Dr Andrew Caink
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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 Combinations and teach in 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 previously lectured at the Universities of Durham, Lapland, and Wolverhampton, and taught English Language in Finland, Poland and Bulgaria.
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). At Westminster, my teaching at undergraduate level includes introductory English Language and Linguistics modules, the application of Linguistics to literary texts, pragmatics, and the supervision of final year dissertations. At postgraduate level, I teach aspects of stylistics on the MA English Linguistics.
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 what I argue to be distinctly 'literary' structures such as the locative inversion, examining its linguistic effects and distinctive characteristics from an account informed by cross-linguistic generative work. In terms of Pragmatic Theory, I am interested in developing relevance theory, a general cognitive theory of how we process information and calculate its significance in real time, particularly with respect to language. I look at what relevance theory can reveal about the reading process and our engagement with the interplay between linguistic and non-linguistic structure in literary texts. A focus in recent years has been on the work of Muriel Spark, research that has developed into an ongoing project to examine her stylistic choices and the contribution they make to wider interpretations of her work. 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 various collections, and occasionally manage to polish longer works of fiction.
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).
I have been an anonymous reviewer for 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), external panel member for the validation of the BA English & Communications, Anglia Ruskin University (2007), and currently external examiner at Goldsmiths, University of London, on the English and Comparative Literature board. In 2015 I was on the panel for the revision of the QAA Benchmark statement in Linguistics.