Jason Grafmiller

Colleges, School and Institutes

Research interests

My research aims to better understand the nature of syntactic variation in the context of natural language use. Most recently I have been investigating grammatical alternations in World Englishes, e.g. the particle placement alternation (I picked the book up ~ I picked up the book). Other areas of interest include: the interaction of syntactic, semantic and other cognitive factors in stylistic variation across registers and genres; the nature of so-called "end-weight" effects in word order variation; and the role of semantic features (esp. agency and animacy) in argument realization and transitivity alternations.


I joined the Department of English Language and Linguistics in June 2017. Before coming to the University of Birmingham, I was a postdoctoral fellow in the Quantitative Lexicology and Variational Linguistics (QLVL) research unit in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium.

Education/Academic qualification

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Stanford University

  • Bachelor of Arts, Ohio State University

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

I am interested in supervising MA and PhD research in linguistic variation of all stripes, particularly work focused on investigating usage-based models of social and/or cognitive factors shaping morphosyntactic variation in English (or other languages).