Natalie Braber

Natalie Braber


School of Arts & Humanities

Staff Group(s)
English, Culture and Media


Dr Braber teaches in the School of Arts and Humanities within the subject area of Linguistics. Her teaching responsibilities are mainly in the area of sociolinguistics, child language acquisition and psycholinguistics. She is Assistant Programme Leader on the Joint Honours Humanities Degree Programme and Programme Leader for the Linguistics MA (by research). Dr Braber also supervises PhD students on a variety of topics.

Research areas

Dr Braber is a member of the Strategy in Communication (SinC) research centre.

Her main interests are in the fields of sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics. These subject areas can be divided into more specific research interests, for example:

  • accents and dialects
  • language and identity
  • language and emotion
  • aphasia (language impairment after stroke).

Dr Braber is currently working on several projects relating to these research interests. She is involved with projects examining language variation in the East Midlands, a highly under-researched subject. With the aid of several grants, Dr Braber is collecting data from around the East Midlands, examining language variation and studying the perception of variation within the area. This research includes work on 'pit talk' in the region. This variety of language, used by miners, is now disappearing and needs to be preserved for future generations. Another project involves language and identity in Glasgow and examines the ways people living in Glasgow construct and manage both their local and national identities through linguistic features such as syntactic structures, lexical choices and the use of particular phonological features. A hypothesis to be examined is whether a stronger sense of local identity will correlate with higher usage of local linguistic varieties.

Another research project involves the expression of emotion in language and studies the relationship between them. In previous research Dr Braber has shown that specific linguistic structures (such as modal particles and tags) can be used in German when talking about highly emotional events. Current research is interested in observing how speakers of English convey emotion and how they talk about highly emotional topics. This research involves observing linguistic features of language (for example intonation, tag questions and disjuncts) as well as non-verbal communication strategies (such as gesture) in both native and non-native speakers of English.

Another topic of research which interests Dr Braber is the effect of stroke on language. Previous studies she has been involved with have examined the effect of Broca's aphasia on past tense verb production and what these impairments can tell us about the way language functions in the brain.

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil/PhD exist and further information may be obtained from the NTU Graduate School.

Current and previous projects supervised include:
Jens Roeser, Planning scope in written sentence production

External activity

  • External Examiner at the University of Hertfordshire.
  • Invitations as validator of period programme review and new BA programmes at UK Universities.
  • Appearances on radio and television as linguistics expert.
  • Invitations to review books for international journals and review grant applications for AHRC and ESRC.
  • Invitations to speak at local, national and international events.
  • Presentations at national and international conferences.
  • Advisor on British Library's project 'Voices of the UK', funded by Leverhulme.
  • Organiser of the Northern Englishes Workshop in 2012 and 'What's Nott to like' (with Stuart Burch) in 2013.

Sponsors and collaborators

Dr Braber is actively involved in applying for grants and funding to assist in her research. Recent research funding has included:

  • A British Academy funded project (2011-12) for £7,490 with Dr Diane Davies (University of Leicester) entitled 'An investigation into dialect through oral history: The East Midlands' which examined recordings from the East Midlands Oral History Archive (EMOHA) and compared these to more recent recordings to examine language change in the region. Some results can be found on the website
  • Recent funding in 2014 has also been awarded by the British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL) to allow for the engagement of students and community groups in Linguistic Research to chart language in the East Midlands. This commitment to engaging students in research, and encouraging community groups to become involved in academic work is paralleled in other projects.
  • Nottingham Trent University awards SPUR grants (Supporting Projects for Undergraduate Students) to encourage students to become involved with cutting edge research. Dr Braber has so far had four successful projects over previous years.
    o 2010 – 'A Perceptual Approach to Accents in the East Midlands' (with Danielle Wood-Wallace and Jaime-Leigh Birch) to examine local school students' perceptions of language in the East Midlands.
    o 2012 – 'Performing Scottish Identity on Screen: Language, Identity, and Humour in Scottish Television Comedy at the BBC' in collaboration with Gary Needham (with Ben Thornhill and Esme Ireson) to examine how Scottish identity is represented in BBC Scottish comedy programmes.
    o 2013 – 'Capturing 'Pit Talk' in the East Midlands: Preserving a Disappearing Language' (with Chris Dann and Alice Cope) to capture and preserve language of coal miners in the East Midlands.
    o 2014 – 'Language and Ethnicity in the East Midlands' (with James Pell and Abigail Sutton) to examine how ethnicity affects language use in the East Midlands.
  • Internal funding from NTU has allowed analysis to be carried out on data collected around the East Midlands. Projects have involved work with Danielle Wood-Wallace, Jennifer Beard and Nicholas Flynn to further work on language variation in the East Midlands.
  • Dr Braber is co-investigator and member of 'Centre for Hidden Histories'. This Centre is one of five World War One Engagement Centres, established by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to engage with and support communities as they seek to commemorate and reflect upon the century-long legacy of the First World War. Staffed by a consortium of academics from the universities of Nottingham, Derby and Nottingham Trent, the Centre for Hidden Histories has a particular interest in the themes of migration and displacement, the experience of 'others' from countries and regions within Europe, Asia and the Commonwealth, the impact and subsequent legacies of the war on diverse communities within Britain, remembrance and commemoration, and identity and faith. View more information.


Selected publications

For full list click Go to Natalie Braber's publications link above.

See all of Natalie Braber's publications...

Press expertise

Dr Braber has undertaken interviews with both national and regional radio stations on the topic of language.

She can offer comment on aphasia; accents and dialects; language and emotion; language and identity; and language in the East Midlands.