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Dr Sarah Duffy

Senior Lecturer

Department: Humanities

Dr Sarah Duffy is Director of Employability and Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics in the Department of Humanities at Northumbria, where she has been based since 2016. Prior to this, she held a lectureship in the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics at the University of Birmingham.

Since 2016, Sarah has served as Review Editor for the journal Language and Cognition and, in 2019, she launched the new Cambridge University Press Elements Series in Cognitive Linguistics with Co-Editor, Nick Riches.

In 2019, Sarah was elected as Vice President for the UK Cognitive Linguistics Association. She is also Visiting Associate Professor in Linguistics at the University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, China.

Sarah Duffy


  • Linguistics PhD September 16 2014
  • English Language BA (Hons) June 27 2008
  • Fellow of The Higher Education Academy FHEA

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Can co-speech gestures alone carry the mental time line?, Winter, B., Duffy, S. 14 May 2020, In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
  • On the path of time: Temporal motion in typological perspective, Feist, M., Duffy, S. 13 Apr 2020, In: Language and Cognition
  • Power, gender, and individual differences in spatial metaphor, Winter, B., Duffy, S., Littlemore, J. 25 Jun 2020, In: Metaphor and Symbol
  • Reporting conditionals with modals, Sztencel, M., Duffy, S. 2019, Indirect Reports and Pragmatics in the World Languages, Cham, Springer
  • Power in time: The influence of power posing on metaphoric perspectives on time, Duffy, S., Feist, M. Dec 2017, In: Language and Cognition
  • The top trumps of time: Factors motivating the resolution of temporal ambiguity, Duffy, S., Evans, V. Jun 2017, In: Language and Cognition
  • Moving beyond ‘Next Wednesday’: The interplay of lexical semantics and constructional meaning in an ambiguous metaphoric statement, Feist, M., Duffy, S. 1 Nov 2015, In: Cognitive Linguistics
  • The metaphoric representation of time: a cognitive linguistic perspective, Duffy, S. 2015
  • Individual differences in the interpretation of ambiguous statements about time, Duffy, S., Feist, M. 2014, In: Cognitive Linguistics
  • Moving Through Time: The Role of Personality in Three Real-Life Contexts, Duffy, S., Feist, M., McCarthy, S. Nov 2014, In: Cognitive Science

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Sarah's main strand of research explores the ways in which people understand and reason about metaphors, with a particular focus on the factors that influence people’s perspectives on the movement of events in time. She is currently writing a monograph with Michele Feist for Cambridge University Press on time, metaphor, and language from a Cognitive Science perspective. Sarah is also involved in a number of projects exploring the pervasiveness of metaphor and embodied cognition in education and society.


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