noun phrase/nominal group
expressions (see below)
language production (see KeyStroke
you are interested in coming to Cardiff to explore one (or more) of
these topics, please contact me
to discuss the opportunities offered at Cardiff University in terms of
MA studies, PhD research or collaboration.
My teaching and research
below) are in the fields of
Linguistics and Computer-mediated Communication. Whenever possible, I
like to merge these interests.
I teach the following
of Grammar (formerly Describing Language)
This module presents a functional model of linguistic description:
Systemic Functional Linguistics. We develop an analytical
method of exploring particular lexical and grammatical choices
and how speakers use language as a resource for creating meaning.
The main aim of the module is to better understand both the
meaning potential available to speakers and how particular
choices in meaning affect the text.
are interested in learning more about Systemic Functional Linguistics;
you can follow the links below. I won't reproduce a list of useful
links here since Mick O'Donnell's site has just about everything you
might want to know and I'll add a link here to some of the work that's
been done here at Cardiff University.
O'Donnell's SFL site
writings on the Cardiff Grammar
(and more links)
Words and Meaning
This module explores the world of words. What is a word?
What range of meanings does a word have? How are word meanings
related? How can we tell them apart? How do words ‘behave’
in texts? Where do words come from and how do they change?
In this module we will explore a number of different approaches
to the semantics of words. We will take an investigative
look at our words from various perspectives. Part of the
basis for investigating words will be through electronic
corpora (e.g. what can tools like Google or other search
engines tell us about words?). The emphasis will be on how
speakers actually use words in texts. Students will be given
the opportunity to gain some hands-on experience using electronic
resources (e.g. the Sketch Engine, British National Corpus).
Language and Mind
This module explores the ways in which researchers examine
the relationship between language and the mind. How do
we plan what we say and write, and how do we understand
what we hear and read? How are words organised in our
memory and why do we sometimes forget them? Why do we
sometimes make slips of the tongue? We’ll consider
whether it is true that ‘everything important about
language is in the head’—how does psycholinguistics
relate to the other things we know about language, including
context and social interaction? We will critically examine,
and try out, the methodologies that psycholinguists use
when they attempt to pin down features of language processing.
This module will be highly relevant to any student with
interests in language learning, language disorders, teaching,
or generally in how language works.
This module aims to introduce students to the key ways
in which psycholinguistic investigations can inform our
understanding of language and the mind, and the limitations
of these approaches. By considering language in its biological,
cognitive and social contexts, the contribution of various
methods used in psycholinguistic research can be evaluated,
including how we should interpret ‘lab’-based
observations and experiments in relation to findings from
other areas of linguistics. Theoretical models of language
processing (e.g. speech production, reading, writing)
will be examined, with particular reference to evidence
of planning errors (e.g. slips of the tongue).
Digital Literacies and Language
The aim of this module
is to introduce digital language and literacy as an area of
study. We will focus especially on Internet-based discourse,
including for example e-mail messages, Twitter, discussion
lists, chat, Social Network Sites, HTML and Web pages, blogging,
and virtual communities. In this module, we will investigate
the nature of digital text(s) as a Mode of Discourse, including
the relation between text, meaning and technology.
Digital technology has changed almost everything and this
has changed the way we learn, work and live. According to
JISC, an estimated 77% of UK jobs involve some form of information
and communications technology (ICT) competence. This module
explores the nature of language in the digital age and issues
related to digital literacy. This includes considering the
register and genre of various types of digital text (Twitter,
Facebook, blogs, wikis, Tumblr, etc.), including the semiotic
resources available and the relationship between text, meaning
and technology. In doing so digital language will be explored
in various contexts (e.g. personal, work, education).
I have become interested in cognitive processes and their relationship
to language choice. I'm pursuing this in two areas: keystroke logging
of spontaneous online chat and NLP (neuro-linguistics processing).
My main research
focus has been on
referring expressions, which includes personal reference. These
expressions are typically realized as nominal groups in the
lexicogrammar and so my research focusses on the unit of the nominal
group. I take a multi-disciplinary approach to the problem of how
Speakers refer to 'objects'. For me, this includes related fields of
linguistics study such as: corpus linguistics, computational
linguistics, lexis, lexicogrammar, corpus linguistics, sociolinguistics
and psycholinguistics. Since the study of referring expressions is vast
and complex, my chosen area is post-modification in the nominal group,
or complex referring
a database of tagged Referring EXpressions
This database is still
underconstruction, but follow the link for more information.
Fontaine, L. (2006) REX,
a database of
Referring EXpressions tagged with both functional and syntactic labels.
CD-ROM. Centre for Language and Communication Research, ENCAP, Cardiff
Other areas of interest:
personal reference, functional grammar, the role of choice in language
production, keyboarded language (as opposed to spoken or written),
computer-mediated communication, systemic functional linguistics.
project is a study of the human production of electronic language using
a keyboard (e.g. email, chat, Facebook, and other types of spontaneous,
personal computer-mediated communication). In this study, the analysis
would be based on the use of keystroke software (Inputlog)
which records all keystrokes made by the speaker.
research topics in the project include:
the influence of "typed" language on linguistic choice
automatic (online or as it happens) language processing
evidence of formulaic sequences
effects of online language processing (synchronous
real time exchanges, e.g. chat) and reflective language
processing (asynchronous exchanges, e.g. email, discussion
other relevant topics arising from the data.
English Grammar: A Systemic Functional Introduction.
(2009) with Yves Kodratoff
and Jérôme Azé, ''CorTag: a contextual
tagging of words within their sentences" in Information
Retrieval in Biomedicine : Natural Language Processing for
Knowledge Integration Violaine Prince and Mathieu Roche
(eds.) London: IGI Publishing. pp.177-189.
(2007) "The Variability of
Expressions : an alternative perspective on the noun phrase in
English" in LACUS Forum XXXIII – Variation.,Douglas
Coleman, William Sullivan, and Arle Lommel (eds.) pp. 159-170.
[available upon request]
(2006) “Where do
"we" fit in?
Linguistic Inclusion and Exclusion in a Virtual Community” In
Beyond Misunderstanding, the linguistic reconstruction of intercultural
communication. Kristin Bührig and Jan D. ten Thije (eds.) pp.
319-356, Amsterdam : John Benjamins Publishing Company. ISBN
90-272-5387-0. [draft version]
(2005) “Une analyse
pragmatique des pronoms personnels : Etude d'un discours sur la
propagande raciste dans une communauté virtuelle”
in Linguistic Aspects of the Text of Propaganda Banks, David (Ed)
Harmattan: Paris. ISBN 2-296-00007-X. [pdf]
(2005) with M. Franova,
Kodratoff “Une analyse récursive constructive pour
la recherche du sens du texte de
Spécialité” in Revue des Nouvelles
Technologies de l'Information RNTI, special issue on Text Mining.
Toulouse, France. ISBN 2-85428-702-9.
dans ses lettres à Joséphine: quand il la traite
de Vous” in Linguistic Signs of the Author's Presence, Banks,
David (Ed) Paris: Harmattan. ISBN 2-7475-9083-6. [draft version available here]
(2004) "Textual Challenges
Texts" In Text and Texture: Systemic Functional viewpoints on the
nature and structure of text, Banks, David (ed) pp. 301-328, Paris :
Harmattan. ISBN 2-7475-5812-6.
(2003) “Diasporic Residue in
Québec : the use of personal pronouns in online personal
reviews of the film, 15 février 1839”
In Souffles, Migrations et diasporas, Les Cahiers
du CICLaS, n° 2 pp. 179-197. ISSN
1637-7060 Paris, France.
(2002) with Yves Kodratoff
du rôle de la progression thématique et de la
texture conceptuelle chez des scientifiques anglophones et francophones
s'exprimant en Anglais" In Asp, La
revue du GERAS, 37-38, 2002,
pp. 59 - 83, 1246-8185 Bordeaux, France. [English
here for a list of my conference
to my staff page