ORCID: 0000-0002-3445-6861

Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at University College London, interested in language, illness and healthcare.

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I work at the intersections of language, mind and health(care), exploring mental/physical illness. Examining the language of patients, carers, healthcare professionals, journalists, poets, writers, etc. I focus on how they say what they say to understand what it means to be unwell. 










My approach is data-driven and broadly discourse analytic, focusing on any aspect of language that becomes relevant in a given context. I've worked specifically with metaphor, personal pronouns, negation, narratives, impoliteness, and humour, investigating, among others, how:

  • the ideologies of the UK hospice movement influence what health professionals consider a ‘good death’;

  • specific linguistic aspects of so-called auditory verbal hallucinations contribute to the distress of people who hear voices that others cannot hear;

  • humour helps people cope with cancer, build communities and regain a sense of empowerment;

  • the experience of depression is often characterized by physical pain and a split-self, along with emptiness and lethargy 

I often use corpus methods (alongside qualitative tools), which allow me to examine large quantities of language data quickly and systematically and to support qualitative findings quantitatively. Whenever possible, I focus on the potential practical applications of any findings for the diagnosis and treatment of specific conditions and for the quality/effectiveness of healthcare services and communication. 


PhD Supervision: 

I am interested in supervising students in the following areas:​

  • Applied linguistic approaches to experiences of illness, health and wellbeing

  • Linguistic approaches to non/fictional illness narratives

  • Interactions in healthcare contexts (online or offline)

  • Metaphor in discourses of health (and other professional contexts)


Details on how to apply can be found here.  



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