Professor Mari Jones


Professor of French Linguistics and Language Change

Mari Jones is Professor of French Linguistics and Language Change at the University of Cambridge's French Section (based in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages). At Peterhouse, Professor Jones is Fellow in Modern and Medieval Languages and Tutor.

Professor Jones is a leading authority on language variation and change and, in particular on language endangerment and revitalisation.  Her research has focused particularly on Welsh, Breton and, currently, the Norman spoken in the Channel Islands and on Mainland Normandy. Her graduate teaching focuses on Language endangerment, Language variation and change and Dialectology, both within the context of French and of other languages. She is currently supervising doctoral work on Louisiana Creole. Professor Jones was awarded the 2016 Vice-Chancellor's Impact Award for the School of Arts and Humanities for her work in support of the revitalisation of the Norman of the Channel Islands.

Major publications include the following books: A Glossary of the Norman Language in the Channel Islands (Blue Ormer, 2022), Variation and Change in Mainland and Insular Norman (Brill, 2015); The Guernsey Norman French Translations of Thomas Martin: A Linguistic Study of an Unpublished Archive (Peeters, 2008); Exploring Language Change (Routledge, 2005); Jèrriais: Jersey's Native Tongue (Don Balleine, 2003); Jersey Norman French: A Linguistic Study of an Obsolescent Dialect (Blackwell, 2001); Language Obsolescence and Revitalization (Oxford University Press, 1998) and La Langue bretonne aujourd'hui à Plougastel-Daoulas (Brud Nevez, 1998). Professor Jones is also editor of many academic volumes, including Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages (Cambridge University Press, 2017); Policy and Planning for Endangered Languages (Cambridge University Press, 2015); Endangered Languages and New Technologies (Cambridge University Press, 2014);  Keeping Languages Alive (Cambridge University Press, 2013); Language and Social Structure in Urban France (Legenda, 2013); Les Langues Normandes: Pluralité, Normes, Représentations (L'Harmattan, 2009);  The French Language and Questions of Identity (Legenda, 2007) and  Language Change: The Interplay of Internal, External and Extra-linguistic Factors (Mouton de Gruyter, 2002).   

Recent research projects have included directing an international research network funded by the AHRC on language and social structure in urban France and major collaborations with the University of Caen: "Patrimoine Linguistique en Normandie".

Professor Jones is a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales, Visiting Professor in Linguistics at the University of Bamberg, Visiting Fellow at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, External Expert for the Commission of Vanishing Languages and Cultural Heritage (VLACH) within the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the International Centre for Language Revitalisation and Research Associate at the Université Rennes 2, Haute Bretagne's Pôle de Recherches Francophonies, Interculturel, Communication, Sociolinguistique.

Professor Jones is founder of the Cambridge Endangered Languages and Cultures Group and the Cambridge Conferences in Language Endangerment series.

Professor Jones won the 2021 Cambridge SU award for Inclusive Practice. This is awarded to an academic who is consistently proactive in ensuring that their work is inclusive of all students, for example in terms of needs, race, disability, or gender.



Key Information

Undergraduate Tutor; Modern and Medieval Languages Linguistics
Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales (FLSW)


Modern and Medieval Languages