Professor Christopher J Hall

Professor of Applied Linguistics

School of Languages & Linguistics


T: 01904 876876

BA (Newcastle), MA (York), PhD (Southern California),  FHEA

Languages and Linguistics Research Lead

I started my life in linguistics at Newcastle University as a student of English Language and continued as an MA student in Language at the University of York. After completing my PhD in linguistics at USC in Los Angeles in 1987, I moved south to Mexico, where I lived and worked for 20 years. I spent most of my time there teaching in (and directing) the MA in Applied Linguistics at the University of the Americas Puebla (UDLAP). At UDLAP I also served as Head of the Department of Languages and Coordinator of Research and Postgraduate Studies for the School of Humanities. In 2007 I joined York St John University, where I am joint School Research Lead.

Most of my research, writing, and teaching has been motivated by a desire to understand how the mental and social realities of language fit together, and a conviction that only by fully acknowledging both realities can we hope to do effective general and applied linguistics.  My first book, Morphology and Mind, sought to unite formal and functional explanations for universal patterns of word structure by stressing the intimate connection between language acquisition, use, and historical change.  In An Introduction to Language and Linguistics. Breaking the Language Spell, I presented a unifying account of the dual social and mental nature of human language. In Mapping Applied Linguistics. A Guide for Students and Practitioners, my co-authors and I surveyed the field within a framework which stresses how language problems can only be solved by taking seriously the social and cognitive realities of individual language users and groups of users in their local contexts.

My empirical research has always been focused on the word level, especially in learners and/or speakers of more than one language.  In a series of studies I conducted during my time overseas, I developed and tested a model of the initial development of the multilingual mental lexicon (the Parasitic Model). Since my return to the UK I’ve been exploring the nature of non-native Englishes within a combined socio-cognitive framework.  In line with this 'plurilithic' view of English, I have: looked at lexical variation in users of English in lingua franca contexts; critiqued linguists'/applied linguists' ontologies of English; explored ways of raising teachers' awareness of plurilithic Englishes; and investigated the idiolectal nature of L2 English users’ lexico-grammatical resources.

ORCiD record

Full Curriculum Vitae (PDF 264.2KB)

Areas of research supervision

Further Information

Publications and Talks


Publications in the Institutional Repository


Hall, C. J. and Wicaksono, R. (Eds) (forthcoming). Ontologies of English. Reconceptualising the language for learning, teaching, and assessment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hall, C. J., Smith. P. H. & Wicaksono, R. (2017). Mapping applied linguistics. A guide for students and practitioners (2nd edn). London and New York: Routledge.

Merrison, A. J., Griffiths, P., Bloomer, A. & Hall, C. J. (2014). Introducing language in use (2nd edn). London and New York: Routledge.

Hall, C. J., Smith. P. H. & Wicaksono, R. (2011). Mapping applied linguistics. A guide for students and practitioners. London and New York: Routledge.

Hall, C. J. (2005). An introduction to language and linguistics. Breaking the language spell. London and New York: Continuum.

Hall, C. J. (1992). Morphology and mind. A unified approach to explanation in linguistics. London and New York: Routledge. [Re-issued 2014 in the Routledge Library Editions: Linguistics series.]

Recent articles, book chapters, and reports

Hall, C. J. (2018). The psycholinguistics of English. In Seargeant, P., Hewings, A. and Pihlaja, S. (eds). Routledge handbook of English Language Studies (pp. 406-419). London: Routledge.

Hall, C. J. (2018). Cognitive perspectives on English as a Lingua Franca. In Jenkins, J., Baker, W. and Dewey, M. (eds). Routledge handbook of English as a Lingua Franca (pp. 74-84). London: Routledge.

Hall, C. J., Joyce, J. and Robson, C. (2017). Investigating the lexico-grammatical resources of a non-native user of English: the case of can and could in email requests. Applied Linguistics Review, 8, 1, 35-59.

Hall, C. J., Wicaksono, R., Liu, S., Qian, Y. and Xu, X. (2017). Exploring teachers’ ontologies of English. Monolithic conceptions of grammar in a group of Chinese teachers. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 27, 1, 87-109.

Hall, C. J., O’Brien, D. and the LIdIA Policy Forum (2015).Making higher education more Deaf-friendly. LIdIA Position Statement and Position Paper 01. York: York St John University. 

Hall, C. J. (2014). Moving beyond accuracy: from tests of English to tests of ‘Englishing’.ELT Journal68, 4, 376-385.

Ecke, P. and Hall, C. J. (2014). The Parasitic Model of L2 and L3 vocabulary acquisition: evidence from naturalistic and experimental studies.Fórum Linguístico, 11, 3, 360-372.

Hall, C. J. (2013). Cognitive contributions to plurilithic views of English and other languages.Applied Linguistics, 34, 211-231.

Hall, C. J., Schmidtke, D. & Vickers, J. (2013). Countability in world Englishes.World Englishes32, 1, 1-22.

Hall, C. J., Wicaksono, R., Liu, S., Qian, Y. and Xiaoqing, X. (2013).English reconceived: Raising teachers' awareness of English as a ‘plurilithic’ resource through an online course. British Council ELT Research Papers, 13–05. 

Ecke, P. and Hall, C. J. (2013). Tracking tip-of-the-tongue states in a multilingual speaker: Evidence of attrition or instability in lexical systems?International Journal of Bilingualism17, 6, 734-751.

Recent lectures and conference talks

Analysing teachers’ ontologies of English: prospects for teacher education. British Association of Applied Linguistics Annual Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, August 2019.

The many meanings of English: An ontological framework for Applied English Linguistics (Keynote). Bonn Applied English Linguistics Conference, University of Bonn, Germany, May 2018.

English in applied linguistics: An ontological framework. Annual Conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics, Portland, USA, March 2017.

A cognitive perspective on English as a Lingua Franca (Invited lecture). Center for English as a Lingua Franca, Tamagawa University, Japan, December 2016.

The myth of ‘Planet English’ (Inaugural professorial lecture). Go York Lecture Series, York St John University, May 2016.

From monolithic accuracy to plurilithic usage: Reconceptualizing grammar for English teacher education. Annual Conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics, Orlando, USA, April 2016.

From monolithic accuracy to plurilithic usage: Reconceptualizing grammar for English teacher education (Invited lecture). Centre for Language Education Research, University of Leeds, April 2016.

Conceptualising L2 user English. Evidence from a corpus analysis of one individual’s usage (Invited lecture). Kuwait University, Kuwait, March 2016.

What kind of English do learners come to know and use? A usage-based analysis of a tiny fragment of one individual’s L2 English grammar (Keynote address). York St John Postgraduate Forum on Applied Linguistics, York St John University, January 2016.

Ontologies of grammar for TESOL: A usage-based perspective (Invited lecture). English Language Teaching and Research Seminar Series, University of Stirling, October 2015.

Ontologies of (‘the’ English) language for learning, teaching, and assessment(Keynote address). BAAL/CUP Seminar ‘(De)Constructing Englishes. Exploring the implications of ontologies of the language for learning, teaching, and assessment’, June 2015.

Reconceptualising grammar for a pedagogy of global Englishes. (Invited lecture). Centre for Global Englishes, University of Southampton, April 2015.

Learning (and losing) words in second languages. Parasitic connections in the multilingual mental lexicon(Invited lectures). (a) Soochow University, China; (b) Suzhou University of Science and Technology, China; and (c) Nanchang University College of Science and Technology, China; April 2015.

The lemma as lexical hub: Parasitic connections in the multilingual lexicon(Invited lecture). Lexical Studies Conference, Cardiff University, February 2015.

Professional Activities

I am author of the following books: 

I am also co-author (with Rachel Wicaksono) of  Changing Englishes: An Online Course for Teachers, a free resource to raise awareness of 'plurilithic' (non-monolithic) approaches to language learning and use, with support from the British Council (v.02 to be released later in 2019).

I am Reviews editor for BAAL News, the newsletter of the British Association for Applied Linguistics.


I teach on the following modules:

  • Psycholinguistics (undergraduate)
  • Language Acquisition (undergraduate)
  • Grammar and Phonetics for TESOL (undergraduate)
  • Second Language Acquisition (postgraduate)

I also supervise BA and MA dissertations in these and related areas.

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