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Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics, University of the West of England

My main research interests are in the fields of meaning in interaction and political discourse analysis (and the confluence of the two). I am particularly interested in the manifestation of politeness and impoliteness, both in everyday talk and in political language -- this can be seen in my work on (im)politeness strategies at Prime Minister's Questions, and my doctoral research on apologies in political discourse.

I also explore how constraints placed on interactants in Parliament affect their language choices, and how their utterances are interpreted by the public at large. ​
My work mixes both quantitative and qualitative analyses and argues the merits of analysing global trends in a corpus, as well as the closer analysis of 'deviant' cases.

My current project explores parliamentary questioning practices and investigates whether the ways in which Government ministers are held to account during ministerial question times have changed over time. I am particularly​ interested to see whether Coalition politics has influenced question/answer patterns in this parliamentary genre.


  • –present
    Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics, University of the West of England


  • 2014 
    The University of Manchester, PhD (Linguistics)
  • 2011 
    The University of Manchester, MA (Linguistics)
  • 2010 
    The University of Manchester, BA (Hons.) French & German


  • 2015
    Revisiting the apology as a speech act: The case of parliamentary apologies, Journal of Language and Politics
  • 2014
    (Im)politeness during Prime Minister’s Questions in the U.K. Parliament, Pragmatics and Society