The PhD - the most advanced research degree - leads to a dissertation of up to 80,000 words on a subject of your choice and under the expert supervision of an academic member of staff.
Our principal areas of research include:
Cognitive Linguistics - an increasingly important area of departmental activity, research here focusses on the putative mental dispositions underlying language users' processing of space, time, metaphor and other forms of figurative language. Research is underpinned by experimental methods involving eye-tracking equipment and, increasingly, similar techniques. A new focus of work, linking corpus and cognitive research, concerns the importance of usage, patterns and constructions, in language acquisition and fluency.
Corpus Linguistics - our work in this area incorporates interests in linguistic theory and language description, including descriptive translation and contrastive studies, phraseology and the lexis-grammar interface, and in the application of corpus investigation techniques to areas such as translation, lexicography and diachronic language study. Corpus techniques also underpin much of our work in discourse studies and in language learning and teaching.
Stylistics and Discourse Studies - our work here focuses on written narrative structure and texture, text linguistics (diachronic as well as synchronic), literary stylistics, and critical discourse analysis. Major themes of interest include academic discourse, the relationship between language and social class, evaluation, language and new media, everyday creativity, and multi-modal discourse.
Language Learning and Teaching - our work in this area incorporates corpus approaches to phraseology, lexis and grammar, and discourse approaches to academic literacies. This also includes a focus on the teaching and learning of figurative language, collocation, and business English in the context of English as a global language. We also focus on cognitive linguistics and its applications to language learning and teaching.