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Interdisciplinary and Strategic Research

Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Cambridge Language Sciences


What we do

Cambridge Language Sciences is an Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. It aims to strengthen research collaborations and knowledge transfer across disciplines in order to address large-scale multi-disciplinary research challenges relating to language research. It hosts a virtual network which connects researchers from across the university including humanities, social sciences, biological sciences, medicine, computer science, engineering and technology. It also collaborates closely with Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press, and has strong links with other world-leading partners in the field of language sciences. The current Co-Directors of Cambridge Language Sciences are Professor Brechtje Post (Theoretical & Applied Linguistics), Dr Matt Davis (MRC Cognition & Brain Sciences Unit), and Professor Paula Buttery (Computer Science & Technology).


Why Language Sciences?

Technological advances such as brain mapping and machine learning mean that applied research in language sciences is increasingly affecting our everyday lives – from the development of search engines and virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa, to biomedical text mining and dementia research. An interdisciplinary approach is well placed to address new research challenges posed by an increasingly multilingual and multicultural society which is shaped by migration and social change.



Key areas of impact for Cambridge Language Sciences related research include education, technology, health and society.


  • Education: language teaching, learning & assessment, developmental psychology, literacy, dyslexia, language education & policy – current research is exploring the cognitive and learning advantages of being multilingual, and how to raise learning outcomes in challenging contexts.


  • Technology: AI, deep learning, natural language processing, computational analysis of text & data mining – this has had a real-life impact on new technological innovations such as search engines, virtual assistants (e.g. Siri, Amazon Alexa).


  • Health: cognitive neuroscience, biomedical text mining, dementia research, autism, deafness – a recent example is our collaboration with the Africa’s Voices foundation where natural language processing of SMS in countries like Somalia and Kenya has been used to inform public health interventions. 


  • Society: fake news; migration, multilingual societies; crime and security, e.g. forensic phonetics, intelligence, and democracy ("fake news") – current research through the MEITS (Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies) project is examining the benefits of bilingualism for individuals and society.


Professor Anna Elsner wins European Research Council Starting Grant

9 February 2022

Assistant Professor Anna Magdalena Elsner of French Literature and Culture at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, has been awarded the prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant. Professor Anna Elsner is a former MPhil and PhD (2011) student at the University...

Simon Franklin's book, The Russian Graphosphere, awarded prestigious book prize.

19 November 2020

The Slavonic Section are delighted to congratulate Simon Franklin on his newest book, The Russian Graphosphere, 1450-1850 (Cambridge University Press, 2019), being awarded the prestigious University of Southern California Book Prize in Literary and Cultural Studies.

Cambridge University article features research of Dr Rebecca Reich

29 April 2019

Fantastic piece showcasing Dr Rebecca Reich's recent publication, 'State of Madness: Psychiatry, Literature and Dissent after Stalin'.

MEITS presented research at the House of Commons

6 December 2018

MEITS was part of a parliamentary event to present the research of the four OWRI projects at the House of Commons on Wednesday 28 November.

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