I am the Baines Professor of English Language in the Department of English at Liverpool University. I teach and research in a number of areas of English language and linguistics, but am best known for my work in Stylistics, Pragmatics, Critical Linguistics and English Language Pedagogy. My publications have included, inter alia, studies of the sociolinguistic features of pop singing styles, the pragmatics of advertising discourse and the linguistic patterns of verbal humour. My books include 'Language, Ideology and Point of View' and 'Language through Literature'. I am the co-editor of the collection 'Language, Discourse and Literature' and co-author of 'Language and Power' (Routledge, 2009). Up to the end of 2009, I was the Editor of 'Language and Literature', a leading Stylistics journal published four times a year by Sage, and I am now a member of the Editorial Board of this journal. I was Chair of the international Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA) from 2013 to 2015. With the assistance of an AHRC grant, I published in 2003 a monograph on the discourse of humour ('On the Discourse of Satire', Benjamins) which examines the linguistic and communicative dynamics of contemporary satirical discourse. My textbook, 'Stylistics', was published in a second edition by Routledge in 2014.
I continue to develop my research in pragmatics, stylistics, discourse analysis, critical linguistics and, more recently, forensic linguistics. I have recently published a co-authored article in the journal 'Discourse and Society' on the mediated representation of an (allegedly) racist incident. Another recent publication is a co-authored chapter, ‘Humor and Stylistics’, for the Routledge 'Handbook of Language and Humor'. I am currently developing a full-length monograph on the discourse of irony ('Irony: Pragmatic, Social and Legal Consequences’), alongside a book chapter that offers a quantitative analysis of cross-cultural patterns in the production and reception of irony. The latter appeared recently in my edited volume 'Style, Rhetoric and Creativity in Language: In Memory of Walter (Bill) Nash' (Benjamins, 2019). A second edition of my co-authored textbook, 'Language and Power', came out in early 2019.
I am happy to supervise doctoral work in all of the research areas outlined above. Intending applicants can contact me by email, but approaches must make explicit (i) how the proposed project links to my own published work and (ii) why the applicant feels I would make a suitable supervisor for their Doctoral research.