Professional and Public Discourse
How is discourse managed on television and radio? What is the role of news broadcasts in creating news? What features characterise the language of lawyers in court, or doctors in consultations? How do police officers ensure that detainees understand their rights? How should child witnesses be interviewed? How do patients understand the nature of medical risk? In business, how does information pass from management to employees and back again? These are all questions that interest our researchers into professional and public discourse.
As part of IntUne, a major European Union Framework 6 project on citizenship, Joanna Thornborrow, Gordon Tucker and colleagues in France, Italy and Poland are exploring representations of identity and citizenship in the European media. Previous projects have included the ESRC-funded project Back to the Future: Reporting the Future in Broadcast News Programmes (Adam Jaworski, 2001-2003). Research at the Centre for Language and Communication Research (CLCR) also encompasses computer mediated communication (Lise Fontaine) and power in institutional and media discourse (Joanna Thornborrow).
Cardiff’s leading international reputation for research and teaching on Language and the Law and Forensic Linguistics is maintained by a strong team of staff, including Michelle Aldridge, Janet Cotterill, Chris Heffer and Frances Rock. We have productive links with experts in law and literature and in crime fiction in other parts of the School (in the Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory and English Literature), and with Cardiff University’s new Police Science Institute (founded 2007).
Research into Health Communication is based in our Health Communication Research Centre (HCRC), directed by Srikant Sarangi. HCRC has an established international reputation for research at the intersection of discourse analysis and healthcare, working with medical and healthcare professionals. Communication in the Workplace is a new focus of interest, and involves research in and with a large public company in Cardiff.
Key publications by our staff in the area of Professional and Public Discourse include:
- Cotterill (ed.), Language in the Legal Process, 2002, Palgrave)
- Cotterill, Language and Power in Court, 2003, Palgrave)
- Cotterill (ed.), The Language of Sexual Crime (2007, Palgrave)
- Heffer, The Language of Jury Trial: A Corpus-aided Analysis of Legal-Lay Discourse (2005, Palgrave)
- Rock, Communicating Rights: The Language of Arrest and Detention (2007, Palgrave)
- Sarangi and Roberts (eds.), Talk, Work and Institutional Order: Discourse in Medical, Mediation and Management Settings. (1999, Mouton de Gruyter)
- Sarangi and Coulthard, Discourse and Social Life. (2000, Pearson)
- Sarangi (ed.), Communication and Medicine (journal)
- Thornborrow, Power Talk: Language and Interaction in Institutional Discourse (2002 Longman)
PhD research in professional and public discourse
Some staff have supervision vacancies for PhD research in areas related to Professional and Public Discourse, including:
- Language and communication on television and radio
- Broadcast mediated interactions and interactivity
- Communication in evolving media (chat rooms, Facebook, etc.)
- Communication and power
- Courtroom language and jury instruction
- Discourse of and with the police
- Investigatory forensic linguistics
- Vulnerable witnesses
- E-mail fraud
- Language of legal professionals
- Communication in the workplace
- Genetic counselling
- Doctor-patient interaction