Centre for Language and Communication Research

Our researchers use linguistic theory and a wide range of methods to explore how language works as a system, and how it is used to express identity and to reflect and mould attitudes.

We have a long tradition of examining discourse practices for interventional purposes, and are distinctive in our theoretical modelling of grammatical and lexical choices within interactional behaviours.

We favour ‘real world’ challenges and concerns, working collaboratively with beneficiaries to match research to its potential applications. Research beneficiaries have included the legal profession, healthcare, and ethnic minority and socially disadvantaged communities.

Our research falls into three main areas, though these are far from mutually exclusive:

  • Projections of Self
  • Dimensions of Linguistic Knowledge
  • Professional and Public Discourse

Projections of Self

We use a range of methods, including discourse analysis, linguistic ethnography and grammatical and phonetic analysis, to examine how language and visual culture relate to identity and reflect and mould attitudes in speech, writing and old and new public media.

We are part of a £2M cross-institutional AHRC research project on Translation and Translanguaging: Investigating Linguistic and Cultural Transformations in Superdiverse Wards in Four UK Cities.

We would welcome PhD applications in the following areas:

  • Sociolinguistic variation
  • Language and dialect attitudes
  • Communication through print and broadcast media
  • New media communication
  • Metaphor
  • Visual communication
  • Multimedia communication
  • Interactional sociolinguistics

Dimensions of Linguistic Knowledge

We work at the interfaces of cognitive processing, social interaction, intonation, lexis and grammar, with interests in language learning and language loss supported by interdisciplinary collaborations.

Our work on applied linguistics centres around ‘real world’ concerns, for example applying work on Systemic Functional Grammar to engage primary school children with grammar. Another project is developing a toolkit for assessing improvements in communication skills in the Welsh Homeless World Cup team. Research into vocabulary knowledge and formulaic language is on track for further impact in language teaching and dementia care.

We host the Lexical Studies (part-time, distance learning) PhD programme, the Formulaic Language Research Network (FLaRN), and the Research Network for Linguistics at Cardiff (LinC).

We would welcome PhD applications in the following areas:

  • Language learning (first and second)
  • Systemic Functional Grammar
  • Construction Grammar
  • Lexical Processing
  • Formulaic language
  • Intonation
  • Language disorders and attrition

Professional and Public Discourse

We apply sociolinguistic, discourse and narrative theory to examine the achievement of personal and social goals through language, with a particular focus on legal and healthcare settings. Our research into legal language has seen our staff give linguistic advice to the courts, deliver workshops to the police on interviewing vulnerable witnesses, and reveal the difficulty for jurors in understanding ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.

In the health domain, our research has influenced carer training in North Carolina and language teaching in China, and been deployed for HIV/AIDS education.

Our group is home to Cardiff Language and Law (CaLL). We also host FuzzyLaw, a website we developed to inform both specialists and the general public about the hidden meanings and associations of terms used in legal contexts.

We would welcome PhD applications in the following areas:

  • Forensic linguistics and language and law
  • Professional and workplace discourse
  • Language of leadership
  • Government civil-society discourse
  • Ecolinguistics