The fields and subfields of linguistics of our research include grammar (phonology, morphology, syntax), anthropological linguistics, forensic linguistics, historical linguistics, lexicography, language acquisition, sociolinguistics (including sociophonetics) and more. 

The languages of our research include French Creole, Portuguese, Tobagonian (English Creole), Trinidadian (English Creole), Trinidadian English and Trinidad & Tobago Sign Language. Our staff and postgraduate students are researching aspects of these languages, as well as Arabic and Bhojpuri. 

Click to find out more about our staff's research profile and current research. Click here for the RDI Funded Project: Trinidad and Tobago Endangered Languages (TTEL).

Visit our Modern Languages and Linguistics Bookshelf for our book-length publications in Linguistics, and go to our page of some our refereed Linguistics articles.

Visit us on UWI Space.

Below you will find a listing of our current research students, as well as lists of completed theses and dissertations at the MA, MPhil and PhD levels.

We also offer a list of suggested research areas for prospective postgraduate research students at St Augustine.




PhD Linguistics

Rawwida BAKSH-SOODEEN. A Historical Perspective on the Lexicon of Trinidadian English. 1995. (Supervisor: Barbara Lalla)

Claire BROADBRIDGE. Consistency in Trinidadian Post-Creole Language Use: Its Analysis and Implications. 1989. (Supervisor: Dennis R. Craig)

Beverly-Anne CARTER. Teacher/Student Responsibility in Foreign Language (French) Learning in an Era of Technological Change.  2001. (Supervisor: Ian E. Robertson)

Keren M. CUMBERBATCH.  A Linguistic Description of the Language of the Urban Deaf in Jamaica. 2011. (Supervisor: Ian E. Robertson)

Kathy-Ann DRAYTON. The Prosodic Structure of Trinidadian English Creole. 2013. (Supervisor: Otelemate Harry)

Keisha EVANS. The Field Dependence/Independence Cognitive Construct: The Relationship between Assessment and Performance in the ESL Classroom. 2012. (Supervisor: Ian E. Robertson)

R. Sandra EVANS. An Examination of the Language Use Patterns and Practices of the Legal System in St. Lucia. 2013. (Supervisor: Ian E. Robertson)

Jo-Anne S. FERREIRA. The Portuguese Language in Trinidad & Tobago : A Study of Language Shift and Language Death. 1999. (Supervisor: Barbara Lalla)

Renée FIGUERA. The development of short story discourse in Trinidad. (Supervisor: Barbara Lalla)

Dwane K. GARCIA. Are These Students Learning English? A Study of the Verbal Morphology of the Vernacular and of the Written English of First- and Final-Year Students at a Secondary School in Trinidad. 2010. (Supervisor: Valerie C. Youssef)

Amina IBRAHIM-ALI. The Preamble to Form-Function Mapping: The Development of a Theoretical Construct to Respond to Elemental Stages in the Language-Learner’s Processing of SE Periphrastic Forms. 2014. (Supervisor: Valerie C. Youssef)

David Joseph HOLBROOK. The Classification of the English-Lexifier Creole Languages Spoken in Grenada, Guyana, St. Vincent and Tobago Using a Comparison of the Markers of Some Key Grammatical Features: A Tool for Determining the Potential to Share and /or Adapt Literary Development Materials. 2006. (Supervisor: Ian E. Robertson)

Winford JAMES. Students’ TAM Efforts in the Context of the Speech of Tobago. 1997. (Supervisor: Valerie C. Youssef)

Diego MIDEROS CAMARGO. L2 Learner Autonomy/Agency among Undergraduate Spanish Students in Trinidad: A Phenomenological Exploration. PhD thesis. 2017. (Supervisor: Beverly-Anne Carter)

Ferne-Louanne REGIS. Language and Ethnicity in Trinidad: A Description of the Linguistic Behaviour of Douglas. 2014. (Supervisors: Ian E. Robertson and Mervyn C. Alleyne)

Ian E. ROBERTSON. Berbice Dutch: A Description. 1979. (Supervisor: Lawrence D. Carrington)

Nicha SELVON-RAMKISSOON. The SEMP/National Language Arts Curriculum (Levels One, Two and Three): A Critical Analysis from Conception to Enactment. 2014 (Supervisors: Valerie C. Youssef and Benjamin Braithwaite)

Rajendra SHEPHERD. A Critical Discourse Analysis of Newspaper Editorials in Trinidad and Tobago. 2018. (Supervisor: Geraldine Skeete)

Denis V. SOLOMON. Syntax and Semantics in Caribbean Creole. 1989. (Supervisor: Lawrence D. Carrington)

Godfrey A. STEELE. Teaching English for Communication Purposes in a Medical Context. 2000. (Supervisor: Valerie C. Youssef)

Danielle WATSON. Exploring Power Manifestations within Police and Civilian Discourses: A Study of Labelling, Stigmatizing and Stereotyping in a ‘hotspot’ Community in Northern Trinidad. 2016. (Supervisor: Ian E. Robertson)

Lise WINER. An Analysis of Errors in the Written English Compositions of Trinidadian English Creole Speakers. 1982. (Supervisor: Donald C. Winford)

Valerie C. YOUSSEF. The Development of Linguistic Skills in Some Trinidadian Children: An Integrative Approach to Verb Phrase Development. 1990. (Supervisors: Donald C. Winford and Lawrence D. Carrington)


MPhil Linguistics

Theresa Onyaidu ADOGWA.  Undergraduate Students’ Perceptions of the Modified Process Approach to Teaching Writing. 2000. (Supervisor: Valerie C. Youssef)

Barbara CONSTANCE-BAPTISTE. Classroom Speech and Academic Performance: An Investigation of the Relationships between Linguistic Exposure and Academic Performance of Students in Specific Subject Areas in Signal Hill Secondary Comprehensive School. 2011.  (Supervisor: Ian E. Robertson)

Janielle GARCIA.  Linguistic Issues in Lawyer-Client Communication: Data Sample/Analysis. 2014. (Supervisor: Valerie C. Youssef)

Hazel-Ann GIBBS-DE PEZA. Glossolalia in the Spiritual Baptist Faith: A Linguistic Study. 1996. (Supervisor: Helen Pyne-Timothy)

Alicia LAMB. Trinidad & Tobago Sign Language (TTSL). (Supervisor: Ben Braithwaite)

Kellon SANKAR. A Study of Lexical Borrowing on Halls of Residence at UWI, St. Augustine. 2016. (Supervisor: Joseph T. Farquharson)


MA Applied Linguistics

Keisha EVANS. The Field Dependence Independence Dimension: The Association between Cognitive Style and Achievement in Second Language Learning. 2001.

Meredith MONTRICHARD. Metaphorical Motivation: The Application of Orientational Metaphors to the Comprehension and Recall of Phrasal Verbs in Second Language Learning. 2005.


Undergraduate Caribbean Studies and Linguistics Projects

Here is a partial and regularly updated PDF listing of final year projects on language and linguistics: HUMN 3099 Caribbean Studies and LING 3099 Special Project in Linguistics.


Related Interest:

PhD Education

Marie-Louise C. BROWN-DOTTIN. The Effect of Trinidad English-Lexicon Creole as a Medium of Written Communication on the Reading Proficiency of Adults in Literacy Classes in Trinidad. 2000. (Supervisors: Lawrence D. Carrington and Ian E. Robertson)

Iris HEWITT-BRADSHAW. Speakers of Trinidadian English Creole Taught in Standard English: Understanding the Nature of the Language Challenges in Mathematics and Science. 2014.


PhD Gender and Development Studies

Sue Ann BARRATT.  Investigating the Relevance of Perceptions of Gender Identity to Experiences of Interpersonal Communication Conflict. 2013. (Supervisor: Valerie Youssef)


Some Former Students and Graduates of Other Institutions

Patrice QUAMMIE.  The Sound of Citizenship - Discursive Patterns of Citizen Engagement on State Television News in Trinidad & Tobago. MA Cardiff.  2010.

Rachael A. RADHAY. Discurso e Poder na Política de Imigração Brasileira.  PhD Universidade de Brasília. 2006.

Rachael A. RADHAY. Narrativas de casais internacionais: identidade, voz e o outro.  MA Universidade de Brasília. 1999.

Ishtla SINGH. Superstratal influence on the formation of Trinidad’s English-based creole. PhD Cambridge. 1997.

Tanyia Joy WILKINS.  The Rhythmic Patterns of Jamaican Speech.  MPhil Cambridge. 2006.

Guyanne WILSON, MPhil Cambridge University (utterance-final pitch prominence in Trinidadian English), PhD (The Sociolinguistics of Singing) at University of Münster



PhD Linguistics
  • Istrophle ALI AZIZ.  Language Education.
  • Jennifer DE SILVA. Trinidadian Bhojpuri Syntax
  • Ronald FRANCIS.
  • Samantha JACKSON. Wee Talk Trini: Acquisition of Phonology in Trinidadian Pre-Schoolers.
  • Byron JONES. Language Use Patterns in Jamaican Popular Music.
  • Meredith MONTRICHARD.


MPhil Linguistics
  • Kesica BREWSTER.  Trinidad & Tobago Sign Language (TTSL).
  • Min HE.
  • Desirée HUGGINS.
  • Roland JOSEPH. Anthropological Linguistics.
  • Tsubura KAWASAKI-TULL.
  • Petronilla RAYMOND.

Since each campus is largely responsible for the territory in which it is based, UWI, St Augustine takes particular interest in the work of Trinidad & Tobago-born linguists overseas or overseas linguists working on Trinbagonian languages, or both. For the benefit of our students and researchers, here is a list of our colleagues overseas:

Franz KATZIR-COZIER, MSc Linguistics, MIT, USA (Trinidadian phonology)

Glenda-Alicia LEUNG (MA Applied Linguistics/TESOL, Ball State University, USA), PhD University of Freiburg, Germany. A synchronic sociophonetic study of monophthongs in Trinidadian English. 2013.

Peggy MOHAN, PhD Linguistics, University of Michigan, USA (Trinidad Bhojpuri: A morphological study)

Joanna MORRIS, PhD Psyhcology, University of Pennsylvania, USA, Associate Professor of Psycholinguistics and Cognitive Science, Hampshire College, USA (orthography and lexical stress in English)

Gillian RAMCHAND, PhD Linguistics, Stanford University, USA, Associate Professor, University of Tromsø, Norway (aspects of syntax of Modern Scottish Gaelic)

Other linguists focusing on Trinidad & Tobago include Dr Susanne Mühleisen and Helen Pyne-Timothy.

Visit the School for Graduate Studies and Research (SGSR).