Portrait of  Rebecca Woods Rebecca Woods

r.woods@hud.ac.uk | 01484 470000


Rebecca is a Senior Lecturer in Language Acquisition and joined the University of Huddersfield in September 2015. Rebecca gained her BA in French and Linguistics from the University of Sheffield in 2010 and her MA in Psycholinguistics from the University of York in 2012, with a short stint as Graduate Trainee Librarian at the Classics Faculty Library, University of Cambridge, in 2010-11. She completed her PhD in Linguistics at the University of York under Dr George Tsoulas in May 2016, focusing on the syntax of speech acts and the embeddability of illocutionary force. Both her MA and her PhD were funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Research and Scholarship

Rebecca’s primary interest is the acquisition of syntax and semantics by children. She has worked and continues to work with both monolingual and bilingual children as well as looking at children acquiring “non-standard” dialects of English. She is particularly interested in clause-typing, the syntax and semantics of questions, discourse particles and quantification.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Tsoulas, G. and Woods, R. (2017) ‘Predicative Possessives, Relational Nouns, and Floating QuantifiersLinguistic Inquiry . ISSN 0024-3892


Woods, R (2016) ‘Embedded Inverted Questions as Embedded Illocutionary ActsProceedings of the 33rd West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, (held 27-29 March 2015 at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada) , pp. 417-426.


Woods, R (2015) ‘Modelling the syntax-discourse interface: a syntactic analysis of "please"’. In: ConSOLE XXIII Proceedings. : Leiden University Centre for Linguistics. pp. 360-382.

Woods, R (2015) ‘The acquisition of dative alternation by German-English bilingual and English monolingual childrenLinguistic Approaches to Bilingualism , 5 (2), pp. 252-284. ISSN 1879-9264


Woods, R (2014) ‘The syntax of orientation shifting: Evidence from English high adverbsConSOLE XXII: Proceedings of the 22nd Conference of the Student Organization of Linguistics in Europe (8-10 January 2014, Lisbon). , 22, pp. 205-230. ISSN 1574-499X


Woods, R (2012) ‘Thoughts on multiple wh-movement in CzechYork Papers in Linguistics , 12a, pp. 68-79. ISSN 1758-0315


Woods, R (2010) ‘Men's Words in Women's Mouths: Why Misogynous Stereotypes are Humorous in the Old French FabliauxReinvention: an International Journal of Undergraduate Research , 3 (2).



2011-2015: Economic and Social Research Council 1+3 scholarship

Sep 2014: ESRC Overseas Institutional Visit Grant

Sep 2014: Santander International Connections Travel Award


Invited lectures:

2015: Embedded inverted questions and a new perspective on embedded root phenomena. Questions at the Syntax-Semantics Interface Workshop, University College London. 7th September 2015.

2014: Embedded inverted interrogatives as embedded speech acts, Syntax Project at the University of Toronto. 12th December 2014.

2014: Embedded inverted interrogatives as embedded speech acts, Syntax Square at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 4th November 2014.


Visiting Scholar:

Sep-Dec 2014: University of Massachusetts, Amherst


Professional Service:

2016-present: External Relations officer of the Linguistics Association of Great Britain Main Committee

2014-2016: Chair of the Linguistics Association of Great Britain Student Committee

2014-2016: Student Representative to the Linguistics Association of Great Britain Main Committee

Reviewer for Linguistic Inquiry Squibs, Recursion in Brazilian Languages (Springer), LAGB, ConSOLE, NELS, Palgrave Macmillan

Guest style editor for IBERIA: An International Journal of Theoretical Linguistics



Member of the Linguistics Association of Great Britain

Member of the Philological Society

Research Degree Supervision

Rebecca is interested in supervising Masters and PhD research in:

  • Child language acquisition, especially acquisition of syntax and semantics
  • Bilingual language acquisition, especially acquisition of syntax and semantics
  • The syntax-semantics interface and the syntax of speech acts

Administrative Responsibilities

Course Leader - MA English Language and Applied Linguistics

Deputy Academic Conduct Officer

Year 2 Undergraduate Tutor

Teaching and Professional Activities

Rebecca convenes:

AFL1501: Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics

AIL2511: Syntax

AHL3508: Child Language Acquisition

AML1101/1001: Descriptive Linguistics


Rebecca teaches on:

AFL1502: Approaches to Language Study

AIL2502: Field Linguistics

AHL3501: Dissertation in English Language and Linguistics