Some biographical information

I studied Neurobiology at the University of Sussex, graduating in 1975.

I then joined the Department of Language and Linguistics here at Essex as a PhD student. I spent 6 months researching in Leningrad as a British Council funded scholar in 1977-78. I was awarded a PhD in 1980 for a thesis on 'Contrastivity and Functional Sentence Perspective'.

From 1979-81 I worked as a translator in Moscow and then joined the Speech Therapy Department in a post jointly funded by the Central School of Speech and Drama and the Polytechnic of Central London (now the University of Westminster). I taught various aspects of linguistics and psycholinguistics there till 1990, when I joined the Department of Language and Linguistics to teach phonology and morphology. I have been Professor of Linguistics in the department since 1999.

Non-linguistic interests

I perform in a variety of music groups devoted to pre-classical music (i.e. before 1750)

I sing in a vocal quintet The Marenzio Singers

I sing in Psalmody, a chamber choir formed by Peter Holman to perform at the Suffolk Villages Festival

I play recorders and sing in the Colchester/Wivenhoe based baroque group The Cavendish Consort (webpage under construction)

I play baroque viola in the Belsize Baroque Orchestra.

Im also the fixer for the viola section of this orchestra. If you play baroque viola or modern viola with gut strings and a baroque bow and youd be interested in performing with us please contact me on andrew.spencer01 at






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