Alison Wray is a Research Professor at Cardiff University, where she is a member of the Centre for Language and Communication Research and Director of Research in the Cardiff School of English, Communication and Philosophy. She also has a partial secondment to the Cardiff School of Welsh, as a research advisor on the teaching of Welsh as a second language. Her BA in linguistics with German and Hindi and her D.Phil in psycholinguistics are both from the University of York. Her first academic post was as a linguistic researcher in the Department of Music, also at York. Subsequently, she held a senior lectureship at the then University College of Ripon & York St John, before becoming Assistant Director of the Wales Applied Language Research Unit at the University of Wales Swansea. She joined Cardiff University as a Senior Research Fellow in 1999.
Her numerous books, articles and chapters reflect a significant international contribution across three areas of interest: historical pronunciation for singers, the evolutionary origins of language, and formulaic language. Her research books include The transition to language (2002, OUP) and Formulaic language: pushing the boundaries (2008, OUP).