skip to content


Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Dr Rebecca Mitchell

Rebecca Mitchell
Affiliated Lecturer
Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages & Linguistics
Contact details: 

Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics
Raised Faculty Building
University of Cambridge
Sidgwick Avenue
United Kingdom



Rebecca Mitchell read Modern and Medieval Languages at Cambridge, and then worked as an assistant lecturer in phonetics at the University of Vigo, Spain. She received an MA in translation and interpreting from the University of Kent, and subsequently returned to Cambridge where she was awarded a PhD on syntactic variation in the French of Gabon. She is committed to increasing awareness of linguistics among non-specialists and is regularly invited to give talks on linguistics in schools and colleges, for organisations including the Civil Service and the Chartered Institute of Linguists, and at national events such as the Language Show. She regrets that she is currently unable to accept proposals from prospective doctoral students.


Research interests: 

Sociolinguistics of sub-Saharan Africa

Language attitudes and language endangerment in Gabon and Cameroon

Public health messaging and doctor-patient communication in Ghana

Grammar of Dari

Traditional belief systems in São Tomé


Published works: 

2019. ‘Dari’, Babel, 26: 26-27.

2017. A descriptive grammar of Dari (with D. Naser). Munich: Lincom Europa.

2015. ‘To be a good westerner, you need to know where you come from’: challenges facing language revitalization in central Africa’, in Jones, M. (ed.) Language Endangerment: Policy and Planning, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2015. Let’s Speak Cape Verdean (English translation), Quint, N (original author), London: Battlebridge.

2012. ‘Language, education and identity in Gabon’, in Esch, E. and Solly, M. (eds.) The Sociolinguistics of Language Education in International Contexts, New York: Peter Lang.

2009. A study in syntactic variation: mood usage in Gabonese French. Munich: Lincom Europa.

2004. ‘Les perceptions du français gabonais et la distribution des langues au Gabon’, Le Français en Afrique 19: 177-188.