Prof Marco Tamburelli

Professor of Linguistics

Contact info

Position: Professor of Linguistics (Bilingualism)


Phone: ++44 (0)1248 382078

Location: Room 205b, 37-41 College Road


My Research focuses on bi- and multi-lingualism, both from a mentalist/representational perspective as well as from a sociolingusitic and comparative perspective.

Within a representational perspective, I have worked on Bilingual First Language Acquisition, particularly in relation to syntactic and phonological transfer effects in simultaneous bilinguals, but also on the acquisition and organisation of lexical properties, the nature of paradigms and of the mechanisms underlying lexical organisation (including the mapping of cross-modular information in the lexicon) and on lexical and phonological development in typically developing children and in children with SLI.

I also work on the more social and comparative aspects of bilingual development, particularly on regional and minority languages (language policy and maintenance), on issues of language diversity (the measurement of linguistic attitudes), and the diglossic/bilingual communities of Italy, but also on measuring phonetic distance in linguistic continua, and on the measurement and application of intelligibility rates as a criterion of demarcation between 'regional languages' and 'regional dialects'.

I am currently director of the International Research Network on Contested Languages and head of the Language Attitudes Research Team.

Contact Info

Position: Professor of Linguistics (Bilingualism)


Phone: ++44 (0)1248 382078

Location: Room 205b, 37-41 College Road


Selected presentations and invited talks

  • (2022) Tamburelli, M. “Attitudes reversed: how Ausbau-centric approaches hinder the maintenance of linguistic diversity”. Keynote talk at LABiC 2022: International conference on bilingualism with local languages, Language Attitudes and Bi(dia)lectal Competence, University of Venice, Italy.
  • (2022) Tamburelli, M. “Language Contestation as a Route to Endangerment”. Talk invited by the Laz Institute and delivered at the Endangered Languages Colloquium, Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey.
  • (2021) Tamburelli, M. “Myth busters: Online platforms and emerging ideological shift among Lombard speakers.” Plenary talk at the conference New Contexts for the Use of Minoritized Languages, University of Zadar, Croatia.
  • (2020) Tamburelli, M. “Regional Language Maintenance and the Importance of Digital Domains.” Invited talk at the conference Minority Languages in the Digital Age, The Alfried Krupp Institute for Advanced Study, University of Greifswald, Germany.
  • (2019) Tamburelli, M. “Bilingual advantage and home language use: the case of minority languages” Invited talk at the 2019 Multilingual Learning Conference, European Council of International Schools (ECIS), London, UK.
  • (2019) Tamburelli, M. “Bilingualism and local communities.” Invited talk at CILVE2 (Second International Conference on the Venetan Language), Vicenza, Italy.
  • (2018) Tamburelli, M. and Tosco, M. “Contested Languages FAQs”. Oral presentation at the 3rd International Conference on Contested Languages in the Old World (CLOW-3), University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • Tamburelli, M. (2017) “Finding languages: from an old problem to a modern challenge.” Plenary address at UPCEL Language in Society, 20-22 September 2017, University of Madrid, Spain.
  • Tamburelli, M. (2017) ‘The hidden multilingualism of Italy: issues and challenges’ Invited talk at ‘Endangered and Minority Languages of Italy’, Cambridge Group for Endangered Languages and Cultures (CELC), University of Cambridge, UK (January 2017).
  • Tamburelli, M. (2017) “Issues in Romance classification: the case of Gallo-Italic” Invited talk at the Cambridge Romance Linguistics Seminars, University of Cambridge, UK (January 2017).

Teaching and Supervision

PhD supervision

  • Martin di Maggio: Language attitudes and intelligibility in Arbëreshë. Started 2021 (P/T)
  • Conor Glackin: Intelligibility and communication in stressful social contexts. 2017-2023.
  • Judit Vari: Monitoring language vitality in autochthonous diglossic communities. 2017-2021.
  • Mara Leonardi: Trilingualism and Diglossia among the Germanic-speaking group in South Tyrol (Italy). 2012-2016.
  • Abigail Ruth Price: “Is ‘reversed diglossia’ coming to Wales? Investigating the linguistic habits of adolescents in Wales and beyond.” Fully funded studentship in bilingualism, Bangor University Anniversary Scholarship. 2013-2019.
  • Lissander Brasca: Classification of Romance linguistic varieties. Started in September 2013-2023 (P/T).
  • Athanasia Papastergiou: the role of educational settings in bilingual acquisition. ESRC funded PhD. 2014-2016 (co-supervisor).

Teaching at Bangor

I teach courses on introductory linguistics, phonology, and bilingualism (from a social as well as a psycholinguistic perspective). For details, please consult the current timetable or send me a message.

  • QXL1110 - Introduction to Language
  • QXL2201 - Sounds and Sound Systems
  • QXL33/4404 - Language Contact and Bilingualism
  • QXL 1115 Intro to Phonetics and Phonology
  • QXL 4432 Research Methods
  • QXL33/4436 – Phonology in Bilingual Acquisition

Postgraduate Project Opportunities

I welcome enquiries from students interested in pursuing a PhD in the areas of:
Regional, Minority and Contested languages: linguistic attitudes; assessment of language vitality; intelligibility measurements and quantitative comparison of linguistic traits; intelligibility as a criterion of demarcation.
Language policy and maintenance, reversing language shift: the measurement of linguistic attitudes, the impact of attitudes on maintenance efforts, the relationship between attitudes, policy and usage in regional/minority/contested/heritage language situations.

Bilingual first language acquisition: crosslinguistic interference in the acquisition of syntactic and phonological structures; bilingual acquisition in diglossic contexts.

Education / academic qualifications

  • PhD , Linguistics (Bilingualism)
  • BA , Linguistics
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