My research interests are centred on the analysis of language as used for evaluative/persuasive purposes. Within this broad area, my research falls into two main sub-categories: the analysis of linguistic im/politeness in spoken and computer-mediated interactions, and corpus-assisted discourse analysis of political and media discourse.
In the field of linguistic im/politeness, I am particularly interested in the topic of politeness mismatch or mock politeness, for instance sarcasm, and in this area I published Mock Politeness in English and Italian: A corpus-assisted metalanguage analysis in 2016.
In my work on political and media discourse, I am currently focussing on the representation of migration and people who migrate. This includes a collaborative project (see the origins here) which aims to build an open dictionary of discourse keywords of migration in four European languages. I have written about the importance of language in representing others in a popular piece for The Conversation on Migrant or refugee? Why it matters which word you use. My current project investigates the represenation of migraton from a historical persective.
I am a corpus linguist and am very interested in methodological issues and the impact of the researcher on the researched. In this area, I have co-authored the volume Patterns and Meanings in Discourse Theory and practice in corpus-assisted discourse studies (CADS). I am also currently working on two edited volumes which investigate the analysis of absences in discourse, and the methodology of combining corpus lingusitics and discourse analysis.
PhD supervision
I would be interested in supervising doctoral students in the areas of pragmatics, intercultural pragmatics, (critical) discourse analysis and corpus linguistics. In particular, I would welcome proposals on:
  • im/politeness mismatch, e.g. investigations of sarcasm or patronising behaviours.
  • impoliteness and culture
  • metalanguage of impoliteness
  • discourses of migration
  • the role of language in 'othering'
  • discourse studies of populism
  • representation of gender and sexuality
  • diachronic studies of media/public representation
  • corpus-assisted discourse studies of absence