Staff Research Interests
Our staff have a wide range of research interests across linguistics and the English language.
My research draws on theories and methods from applied linguistics, media and communication studies and sociology. I am especially interested in health & science communication and particularly, 1) how are health & science topics communicated in various media (e.g. by invoking what culturally-embedded frames, metaphors, news values), 2) how do people communicate about health & science topics (using various media) and 3) what is the role of culture (broadly defined) in such communication. To date, I have worked on the topics of obesity, mental health and climate change.
I am a historian and my PhD thesis looked at popular reactions to the Khodynka disaster, a stampede which took place during the coronation celebrations of Nicholas II of Russia in 1896.
More recently, my research has focussed upon the history of early modern England and has explored the benefits of using large corpora in the study of the past. I am particularly interested in the ways in which marginalised people were perceived in early modern public discourse.
I am a child language researcher investigating the interplay between children’s linguistic and cognitive development. As part of the ESRC International Centre for Language and Communicative Development (LuCiD) I examine the possible influence from linguistic perspective marking on young children’s social cognition by means of training studies with 2-to-3-year-olds. To assess the role of general cognitive abilities, the experiments further test the impact of memory, inhibition and cognitive flexibility.
In two side projects, I also target the relationship between language and cognition, but from different angles: neurodevelopmental disorders (language development in autism) and crosslinguistic comparisons (linguistic fieldwork and semantic typology).
I do corpus analyses and experimental studies to investigate how children's comprehension and productive use of specific (complex) linguistic structures is guided by the form and function of these and related structures in their input. I see language acquisition as a general learning process and also look at interactions between linguistic and social-cognitive development.
My main research interests are corpus linguistics, statistics, and the application of corpus methods in the study of speech and writing, learner language, collocations, phraseology and vocabulary. I am also interested in corpus design and corpus tools development. I welcome PhD proposals that focus on one or more of these areas.
I am a Senior Research Associate in the ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS) within the Department of Linguistics and English Language. My research interests include corpus linguistics, (critical) discourse studies, multimodality and health communication. I am Associate Editor of the International Journal of Corpus Linguistics (John Benjamins) and Communications Officer for the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL) Corpus Linguistics Special Interest Group.
My research combines a number of subareas of speech science. I am mainly interested in forensic speech technology (accent recognition and speaker recognition systems) and how we can use phonetic and sociophonetic research to uncover the inner workings and potential of these technologies.
My main research interests are language testing, and reading and listening in a foreign language. In recent research, I have focused on:
- diagnosing second and foreign language proficiency (see Alderson, Brunfaut & Harding, 2015 [ILTA Best Article Award]; Harding, Alderson & Brunfaut, 2015)
- using eyetracking to investigate reading processes (see Brunfaut, 2016; Brunfaut & McCray, 2015; McCray & Brunfaut, 2018)
- delivery mode effects of language tests (see Brunfaut, Harding & Batty, 2018 [eAssessment Award for Best Research])
- the role of phraseological knowledge in reading (see Kremmel, Brunfaut & Alderson, 2017)
- the role of task and listener characteristics in second language listening assessment (see Brunfaut & Revesz, 2015; Revesz & Brunfaut, 2013; Brunfaut, 2016)
In addition, I regularly conduct language test development and consultancy work for professional and educational bodies around the world. In 2015, I was awarded the TOEFL Outstanding Young Scholar Award for my professional activities and contributions to the field of language assessment.
My work work spans pragmatics, English language (especially historical aspects) and stylistics. Within pragmatics, I am particularly interested in interpersonal pragmatics and (im)politeness. Historical pragmatics brings together pragmatics with my interests in historical linguistics, the history of English in particular. Within English language, I am particularly interested in Early Modern English. Within stylistics, I am particularly interested in cognitive stylistics, plays and Shakespeare. Methodologically, I have particular interests in corpus-based methods.
My main research interests relate to the use of corpus linguistics methodologies to study language production, from various perspectives and in different settings.
I first investigated potential differences (and similarities) between lexical patterning in translated and non-translated texts of the same language. My attention then turned to English academic writing and I examined features of abstracts written in English by Brazilian graduate students from various disciplines.
My current research focuses on the discourse of climate change in media coverage. Our primary purpose is to investigate how the issue has been framed across Britain and Brazil in the past decade.
My research interests are related to three main areas:
- Use of corpus linguistics in language learning & teaching: design and use of learner corpora, spoken learner corpora, development of corpus-based teaching materials, corpus-based learning and teaching
- Vocabulary & lexical learning: vocabulary acquisition and use, comparison of voabulary learning in L1 and L2, academic vocabulary acquisition, vocabulary learning in content-based programs (e.g. in CLIL, bilingual education), phraseology, formulaic language and collocations
- Language learning in bilingual education: combining content and language learning, English for specific and academic purposes
I am exploring and expanding the boundaries of digital literacies. My main practical aim is to increase access to innovative and creative yet safe online spaces. My principle academic aim is to expand understandings of the relationship of language with multimodality, through combining study of new media with early twentieth century literacy practices. I also work with young deaf users of Sign Languages in marginalised communities in the Global South who are collaborating online to improve their English literacy.
I am Co-Investigator in the ESRC/DFID project Transforming deaf learners' multiliteracies into sustainable educational approaches for 3 years from July 2017 following a one year pilot ESCR/DFID project Literacy Development with deaf communities using sign language, peer tuition, and learner-generated online content: sustainable educational innovation
I am the director of the Edwardian Postcard project, the current holder of a FASS impact award and recentlly completed an AHRC Creative Exchange mini project. We are constructing a more interactive website and engaging in other activities to connect with family and local history audiences as well as museums and e-heritage users.
My most recent book, Digital Literacies, consolidates empirical and theoretical interests in recent work including on Twitter as a professional practice and online ethnography. My research on children and teenagers learning in formal and informal settings including in virtual worlds also features in this recent book and its associated ESRC seminar series. See also the Day in the Life project website and this book, which has just been translated into Italian. I am also working with symbols of cultural identity in Hong Kong and Canada.
I primarily research aggression, deception, and manipulation in computer-mediated communication (CMC), including phenomena such as flaming, trolling, cyberbullying, and online grooming. I tend to take a forensic linguistic approach, based on a corpus linguistic methodology, but due to the multidisciplinary nature of my research, I also inevitably branch out into areas such as psychology, law, and computer science.
My major specialism is corpus linguistics - specifically, the methodology of corpus linguistics, and how it can be applied to different areas of study in linguistics and beyond. I am currently working on applications of corpus methods in the social sciences and humanities. I am also very interested in the use of corpus-based methods to study languages other than English, especially the languages of Asia, with an especial focus on issues in descriptive and theoretical grammar.
My research interests are in language testing and assessment, and applied linguistics more generally. I am particularly interested in second language listening and pronunciation assessment, and specifically the interface between sociolinguistics and language assessment (for example, the challenge of English as a Lingua Franca for language assessment). I also work on diagnostic language assessment (together with colleagues Tineke Brunfaut and Charles Alderson), and language assessment literacy (with Benjamin Kremmel).
My research draws on insights and methods from cognitive science and critical discourse analysis to investigate the links between language, cognition and social/political action. It falls into three principal programs.
In the first, I advocate a Cognitive Linguistic Approach to Critical Discourse Studies (CL-CDS). This approach involves a semantic analysis of particular linguistic (lexical, grammatical, pragmatic) features found in political and media discourse. More narrowly, it investigates the conceptual structures that are associated with different language usages and the ideological or (de)legitimating functions that such structures may serve in specific discursive contexts.
In the second, I am concerned with the connection between Argumentation and Adapted Cognition (AAC). This approach seeks to explain rhetorical effectiveness by investigating the mapping between particular argumentation strategies found in political and media discourse and evolved heuristics and biases in social cognition.
In the third, I use experimental methods to test hypotheses concerning textual influence which emerge from analyses in CL-CDS and the AAC model.
I have used these frameworks primarily to investigate discourses of migration and political protests.
My research interests are in cognitive-typological linguistics (including construction grammar), language change and the history of English, and (Lancashire) dialect grammar. More recently, I have also started to carry out some work in forensic linguistics -- specifically, in the area of verbal lie detection. In order to shed light on issues in and across these areas I have a keen interest in using different methodologies, ranging from corpora to experimental methods.
main interest is language teaching, and he has published various books of teaching materials, including Now for English (for young learners) and Communicate in Writing (academic writing materials). He has also written and co-edited a number of background books such as The Communicative Approach to Language Teaching (edited with C.J. Brumfit), Communication in the Classroom (edited with K. Morrow), and Communicative Syllabus Design and Methodology. His most recent publications are Language Teaching and Skill Learning (Blackwell, 1998), Encyclopedic Dictionary of Applied Linguistics: A handbook for language teaching (Blackwell, edited with H. Johnson, 1999), Designing Language Teaching Tasks (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), Expertise in Second Language Learning and Teaching (Palgrave Macmillan, edited, 2005), and An Introduction to Foreign Language Learning and Teaching: Second Edition (Longman/Pearson Education, 2008). He was founding editor of the journal Language Teaching Research (Sage Publications).
My research project is part of the (ERC-funded) Spatial Humanities project which aims to show that Geographical Information Systems (GIS) can prove useful to the analysis of qualitative data, for the benefit of disciplines in the Humanities. I will be investigating nineteenth-century newspapers using Corpus Linguistics methods and GIS with a goal to making a contribution to the field of History. The main research question is: ‘how are places represented in British public discourse and how has this changed over time?’
I am fascinated by speech as a complex biological, physical, cognitive and social system. I have broad interests that span speech acoustics, kinematics, bilingualism, motor control, sociophonetics, sound change, and laboratory phonology. I study these topics across a range of languages and dialects via fieldwork and laboratory research, using methods such as acoustic analysis, ultrasound imaging and electromagnetic articulography. Some of my ongoing research is outlined below.
Bilingual sound systems and phonological representation
My research investigates how bilingual sound systems work, with a focus on language-specific speech production goals, the nature of phonetic and phonological transfer, and speech development. Much of my research in this area has used ultrasound to image the movements of the tongue during speech. I work on languages including English, Punjabi, Twi, Turkish, Sylheti and Scottish Gaelic.
Collaborators: Kathleen McCarthy (QMUL), Jessica Wormald (JP French forensics lab), Bahar Asku (Lancaster), Claire Nance(Lancaster), Maya Zara (Lancaster), Chloé Diskin (Melbourne), Rosey Billington (Melbourne), Debbie Loakes (Melbourne), Simon Gonzalez Ochoa (ANU)
Sociophonetics and laboratory phonology
My PhD focused on sociophonetic variation in high-contact multiethnic communities, during which I also worked extensively on the social meanings of variation. Since then, our group at Lancaster has documented phonetic and phonological variation in the North West of England, which so far includes research on laterals and intonation. More recently, my interests in this area have shifted towards the intersection of sociophonetics and laboratory phonology, with a focus on sound change. Current research focuses on sound change and rhoticity in Blackburn, and regional vowel variation in a large (4000+ speakers) crowdsourced speech corpus.
Collaborators: Danielle Turton (Newcastle), Georgina Brown (Lancaster), Adrian Leemann (Lancaster), Claire Nance (Lancaster), Bethany Littlewood (Sheffield), Kate Lightfoot (Anglia Ruskin), Eve Groarke (NHS)
Speech production and experimental phonetics
I am interested in a variety of topics within speech production and experimental phonetics, with a focus on causal models of speech acoustics, articulation and aerodynamics. I am also committed to descriptive research on a diverse range of languages and dialects, which I believe is really important from a sociocultural perspective and also for comprehensively testing phonetic and phonological theories. My current work in this area focuses on kinematics of preaspiration and acoustic-articulatory relations in speech.
Veronika Koller is interested in socio-cognitive approaches within critical discourse studies, specifically the role of metaphor in constructing identites and communicating ideologies. Her areas of expertise are health communication, corporate discourse, and language and sexuality. Veronika’s research includes work on metaphor and gender in business media discourse, images of community in lesbian discourses, the discourse of corporate branding, metaphor in end-of-life care as well as, most recently, the discourse of cancer charities.
1. Psychological aspects of second language learning. In my research I investigate the speech production and monitoring processes of second language learners. I conducted studies on the role of language aptitude and working memory capacity in language learning.
2. Language learning motivation, self-regulation and learner autonomy in foreign and second language contexts.
3. Language learners with special educational needs. I was the chief investigator of a project that explored the foreign language learning processes of dyslexic students. I authored a course-book on specific learning difficulties and language teaching and worked on a European Commission sponsoroed Lifelong Learning teacher training project in the field of dyslexia and language learning www.dystefl.eu
I have a broad interest in speech communication. Over the past years I have conducted research on the production and perception of prosody, forensic phonetics, dialect identification, speaker identification, and dialect app development.
This website is currently under construction, see personal website.
Alison Mackey is interested in second language acquisition, specifically, input, interaction, corrective feedback and task-based language learning and teaching. She is also interested in second language research methodologies and willing to supervise students in any of these areas.
I direct the ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science, which was awarded a Queen's Anniversary Prize for its research in 2015.
I undertake research using corpus linguistics in a range of areas across theoretical and applied linguistics. As well as undertaking 'blue skies' research, I have also done applied work with a range of partner organizations in the public sector (e.g. the Department of Culture Media and Sport, the Environment Agency and the Home Office) and the private sector (e.g. with British Telecom, IBM, Nokia and Research in Motion). I have worked on projects in a wide range of languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish. I have also constructed many corpora including the CRATER and EMILLE corpora. The latter remains the largest and most comprehensive collection of written and spoken corpus materials for South Asian languages.
In my reserach I focus on second language acquisition. I am particularly interested in cognitive processes of memory and attention underlying language learning. I wrote my thesis on task complexity and interaction during task-based L2 performance at the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands). As a post-doctoral researcher at Mannheim University (Germany) I focused on preschool teachers' language training competences. Currently, I work on projects on alignment during task-based computer mediated communication and on second language writing processes and their relation to text quality. In all those projects I make use of our eye tracking lab.
I work on the Encyclopaedia of Shakespeare’s Language project (AHRC project AH/N002415/1), which brings corpus linguistics to Shakespearean studies. My research interests include the language of Shakespeare's soliloquies, the stylistics of drama, (im)politeness theory, and corpus linguistics.
I have worked in ELT for over 30 years, mainly in Spain, but also in the UK, France and Egypt. My main interests lie in the teaching of language and literature in initial teacher training, and teaching English for academic purposes.
My main research interests are:
literacy and education (the politics and practices of teaching reading; critical literacy; digital literacies and multimodality)
supporting literacy development in countries of the Global South;
collaborative action research
Writing and urban spaces (linguistic landscapes)
My research centers on the role of interaction in instructed language learning, among children and among adults, through socio-cognitive perspectives:
1. Peer interaction - how does it complement the role of the teacher?
2. Learner engagement in language classrooms - cognitive, social and emotional - how can we describe it? how can we foster it?
3. The contribution of individual differences in learning through oral interaction (e.g. working memory, language aptitude, motivation, learning preferences)
4. The role of noticing, the place of corrective feedback, and of learner's output in language development.
5. Task based interaction - how does it work in foreign language settings?
I undertake research on testing language for specific purposes, the scope and definition of language constructs in particular contexts, speaking assessment, language assessment literacy, test users’ perspectives, and test impact.
More generally, I am interested in the nature of discourse communities and how newcomers gain access to them in terms of language. I study English in medical/healthcare contexts and in academic contexts.
My post at Lancaster University is the Trinity College London Lectureship in Language Testing and I am involved in research with Trinity College London.
For more information, including publications, please visit my website.
My research focuses on bilingual cognition, i.e. I am interested in how we acquire and process a second language. I am particularly interested in the implicit and explicit learning of languages. My work addresses questions such as the following: What role do individual differences play in language acquisition? How does explicit knowledge affect implicit learning? What is the role of frequency in language acquisition? How do we measure implicit and explicit knowledge? How are implicit and explicit knowledge represented in the mind and, ultimately, the brain?
My research is concerned with the interaction between structured social relations, people’s goals and interests, and the part played by discursive patterns in sustaining or challenging these. I often use corpus-assisted approaches to discourse analysis, and work with researchers in other disciplines to explore the potential of these methods beyond applied linguistics.
I am the co-investigator on a project that is researching the discursive representation of animals (http://animaldiscourse.wordpress.com/). This interest arises from a more general concern with the links between language use and social relationships and processes.
I am also collaborating with a political scientist on research into parliamentary language.
My most recent interest is in written bilingual and multilingual texts - magazines, websites, signs and other texts which contain a mixture of languages. Another main interest of mine is in the Sociolinguistics of Orthography, a relatively unexplored field which examines the cultural and social aspects of spelling and writing systems. My other main interests are in pidgin and creole languages and in the analysis of conversational code switching in bilingual communities.
My research interests are in stylistics, metaphor theory and analysis, and the medical humanities/health communication. I often combine qualitative analysis with corpus linguistic methods.
Stylistics: cognitive stylistics; corpus stylistics; mind style in fiction.
Metaphor theory and analysis: metaphor in literature, politics, science, health communication, end-of-life care; metaphor and embodied simulation; corpus approaches to the study of metaphor.
Medical humanities/health communication: representations of autism and mental illness in fictional and non-fictional narratives; (figurative) language, creativity and chronic pain.
As a theoretical linguist, I am interested in the relationship between cognition, pragmatics and historical phenomena of language change, such as grammaticalization, (inter-)subjectification, chunking, entrenchment, constructionalization and semasiology. In addition, my research is also focused on the intersection of online phenomena of speech production and cognitive mechanisms such as cognitive control and Theory of Mind. In my work, I address the latter as:
• a stage of the ontogenetic development of the child (viz. his/her first language acquisition)
• a cognitively triggered stage of diachronic reanalysis of a linguistic construction
• an online form of cognitive awareness which can be operationally/textually observed during adults’ speech events.
Many aspects of my research are centered on Mandarin Chinese and other Sinitic languages addressed from a typological, cognitive and (intercultural-)pragmatic point of view. The semantic-pragmatic-grammatical domains of enquiry of my publications are: grammatical-semantic-pragmatic approaches to evidentiality, epistemic-modality, tense-aspect, factuality (or factivity), cognitive and pragmatic approaches to presuppositions, common ground, assertions and speech act theories.
My methodology is mainly characterized by qualitative and quantitative corpus-based/driven models of analysis, R-based machine-learning modeling, questionnaire-design, typological as well as intercultural-pragmatic comparison, both from a diachronic and a synchronic perspective.
I convene the following undergraduate modules:
CHIN100 Chinese Linguistics and Culture
CHIN200 Chinese Linguistics
CHIN201 Chinese Linguistics
CHIN300 Chinese Linguistics and translation
LING490 Cognitive Approaches to English Grammar (MA module)
Engagement with material texts, including digital texts, is one of the central ways in which the social world is co-ordinated, shaping people's identities and experiences as well as the social relations within which they are situated. I am interested in developing better understandings of these processes through detailed local studies of people's engagements with texts in specific settings, situating myself within literacy studies and linguistic ethnography. Most recently, these interests have led me to study workplace paperwork and vernacular learning online. Previously I have analysed the role of literacy practices in identity construction in a parish community, and worked in adult literacy research as part of a team exploring relationships between lives and learning.
I am currently interested in three main research areas:
- Online forms of political resistance;
- Language policy and the politics of language (especially in Scotland);
- Students' attitudes towards their use of academic language, particularly when they are studying in international contexts.
My research focuses on tense, mood and modality, pragmatic markers, indefinites and argument structure. It deals mainly with (West) Germanic but I also have a keen interest in Standard Average European and typology. My work can be situated in the fields of areal linguistics, contrastive linguistics, corpus linguistics, functional/cognitive linguistics and historical linguistics.
Ruth's research interests focus on (Critical) Discourse Studies, specifically on the Discourse-Historical Approach (while emphasising aspects of the integration of text and context); (national/transnational/European) identity politics; (national/European) politics of the past (specifically related to World War II and the Holocaust); racism, antisemitism, and xenophobia; and the complex dimensions of right-wing populism and exclusionary rhetoric. In investigating these topics, she analyzes a range of written, verbal and visual genres in systematic detail. Recent book pulications are The Politics of Fear: What Right-wing Populist Discourses Mean. Sage 2015 (https://uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/the-politics-of-fear/book237802) and Methods of CDS (eds Ruth Wodak & Michael Meyer). Sage 2015 (3rd edition) (https://uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/methods-of-critical-discourse-studies/book242185)