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Research Unit for Speech and Language

RUSL brings together UCLan researchers whose work straddles the theoretical-applied spectrum. As their performance in RAE2008 reveals, RUSL members are especially recognised for the academic excellence of their research, its interdisciplinary nature, and the cultural and social benefits such research affords.

Research strengths include:

  • Corpus Linguistics – specifically, the development and application of corpus tools and annotation schemes - as a means of advancing theory, investigating language change, and documenting discursive practices as used within particular communities of practice (socio-cultural, professional and forensic).
  • Discourse and Argumentation Studies – including critical discourse analysis, argumentation theory (including pragma-dialectics), and political rhetoric.
  • Discourse and Identity – including discourse constructionism, identity as situated practice, multilingual & multicultural language practices, and cultural identity
  • Education, Language and Literacy – including strategies for embedding employability into the curriculum, grammar in education, widening participation via language, computer-assisted language learning and literacies and technology.
  • Forensic Linguistics – specifically, authorship analysis, courtroom practices (modern and historical), the language of extremism, and online behaviour.
  • Pragmatics (contemporary and historical) – including the interface with prosody, grammaticalisation, discourse marker and speech act research, the development of pragmatic annotation schemes, and tracing the development / evolution of pragmatic phenomena over time (including linguistic indicators of aggression).
  • Sign Language interpreting – including the interface between interpreting studies and pragmatics.
  • Theoretical Linguistics – specifically, phonetics, grammatical/morpho-syntactic change, descriptive and theoretical Germanic Linguistics, cross-linguistic grammatical description.