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Elizabeth Burgess has successfully defended her PhD and, pending minor modifications to her thesis, will become Dr Burgess at the graduation ceremonies in July 2017.

Elizabeth Burgess (second from right) with her supervisors Stefania Tufi (left) and Diana Cullell (right) and external examiner Bernadette O'Rourke (second from left)

Elizabeth Burgess (second from right) with her supervisors Stefania Tufi (left) and Diana Cullell (right) and external examiner Bernadette O’Rourke (second from left)

Elizabeth is already a double graduate of the University of Liverpool, and her doctorate builds on her work within sociolinguistics from both her BA and her MA. Her PhD’s focus is on language policy in the city of Alicante, Spain, where she spent a semester as an undergraduate on the Erasmus scheme. She returned to the city and its neighbouring towns for the fieldwork for her doctorate.

In her thesis, Elizabeth tests the applicability of the model of language policy devised by sociolinguist Bernard Spolsky. Based on her findings, Elizabeth argues that the pillars of language policy (language management, language beliefs, and language practices) exist in a symbiotic relationship. This relationship is investigated from the perspective of Valencian as spoken in Alicante, and Elizabeth explores the extent to which residents (of different ages, and with different backgrounds) relate to both Castilian and Valencian.

Over the last four years, Elizabeth’s work has been supervised and guided by Dr Stefania Tufi from Italian in Modern Languages & Cultures, and Dr Diana Cullell, from Iberian & Latin American Studies. The thesis was examined by Professor Bernadette O’Rourke, Professor in Spanish & Linguistics at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. The entire department congratulates Elizabeth on her success!

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