Research Grant, I am also working as a part-time Research Assistant investigating Haitian dialectology as part of the ESRC-funded project Tweetolectology: Investigating the diffusion of morphosyntactic innovation using Twitter.

Before coming to Cambridge, I studied for a BA in Korean & Linguistics with Yoruba at SOAS, University of London with a year at Korea University, Republic of Korea. During that time, I worked part-time as a Research Assistant in Korean Linguistics at SOAS and at the University of Oxford and was a Board Member and Lecturer for the Pegasus Society of Korean Studies.


My PhD thesis—funded by the AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership and supervised by Professor Mari Jones—focused on the question of whether creole languages undergo the same processes of contact-induced language change as other languages. Specifically, my thesis sought to question the notion of decreolization, a long-standing theory of language change specific to the field of creolistics. I sought to bring discussion of language variation and change in creole languages beyond the creolistics-specific notion of 'decreolization' in order to integrate creole languages into a mainstream understanding of language contact, variation and change. To do this, I built a large diachronic corpus of Louisiana Creole—a critically-endangered language own heritage—which I used to perform quantitative and grammatical analyses of phonological, morphosyntactic and lexical changes. These analyses found no evidence that decreolization should be considered a 'special case' of language change as is explicit or implicit in much of the creolistics literature. On this basis, I argue that creole languages are more properly analysed using the same frameworks of language contact and change as any other language.

Teaching and Supervisions


FR2: Structures and varieties of French (paper co-ordinator, lecturer, supervisor)
FR1: Introduction to French literature, linguistics, film and thought (linguistics component only; lecturer, supervisor)


Other Professional Activities

Convenor, Cambridge Endangered Languages and Cultures Group

Advisor, Comité créole, Council for the Development of French in Louisiana, State of Louisiana

Member, Foundation for Endangered Languages

Member, Language Creation Society

Dr Oliver Mayeux

Contact Details

Email address: 


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