Dr Cynthia Allen

Emerita Fellow, School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Linguistic Structures (Incl. Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) 200408
  • Language In Time And Space (Incl. Historical Linguistics, Dialectology) 200406


Dr Cynthia Allen was a Reader (Associate Professor) in the Linguistics and Applied Linguistics Program, School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics in the College of Arts and Social Sciences until her retirement. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and a former Director of ANU's Centre for Research on Language Change.  Her specialty is the history of English syntax and her research interests also include syntactic theory generally. She serves on the editorial boards of the Oxford University Press series Studies in Diachronic and Historical Linguistics and the Mouton series Studies in Language Change as well as the journal English Language and Linguistics.  She is currently investigating the relationship between loss of case marking and history of adnominal possessive constructions in English and other Germanic languages as well as the disappearance of 'external' (dative) possessors in English and related matters including the development of the definite article in English. Her research has recently expanded to include the effects of contact with Norse and Celtic languages on the syntax and Old and Early Middle English.

Cynthia runs an Anglo-Saxon reading group weekly during term time.


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Updated:  20 April 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers