Professor of English Language and Linguistics, Faculty of Arts
I hold an MA in English Language for Literary Studies and a PhD in Applied Linguistics (both from the University of Nottingham). My PhD was on the link between speech acts and lexico-grammar using a corpus-based approach. It was supervised by Ron Carter who has since become a colleague and close collaborator on a number of projects. Between 2011 and 2015 I was Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange for the Faculty of Arts and Associate Director of the Centre for Advanced Studies which supports research and KE across the faculties of Arts and Social Sciences. Other major previous roles at Nottingham include Head of English Language and Applied Linguistics, Director of the Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics and Interim Academic Director of the Midlands 3 Cities AHRC funded Doctoral Training Partnership. I am currently lead for 'Cultures and Communication', one of the University's five Global Research Themes. Since August 2017, I have been Head of School of the School of English at the University of Nottingham.
I have previously served as a member of AHRC Council (2014-2018) and of the ESRC's Capability Committee and Strategic Advisory Network. I also served as a member of AHRC's Advisory Board, and represented the AHRC within HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area). Between 2004-2007 I was a member of the executive committee of the British Association of Applied Linguistics and have represented BAAL in the Network of European Applied Linguists and the International Association for Applied Linguistics. I am currently serving on the external advisory Board of the 'AI for Science and Government' project at the Alan Turing Institute.
I teach across a wide range of areas in English Language and Applied Linguistics and across all levels including 1st, 2nd and 3rd year undergraduate, MA level, and research skills for PhD students.… read more
Areas of expertise - applied linguistics; discourse analysis; pragmatics; corpus linguistics; multimodality, digital humanities, e-language, sociolinguistics; language and location; language and… read more
I welcome applications for PhD study in the following areas: applied linguistics; discourse analysis; pragmatics; corpus linguistics; multimodality, digital humanities, e-language, sociolinguistics; language and location; language and identity. In terms of linguistic units of analysis, I have particular interests in phraseology, multi-word expressions and discourse structure.
I have extensive experience of supervising PhD students, and most of my former PhD students have moved to full time academic employment following the completion of their doctorate (including Dr Joe Wang, Dr Keiko Tsuchiya, Dr Anne Liu, Dr Dawn Knight now Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University, Dr Sarah Atkins now holding an ESRC Future Leaders award at the University of Nottingham, Dr Gila Schauer now Professor at the University of Erfurt in Germany, Dr Phoebe Lin now Senior Research Fellow at City University of Hong Kong, Dr Mike Handford now Professor at the Cardiff University). Dr Eric Lin and Dr Irina Dahlmann have moved into secondary school teaching careers.
Given the interdisciplinary nature of much of my research, my PhD students have received funding for their doctoral research from AHRC, ESRC and EPSRC, as well as through international scholarships. I regularly co-supervise with colleagues in other faculties, mainly based in Computer Science or Health Sciences. An emerging area of interest in this context is work with my colleague Professor Tom Rodden in the School of Computer Science on Human Agent Collectives. We are interested in how the communicative space between software agents and humans can be described and understood and what it might mean to be a digital agent in a human world in terms of communication. Tom and I have co-supervised two PhD students in this area to successful on-time completion.
I have a particular interest in research skills training development and in ensuring that doctoral students receive excellent generic and subject specific training to enable them to develop and thrive as researchers. I have been closely involved in the development of research skills training practice and policy at local, regional and national level. This has included being part of a multi-disciplinary consortium team that developed the proposal for the AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership Midlands 3 Cities. I was previously involved in the application and delivery of the AHRC funded national PG training initiative: Corpus Linguistics Advanced Research Education and Training (CLARET), 2007-2009 (run by a consortium including Birmingham, Reading, Liverpool, Lancaster and Nottingham), and strand leader in the subsequent AHRC funded initiative Hidden Collections (2012-2013). I have also led two successful ESRC Doctoral Training recognition submissions for Linguistics at UoN, as well as the submission of the Linguistics pathway of the UoN ESRC DTC, and developed associated modules in research methods in applied linguistics. I regularly supervise students on the 'Horizon: My Life in Data' EPSRC CDT.
I teach across a wide range of areas in English Language and Applied Linguistics and across all levels including 1st, 2nd and 3rd year undergraduate, MA level, and research skills for PhD students. Previous modules that I have either developed from scratch, convened and/or taught include: Language in Context (covering phonetics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, discourse analysis, and applications of language description), Research Methods in Applied Linguistics, Skills in Corpus Analysis, Language and Society, Discourse Analysis, English Language Teaching modules, New Language: English in the Computer Age.
PhD supervision: I welcome applications for PhD study in the following areas: applied linguistics and ELT; discourse analysis; pragmatics; corpus linguistics; multimodality, English language and digital humanities, e-language, language and location, health communication.
For further information please use the 'PhD supervision' tab above.
Areas of expertise - applied linguistics; discourse analysis; pragmatics; corpus linguistics; multimodality, digital humanities, e-language, sociolinguistics; language and location; language and identity. In terms of linguistic units of analysis, I have particular interests in phraseology, multi-word expressions and discourse structure.
My research interests are mainly in the area of applied corpus linguistics and I am particularly interested in the wider applications of empirical language-based research. I have been involved in a range of corpus development projects including the Cambridge and Nottingham Corpus of Discourse in English (CANCODE) and the Cambridge and Nottingham Business English Corpus (CANBEC), the Nottingham Health Communication Corpus, and a recent corpus of e-language developed in collaboration with CUP.
A specific focus of my research is on developing frameworks and methods that enable us to account systematically for how our language varies from one context to another, and according to dynamic changes in the environment, in channels of communication and the social context of human interaction. I am particularly interested in how individuals and groups perform their identity by making different linguistic choices in across a range of contexts. Our work on the Teenage Health Freak project (see below) with my colleagues Louise Mullany, Kevin Harvey and Cat Smith is a good example of how these different strands of research have been combined and brought to bear on questions directly related to language and identity. We work closely with health professionals and other end users to ensure that this research can be used to inform current practice and policy related to issues in health communication.
Together with Dawn Knight and Ron Carter, and in collaboration with our colleagues in the School of Computer Science and IT at the University of Nottingham, I have worked extensively on multi-modal representations of spoken discourse through the development of video corpora funded mainly through an ESRC project which explores new forms of digital records for e-social science (see below). I have recently started to explore how this work might be applicable to research on sign language, as well as in cross-cultural contexts.
Recent projects include:
- HORIZON: Trusted Data-driven Products (CI), 2020-2025, EPSRC.
- HORIZON: From Human Data to Personal Experience (CI), 2015-2020, EPSRC.
- CASMA: Citizen-centric Approaches to Social Media Analysis (McAuley PI, Adolphs, Rodden, O'Malley) ESRC, 2014-2016.
- Medikidz: health communication in comics. Horizon Digital Economy Research project, RCUK (Adolphs PI, Benford, MacAuley plus CRAL team). 2013.
- Archives, Assets and Audiences: new modes to engage audiences with archival content and heritage sites (Benford PI, Adolphs, Madgin and Burch), AHRC. 2013.
- Crowdsourcing. Horizon Digital Economy Research project, RCUK (Greenhalgh, Adolphs, Carter, Spence, Price) 2011-2012.
- Exploiting corpus research for English Language Teaching applications (Carter (PI) and Adolphs), 2010 - 2011, ESRC.
- From Corpus to Classroom (Adolphs and Carter), EPSRC Knowledge Transfer Secondment to industry partner, 2010-2011, EPSRC.
- Health Communication on the Internet (Adolphs (PI), Mullany, Harvey), ESRC. 2009-2010.
- Towards Pervasive Media (Benford (PI), Adolphs, Carter, Hale, Priestnall, Grainge, Jackson, Pearson), 2009-2011, EPSRC.
- 'Digital Record Phase 2: Population Observatory' (Crabtree (PI), Carter, Adolphs, Rodden, Benford, Greenhalgh), 2008-2011. ESRC.
- Collaborative exchange visits for grid-based multi-modal research with University of Chicago (Adolphs (PI) and Carter), 2007-2008, NSF/ESRC.
- Second Language Speech Fluency: The role of pauses in the automatic extraction of multi-word units' (Adolphs (PI) and Rodden), 2005-2009, EPSRC.
- Headtalk: understanding the nature and role of gesture in 1-to-1 conversation' (Carter (PI), Adolphs, Schmitt, Crabtree, Pridmore, Mills), 2005-2006, ESRC.
- ESRC NATIONAL CENTRE FOR E-SOCIAL SCIENCE: Centre Node - New Forms of Digital Record', (Rodden (PI), Adolphs, Carter, Crabtree, O'Malley, Benford, Ainsworth, Clarke), 2004-2008, ESRC.