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  Dr Catrin S Rhys, Dr Karyn Stapleton, Dr Philip McDermott  Monday, February 27, 2023  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The linguistic team at Ulster University welcomes applications for the PhD study in various areas of linguistics (syntax, semantics, language acquisition and processing, language disorders) from different perspectives (synchronic and diachronic, L1 and multilingualism) which match the research specialisms of the staff. 

This thematic area includes both work in discourse and social interaction and areas of macro sociolinguistics relating to multilingual and migrant communities, language policy and language planning.

Discourse and social interaction provide a lens to examine social phenomena including:

·      individual and social identities and relationships (eg post conflict identities)

·      institutional settings, practices, roles and relationships (eg institutional complaints handling, classroom interaction, therapeutic interaction)

·      the nature of social interaction itself and particular actions or practices (eg questions, turn design, swearing, apology, narrative, epistemics) or interpersonal phenomena (eg identity construction and management, humour, persuasion, assertiveness, leadership, accountability)

Contacts: Dr Catrin Rhys; Dr Karyn Stapleton

Macro sociolinguistics projects are welcomed that focus on multilingual communities, and particularly on migrant and linguistic minorities, including:

·      public attitudes to migrant languages in public places,

·      policy and planning in relation to multilingualism and bilingualism

Contact: Dr Philip McDermott


Benwell, B. & Rhys, C.S. (2018) Negotiating What Matters in Nurse Patient Interaction Social Science and Medicine Vol 200:218-226
Rhys, C.S. (2016) Grammar and Epistemic Positioning in Interviews: when assessment rules. Research on Language and Social Interaction Vol. 49(3)
Stapleton, K., Beers Fägersten, K., Stephens, R. and Loveday, C. (2022). ‘The power of swearing: What we know and what we don’t’. Lingua 177 (103406: 1-16)
Stapleton, K. (2020). ‘Swearing and perceptions of the speaker: A discursive approach’. Journal of Pragmatics 170: 381-395.
Stapleton, K. and Wilson, J. (2017). ‘Telling the Story: Meaning making in a community narrative’. Journal of Pragmatics 108: 60-80.
McDermott, P. (2012). Cohesion, sharing and integration? Migrant languages and cultural spaces in Northern Ireland's urban environment. Current Issues in Language Planning, 13(3), 187-205.
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