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About me

I am a Principal Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics, having joined the department in 2003. I'm Course Leader for the BA English Language & Linguistics and BA English Literature & Language and teach Linguistics and English Language at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

I was educated at local comprehensive schools and the Universities of Oxford (Hertford College, BA Hons English Language and Literature), Bristol (PGCE English) and Durham (MA Applied Linguistics; PhD Theoretical Linguistics). I have lectured at the Universities of Durham, Lapland, and Wolverhampton, and taught English Language in Finland, Poland and Bulgaria.

Teaching

I have taught English Language and theoretical Linguistics at several universities since the mid-1990s, particularly in my specialisms of grammatical theory (what languages have in common and in what ways they vary) and pragmatic theory (how language actually gets used in real life settings). Currently at Westminster, my teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level includes introductory Linguistics, pragmatics and dissertation supervisions.

Research

Following a PhD in theoretical generative linguistics supervised by Joseph Emonds, my initial research focused on the closed class ('grammatical') words in South Slavic languages (Bulgarian, Serbo-Croat) and English. In more recent years, I have combined my linguistic interests with a return to the study of literature, pursuing both formal and pragmatic accounts. Formally, I have focused on aspects of literary texts such as the characterisation of parallel structures in literary texts, and the locative inversion construction. In terms of pragmatic theory, I am interested in the development of relevance theory in relation to literary texts, examining what it can reveal about the reading process and our engagement with the interplay between linguistic and non-linguistic structure in literary texts. Some of this research has focused on the work of Muriel Spark. My work has appeared in the Journal of Literary Semantics, Journal of Slavic Linguistics, and various edited volumes. As a complement to all the theory, I have published short stories in Stand, Succour, Riptide and a couple of short story collections, and occasionally polish longer works of fiction.

PhD supervisions:

Jarek Kyncl, 'Semi-lexical heads in Czech modal structures' (2008, University of Wolverhampton);

Le An Ha, 'Advances in Automatic Terminology Processing: Methodology and application in focus' (2007, University of Wolverhampton).

PhD external examining:

Alex Golding "Beyond propositionality: metaphor in the embodied mind" (2016, University of Brighton);

Davide Castiglione "Difficulty in Anglo-American poetry: a linguistic and empirical perspective" (2016, University of Nottingham);

Riaz Ahmed Islam "Morphological Adaptation of English Loans in Urdu" (2011, University of Newcastle).

MPhil internal examiner: Orie Fukutomi (2003, University of Wolverhampton).

Other contributions to the academic community:

I have been an anonymous reviewer for the journal Language & Literature, The Journal of Linguistics and The Transactions of the Philological Society, and provided external reviews of project proposals for the Austrian Academy of Sciences Doctoral Fellowship programme and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, Veni Programme. I have been an external examiner for BA English and Communications at the University of Hertfordshire/IST (2011-2015) and BA English and Comparative Literatures at Goldsmiths College, University of London (2015-2019), external panel member for the revalidation of BA English & Linguistics, Kingston University (2017), and the validation of the BA English & Communications, Anglia Ruskin University (2007). In 2015 I was on the panel for the revision of the QAA Benchmark statement in Linguistics.

Publications

For details of all my research outputs, visit my WestminsterResearch profile.