I am a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at Lancaster University. My research draws on insights and methods from cognitive science and critical discourse analysis to investigate the links between language, cognition and social/political action. It falls into two principal programs.

In the first, I advocate a Cognitive Linguistic Approach to Critical Discourse Analysis.  This approach involves a semantic analysis of particular linguistic (lexical, grammatical, pragmatic) features found in political and media discourse.  More narrowly, it investigates the conceptual structures that are associated with different language usages or linguistic ‘constructions’ and the ideological or (de)legitimating functions that such structures may serve in specific discursive contexts.

In the second, I am concerned with the connection between Argumentation and Adapted Cognition.  This approach seeks to explain rhetorical effectiveness by investigating the mapping between particular argumentation strategies found in political and media discourse and evolved heuristics and biases in social cognition.

I have applied both of these frameworks primarily in the context of anti-immigration discourse. However, I am currently developing the Cognitive Linguistic Approach, investigating links between meaning in image and language, in the context of discourse on political protests.




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