Language and Global Communication
‘Globalisation’ can be conceptualised as a new order of communication. English and other languages are being reshaped by global forces, while they play their part, along with non-linguistic modes of communication such as image and music, in creating global worlds that we identify with or distance ourselves from. Across a wide range of cultural contexts, the examination of old and new processes in communication, played out on the global stage, lies at the heart of research by the Centre for Language and Communication Research (CLCR) into language and global communication.
Language, Identities and Interpersonal Communication
What roles do language and discourse play in defining individuals and social groups? What light do different research methods shed on relationships between social groups? How are identities ‘performed’ and manipulated in social interaction? Our research takes a broad view of these and other sociolinguistic issues.
What makes certain expressions sound idiomatic? How is meaning achieved through the choice of words and structures? How similar does the written language of identical twins look? What role does intonation play in the presentation of spoken discourse? How does language interface with other communication modalities? What characterises narrative form in different functional contexts? Such questions illustrate aspects of language profiling, which harnesses traditional and new techniques of linguistic description to explain and explore the nature of spoken and written texts.
Professional and Public Discourse
How is discourse managed on television and radio? What is the role of news broadcasts in creating news? What features characterise the language of lawyers in court, or doctors in consultations? How do police officers ensure that detainees understand their rights? How should child witnesses be interviewed? How do patients understand the nature of medical risk? In business, how does information pass from management to employees and back again? These are all questions that interest our researchers into professional and public discourse.