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Professor Alison Wray - BA (Hons), D.Phil (York), FHEA, FAcSS

Overview

Professor Alison Wray Position: Professor (Research) Email: WrayA@cf.ac.uk
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 74762
Extension: 74762
Location: John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cathays, Cardiff

Research Group

Centre for Language and Communication Research

Oct 2013 to Jan 2014: An Advanced Research Residency in Formulaic Language and Lexis

Research Interests

Formulaic language; language profiling; evolution of language; psycholinguistic theory.

Selected Publications

For a full list of Publications, click the publications tab.

2014. Formulaic language and threat: the problem of empathy and compassion in dementia interaction. In Schrauf, R. & Mueller, N. (ed) Dialogue and Dementia: Cognitive and Communicative Resources for Engagement

2013. (first author Tess Fitzpatrick, 2nd author David Playfoot, 4th author Margaret J Wright) Establishing the reliability of word association data for investigating individual and group differences. Applied Linguistics, (Open Access)

2013. Mislaying compassion: linguistic triggers of inadequate caregiving. In Davis, B & Guendouzi, J. (eds) Pragmatics in dementia discourse. Advances in Pragmatics & Discourse. Newcastle-Upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 117-45.

2013. Timeline: Formulaic language. Language Teaching 46 (3): 1-19

2013. Formulaic sequences. In Chapelle, C.A. (ed). The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, vol 4, 2200-2205, ISBN: 9781405194730

2012. What do we (think we) know about formulaic language? An evaluation of the current state of play. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 32: 231 - 254

2012. Formulaic language. In Robinson, P (ed.) Routledge Encyclopedia of Second Language Acquisition. London: Routledge, 252-6.

2011. Formulaic language as a barrier to effective communication with people with Alzheimer’s Disease. Canadian Modern Languages Review 67(4) 429-458

2010. We’ve had a wonderful, wonderful thing: formulaic interaction when an expert has dementia. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice 9 (4): 517-34

2010. [Second author: Tess Fitzpatrick]. Pushing speakers to the extreme: the artificial use of prefabricated material in conversation. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching 4 (1): 37-51

2009. Future directions in formulaic language research. Journal of Foreign languages, 32 (6): 2-17.

2008. Formulaic language: pushing the boundaries. Oxford University Press.

2007. [Second author: George Grace] The consequences of talking to strangers: Evolutionary corollaries of socio-cultural influences on linguistic form. [588kB] Lingua 117 (3): 543-578.

2003. [Second author: Kazuhiko Namba] Formulaic language in a Japanese-English bilingual child: a practical approach to data analysis. Japanese Journal for Multilingualism and Multiculturalism 9 (1): 24-51. [16Mb PDF].

2000. [second author: Mick Perkins]: The functions of formulaic language: an integrated model. [286kB] Language & Communication 20 (1): 1-28.

2000. Formulaic sequences in second language teaching: principle and practice. [192kB] Applied Linguistics 21 (4): 463-489.

Related Links

Alison’s Plenary Lectures relating to formulaic language

Formulaic Language Research Network

Publications

Recent Publications by Alison Wray

2014. Formulaic language and the lexicon (Chinese translation). Singapore: Cambridge University Press/Beijing: Beijing World Publishing Corporation.

2014. Why are we so sure we know what a word is? In Taylor, John (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of the Word.

2014. Developing comprehensive criteria of adequacy: the challenge of hybridity. In Gómez González, María de los Ángeles, Gonzálvez García, Francisco & Ruíz de Mendoza, Francisco (eds.) Form and function in language: Functional, cognitive and applied perspectives. Amsterdam: John Benjamins

2014. Formulaic language and threat: the problem of empathy and compassion in dementia interaction. In Schrauf, R. & Mueller, N. (ed) Dialogue and Dementia: Cognitive and Communicative Resources for Engagement

2013. (first author Tess Fitzpatrick, 2nd author David Playfoot, 4th author Margaret J Wright) Establishing the reliability of word association data for investigating individual and group differences. Applied Linguistics, (Open Access )

2013. Formulaic language and second language learning. (Japanese translation). In Hatasa, Kasumi, Hatasa, Yukiko, Kudara, Masakazu, & Shimizu, Takafumi (eds). Daini gengo shuutoku kenkyuu to kyooiku. Tokyo: Kurosio Publishing

2013. Mislaying compassion: linguistic triggers of inadequate caregiving. In Davis, B & Guendouzi, J. (eds) Pragmatics in dementia discourse. Advances in Pragmatics & Discourse. Newcastle-Upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 117-45.

2013. Timeline: Formulaic language. Language Teaching 46 (3): 1-19

2013. Formulaic sequences. In Chapelle, C.A. (ed). The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, vol 4, 2200-2205, ISBN: 9781405194730

2013. Future directions in formulaic language research. E-crini (online journal of Centre de Recherches sur les Identités Nationales et l'Interculturalité, University of Nantes). http://www.ecrini.univ-nantes.fr/94999702/0/fiche___pagelibre/&RH=1366891771934

2012. Formulaic language: pushing the boundaries. Shanghai Foreign Language Teaching Press/Oxford University Press. [English language edition republished in China]

2012. Formulaic language in Alzheimer’s Disease: patterns and implications for quality of life. Quality in Ageing and Older Adults 13 (3): 168-175

2012. What do we (think we) know about formulaic language? An evaluation of the current state of play. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 32: 231 - 254

2012. Formulaic language. In Robinson, P (ed.) Routledge Encyclopedia of Second Language Acquisition. London: Routledge, 252-6.

2012. [2nd author: Aileen Bloomer] Projects in Linguistics, 3rd edition. London: Hodder.

2011. [First author: Eugène Mollet; Third author: Tess Fitzpatrick]. Accessing second-order collocation through lexical co-occurrence networks. In Herbst, Thomas, Uhrig, Peter and Schüller, Susen (eds.) The phraseological view of language: a tribute to John Sinclair Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 87-121. 978-3-11-025688-8

2011. Formulaic language as a barrier to effective communication with people with Alzheimer’s Disease. Canadian Modern Language Review 67 (4): 429-458. DOI: 10.3138/cmlr.67.4.001

2011. [2nd author: Mike Wallace] Accelerating the development of expertise: A step-change in social science research capacity-building. Special issue: Research capacity building in education, British Journal of Educational Studies 59 (3): 241-264. DOI: 10.1080/00071005.2011.599790

2011. [First author: Camilla Lindholm]. Proverbs and formulaic sequences in the
language of elderly people with dementia. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice. 10 (4): 603-623

2011. Games for studying language origins and change. In Kuiper, Koenraad (ed.) Teaching linguistics: reflections on practice. London: Equinox, p.154-181

2011. Review of Wood, D. (ed.) 2010. Perspectives on Formulaic Language. Continuum. International Journal of Applied Linguistics

2011. [First author: Mike Wallace]. Critical reading and writing for postgraduates. 2nd edition. London: Sage

2011. [first author Wallace, M.] Scholarly reading as a model for scholarly writing, in Rocco, T. & Hatcher, T. (eds.) Demystifying the Writing and Publishing Process: a Guide for Emerging Scholars, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass (2011), p.44-61.

2010. [First author: Eugène Mollet; Third author: Tess Fitzpatrick; Fourth author: Naomi Wray; Fifth author: Margaret Wright]. Choosing the Best Tools for Comparative Analyses of Texts. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 15 (4): 429-473

2010. We’ve had a wonderful, wonderful thing: formulaic interaction when an expert has dementia. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice 9 (4): 517-34

2010. [Second author: Tess Fitzpatrick]. Pushing speakers to the extreme: the artificial use of prefabricated material in conversation. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching 4 (1): 37-51

2009. Conclusion: Navigating L2 collocation research. In Barfield, A. & Gyllstad, H. (eds.) Researching collocations in another language: multiple interpretations. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 232-244

2009. Future directions in formulaic language research. Journal of Foreign languages, 32 (6): 2-17.

2009. Review of James R Hurford. The origins of meaning: language in the light of evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2007, xiii+388. (ISBN 978 0 19 920785 5). Functions of Language 16 (2): 298-308.

2009. [first author Wallace, M.] Complexity theory and emergent change. Case study. In Saunders, M., Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A. Research Methods for Business Students (5th ed) Harlow: Prentice Hall, 102-104.

2009. [Second author: Christine Pegg] The effect of memorized learning on the writing scores of Chinese IELTS test takers. IELTS Research Reports 9: 191-216

2009. Preface: A research network model. In Fitzpatrick, T. and Barfield, A. (eds) Lexical Processing in Second Language Learners.  Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, xi-xvii.

2009. Identifying formulaic language: Persistent challenges and new opportunities. In Corrigan, R., Moravcsik, E., Oulali, M & Wheatley, K. (eds) Formulaic Language: Volume 1, Structure, Distribution, Historical Change. Typological Studies in Language. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, chapter 2.

2008. Formulaic language: pushing the boundaries. Oxford: Oxford University Press

2008. Genes and the conceptualisation of language knowledge. Genomics, Society, and Policy 4 (1): 58-73.

2008. The puzzle of language learning: from child’s play to ‘linguaphobia’. Language Teaching 41 (2): 255-273.

2008. Formulaic sequences and language disorders. Ball, M., Perkins, M., Müller, N. & Howard, S. (eds.) Handbook of Clinical Linguistics. Oxford: Blackwell, 184-197.

2008. [Second author: Tess Fitzpatrick] Why can’t you just leave it alone? Deviations from memorized language as a gauge of nativelike competence. Meunier, F. & Granger, S. (eds.) Phraseology in language learning and teaching. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 123-148.

2007. ‘Needs only’ analysis in linguistic ontogeny and phylogeny. In Lyon, C., Nehaniv, C.L. & Cangelosi, A. (eds.) Emergence of Communication and Language. Springer, 53-70

2007. Set phrases in second language acquisition. In Burger, H., Dobrovolskij, D., Kuehn, P. & Norrick, N. (eds.) Handbook of Phraseology. Berlin: De Gruyter.

2007. [Second author: George Grace] The consequences of talking to strangers: Evolutionary corollaries of socio-cultural influences on linguistic form. PDF download of publication [588Kb] Lingua 117 (3): 543-578.

2006. [First author: Tess Fitzpatrick] Breaking up is not so hard to do: individual differences in L2 memorisation. Canadian Modern Language Review 63 (1): 35-57

2006. [Second author: Aileen Bloomer] Projects in Linguistics (2nd edition). London: Arnold.

2006. [First author: Mike Wallace]. Critical Reading and Self-critical Writing for Postgraduates. London: Sage.

2006. Formulaic Language. In Brown, K. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. 2nd edition. Oxford: Elsevier. 2006, vol.4 pp.590-597.

2006. Joining the dots: the evolutionary picture of language and music. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 16 (1): 103-5.

2005. Idiomaticity in an L2: linguistic processing as a predictor of success. In Beavan, B. (ed.) IATEFL 2005: Cardiff Conference Selections, Canterbury: IATEFL, 53-60.

2005. The explanatory advantages of the holistic protolanguage model: the case of linguistic irregularity. Commentary on Arbib. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (2): 147-8.

2005. Looking at the WHY in Phraseology: a psycholinguistic perspective on patterns in text. In Cosme, C., Gouverneur, C., Meunier, F. & Paquot, M. (eds.) Phraseology 2005: The many faces of phraseology. Louvain-la-Neuve: Université Catholique de Louvain, 23-26.

2005. [Second author: John Staczek] One word or two? Psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic interpretations of meaning in a court case. International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law 12 (1): 1-18.

2005. The broadening scope of animal communication research. In Tallerman, M. (ed.) Language origins: perspectives on evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2005, 232-238

2005. ‘Needs only analysis’ in linguistic ontogeny and phylogeny‘. [100kB] In Cangelosi, A. (ed.) Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on the Emergence and Evolution of Linguistic Communication. Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour (AISB), Hatfield, April 2005.

2004. 'Here's one I prepared earlier': formulaic language learning on television. In Schmitt, N. (ed.). The acquisition and use of formulaic sequences. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 249-268.

2004. [with: Stephen Cox, Mike Lincoln and Judy Tryggvason]
A formulaic approach to translation at the Post Office: reading the signs.[231kB] Language and Communication 24 (1): 59-75.

2003. [Second author: Kazuhiko Namba]. Formulaic language in a Japanese-English bilingual child: a practical approach to data analysis. Japanese Journal for Multilingualism and Multiculturalism 9 (1): 24-51. [16Mb PDF]

2002. ‘Dual processing in protolanguage: competence without performance’. In Wray, A. (ed.) The Transition to Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2002. Formulaic language in computer-supported communication: theory meets reality. [216kB] Language Awareness 11 (2): 114-131.

2002. Formulaic language and the lexicon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (xi + 332)

2000. Holistic utterances in protolanguage: the link from primates to humans. In Knight, C., Studdert-Kennedy, M. & Hurford, J. The Evolutionary Emergence of Language: Social function and the origins of linguistic form. New York: Cambridge University Press, 285-302

2000. (second author: Mick Perkins): The functions of formulaic language: an integrated model. [286kB] Language & Communication 20 (1): 1-28.

2000. Formulaic sequences in second language teaching: principle and practice. Applied Linguistics 21 (4): 463-489.

1999. Formulaic language in learners and native speakers. Language Teaching 32 (4): 213-231

1998. Protolanguage as a holistic system for social interaction. [1.24Mb] Language & Communication 18: 47-67.

Research

My major research contribution in the past few years has been in developing new understandings about formulaic language (prefabricated wordstrings). I developed a theoretical model of how language is learned, processed and stored, and have applied it, through experiments and other investigations, to issues in first and second language acquisition, language disability and the evolution of language. I have written about the role of formulaic language in translation, the capacity for formulaic language materially to improve the quality of a non-native speaker's interaction, and the nature of formulaic language in language disorders, particularly Alzheimer’s Disease.

Much of my research entails developing theoretically sound ways of examining patterns in language production:

  • AHRB-funded research into how unintentional changes during the reproduction of memorised material indicate both the linguistic knowledge of language learners, and their attitude to risk (Wray & Fitzpatrick 2008, 2010)
  • IELTS-funded research to develop a practical approach to the accurate evaluation of linguistic knowledge when memorised material is reproduced in language tests (Wray & Pegg, 2009)
  • an AHRC project, in collaboration with Genetic Epidemiologists at the Queensland Institute for Medical Research, Brisbane, to carry out a multifaceted programme of profiles of written data by native speaker twins, in order to explore the relative roles of genetics and environment on patterns in linguistic performance (Mollet et al 2010, 2011)
  • an ESRC project with the same Australian team, examining word association response patterns in 16 year old and 65+ twins
  • Funded by a two-year grant from the Welsh Assembly Government, I collaborated with researchers and tutors in the Cardiff School of Welsh and the Welsh for Adults Centre to develop new research into the teaching of Welsh as a second language.
  • I am currently examining the role of formulaic language in supporting and compromising communication between people with Alzheimer's Disease and their carers, including its possible contribution to carer stress (Wray 2010 and 2011 in Dementia, 2011 in CMLR, 2012 in Quality in Aging, 2013 in Davis & Guendouzi, 2014 in Schauf & Mueller).
  • Another strand of my recent work is the consequences of recent developments in linguistic theory on our understanding of the ‘word’ (Wray, 2014 in Oxford Handbook of the Word) and the nature of linguistic system (Wray, 2014 in Gómez González et al).

In 2002 I founded an informal association of researchers called the Formulaic Language Research Network (FLaRN), which now, as e-FLaRN, has more than 200 members. I supervise PhD students on aspects of formulaic language in first and second language contexts, including language attrition. From time to time, workshops on formulaic language are organised under the auspices of the School’s Advanced Research Residencies scheme—a forum for PhD students and visiting scholars to discuss issues in their research.

In a separate strand of research and training, I have explored the nature of research expertise in the social sciences, particularly ‘thinking like an expert’. This work, with Mike Wallace as co-I, is supported by a three-year ESRC Researcher Development Initiative Award (see Wray & Wallace 2011 for an account of the principles). Mike and I are also co-authors of Critical Reading and Writing for Postgraduates and conduct workshops for PhD and early career researchers on this topic. In 2010 I gained two coaching qualifications and am now developing a brand of coaching suitable for the university research context.

In the past I have also researched historical pronunciation, reconstructing English and other languages for performances and recordings of early music. In this capacity I have advised on over 80 commercial CD recordings (including some international award winners), BBC broadcasts and major public concerts.

To date I have published more than 90 book chapters, journal papers and other articles in the linguistics and musical spheres. These include contributions to The Dent Companion to Medieval and Renaissance Music and The Routledge Companion to Contemporary Musical Thought, and articles in Early Music, Language and Communication, Journal of Pragmatics, Language Teaching, Applied Linguistics, Language Awareness, Journal of Linguistics, Lingua and Transactions of the Philological Society. I have also published seven books:

  • The focusing hypothesis (1992), an account of hemispheric involvement in language processing
  • Evolving models of language (with Ann Ryan, 1997), a refereed collection of papers from the 1996 BAAL conference
  • The Transition to language (2002), a refereed collection of papers on the evolution of language
  • Formulaic language and the lexicon (2002), an agenda-setting account of the nature of formulaic language, and winner of the 2003 BAAL book prize
  • Formulaic Language: Pushing the Boundaries (2008) Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Critical Reading and Writing for Postgraduates (with Mike Wallace, 2nd edition, 2011), an innovative research skills textbook focussing on how to engage effectively with the research literature
  • Projects in Linguistics (3rd ed., with Aileen Bloomer, 2012), a highly successful undergraduate textbook, the first edition of which was shortlisted for the 1999 BAAL book prize

Biography

I have been at Cardiff since 1999, having previously worked in the Centre for Applied Language Studies, Swansea University, the Department of Linguistics, University College of Ripon and York St John, and as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Music Department, University of York. My BA and D.Phil degrees are from the Department of Language and Linguistic Science, University of York.

I have been the Director of Research for the School of English, Communication and Philosophy since 2005.

Plenary lectures