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Dr Michelle Aldridge-Waddon - BA, PhD (Wales)


Dr Michelle Alridge Position: Senior Lecturer Email:
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 79017
Extension: 79017
Location: John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3EU.

Research Group

Centre for Language and Communication Research

New for 2015: We are offering an Advanced Research Residency in Language and Law

Postgraduate Students

Michelle is interested in supervising PhD students in all areas related to child language acquisition, communication disorders,  forensic linguistics and electronic language production.

If you are interested in coming to Cardiff to explore one (or more) of these topics, please contact me to discuss the opportunities offered at Cardiff University in terms of MA studies, PhD research or collaboration.

Research Interests

My research interests include all aspects of Child language acquisition and adult and child communication disorders.  Much of my recent research is in the linguistic experiences of vulnerable witnesses and offenders through the legal system.

Selected Publications

(2013) with June Luchjenbroers (Bangor). Do  you kick a dog when it’s down? Considering the use of children’s video-taped testimonies in court. In M. Freeman & F. Smith (eds) Current Legal Issues, 16, Law and Language. Oxford University Press. 292-309

(2011) with June Luchjenbroers (Bangor). Constructing vulnerability: the experience of children and other groups within legal discourse. In Discourses of Deficit. J. Crichton & C. Candlin (eds.). Palgrave. Pp. 25-41.

(2011) with June Luchjenbroers (Bangor). Paedophiles and Politeness in email communications: Community of Practice needs that define face-threat. Journal of Politeness Research: Language, Behaviour, Culture 7(1): 21-42. Special Issue.

(2008) with June Luchjenbroers (Bangor). Vulnerable Witnesses and Problems of Portrayal: A Consideration of Videotaped Police Interviews in Child Rape Cases. Journal of English Linguistics 36: 266 – 284.

(2008) Language and Vulnerable Witnesses across Legal Contexts: Introduction to the Special Issue. Journal of English Linguistics 36: 191-194.

Teaching and administrative responsibilities

I teach modules in Child Language Acquisition, Communication Disorders, Forensic Linguistics and Language and Mind to undergraduate students and Forensic Linguistics at MA level.

I am the Director of studies for Language and Communication.

Recent conference presentations

Conceptual Frames, child sex, and the unspoken autonomous testosterone' myth. (with June Luchjenbroers).  4th UK Cognitive Linguistics Conference, 10-12 July 2012, King's College London.

A Classification of interference errors in spontaneous language production (with Lise Fontaine) Cognitive Futures of the Humanities, Bangor University, 4-6 April 2013

Consent is a Gift: Legal argument and evidence in dealing with rape (with June Luchjenbroers) Cognitive Futures of the Humanities, Bangor University, 4-6 April 2013

Exploring choice in digital language production (with Lise Fontaine) European Systemic Functional Linguistics Conference and Workshop (ESFLCW), Coventry, July 2013

The role of working memory in typed copying tasks: a new perspective on writing activity (with Lise Fontaine) BAAL 2013

I’m on the editorial board of VIAL: Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics




Michelle’s main research interest is in the linguistic experiences of vulnerable witnesses and offenders through the legal system. To this end, a great deal of work is ongoing looking at the experiences of children, rape victims, the elderly and people with communication disorders during the initial police interview and subsequent cross-examination and also looking at the language experiences of vulnerable offenders in prison. Research conducted with Dr. June Luchjenbroers (Bangor University) has fallen within the theoretical approach of 'Cognitive Linguistics' and examines oral narratives; legal transcripts and audio and video-taped conversational data.

A new research area for me (with Lise Fontaine) is the Keystroke Project

The keystroke project is a study of the human production of electronic language using a keyboard (e.g. email, chat, Facebook, and other types of spontaneous, personal computer-mediated communication). In this study, the analysis would be based on the use of keystroke software (Inputlog) which records all keystrokes made by the speaker.

The main research topics in the project include:

  • the influence of "typed" language on linguistic choice
  • automatic (online or as it happens) language processing
  • typographical errors
  • production errors
  • evidence of formulaic sequences
  • effects of online language processing (synchronous real time exchanges, e.g. chat) and reflective language processing (asynchronous exchanges, e.g. email, discussion forums)
  • other relevant topics arising from the data.



Michelle is a Senior Lecturer in Language and Communication. She was formerly a Senior Lecturer in the Linguistics Department at the University of Wales, Bangor. She has also lectured at the International Summer School in Forensic Linguistics and regularly leads Police training days around the UK on ‘Interviewing Vulnerable witnesses’. Her undergraduate and Masters teaching responsibilities include modules such as Children, Language and Communication; Communication Disorders and Forensic Linguistics.