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Reader in Linguistics, Department of English Language and Linguistics, University of Birmingham

Dr. Adam Schembri is based in the Department of English Language and Linguistics at the University of Birmingham, UK. He completed a Ph.D. in linguistics at the University of Sydney in 2002. Adam has worked at a number of institutions in both Australia and the UK, including at the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre at University College London during 2006-2010, where he initiated the British Sign Language Corpus Project ( His research and teaching experience has encompassed a wide range of areas in sign language linguistics and gesture studies, including work on aspects of the vocabulary and grammar of Australian Sign Language and British Sign Language. He is the co-author (with Trevor Johnston) of "Australian Sign Language (Auslan): An introduction to sign language linguistics", and (with Ceil Lucas) "Sociolinguistics and Deaf communities", both published by Cambridge University Press.


  • 2016–present
    Reader, University of Birmingham
  • 2011–2015
    Associate professor, La Trobe University
  • 2006–2010
    Senior Research Fellow, University College London, UK
  • 2005–2006
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Macquarie University
  • 2003–2005
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Newcastle
  • 2000–2002
    Lecturer, University of Bristol, UK


  • 2002 
    University of Sydney, PhD/Linguistics
  • 1996 
    Sydney Institute of TAFE, Diploma in Interpreting (Auslan/English)
  • 1993 
    University of Sydney, Master of Letters (Linguistics)
  • 1989 
    University of Sydney, Bachelor of Arts

Research Areas

  • Linguistics (2004)
  • Applied Linguistics And Educational Linguistics (200401)
  • Language In Culture And Society (Sociolinguistics) (200405)
  • Language In Time And Space (Incl. Historical Linguistics, Dialectology) (200406)
  • Linguistic Structures (Incl. Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) (200408)
  • Linguistics Not Elsewhere Classified (200499)
  • Lexicography (200407)