I teach linguistics in the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics. My research and specialist teaching is primarily in the broad field of lexis and also lexicography.
I have a BA and MA from the University of Exeter, and a PhD from the University of Birmingham.
Before joining the Department as a lecturer in 1999, I worked for twenty years in publishing as a lexicographer. I was part of the original team on the Cobuild project (HarperCollins and the University of Birmingham), which pioneered the use of corpus data in dictionary-making, and I also worked for Oxford University Press on the Second Supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary, and on the Hector project, a collaboration between OUP and Digital Equipment Corporation.
At undergraduate level, I teach on the foundation courses in English language, and specialist courses in lexis; I also convene the language dissertation modules. At postgraduate level, my primary teaching areas are lexicography and lexis.
Most of my postgraduate students research topics within lexis and lexicography, mainly in the context of corpus linguistics. I’d be very interested in supervising PhD topics in these areas: in particular
- lexis and phraseology
- figurative language
My main research areas are lexis in general (including phraseology,collocation, and idioms), lexicography and dictionary-making, and figurative language – also discourse and ideological aspects of language, particularly from a lexical point of view: my approaches are generally corpus-based or text-based.
I was a member of the Executive Board for Euralex from 1996-2006, and Secretary-Treasurer from 2002-2006.
Amongst the conferences which I’ve helped organize at Birmingham are the 2002 meeting of the Poetics and Linguistics Association and the 2005, 2007, and 2011 Corpus Linguistics conferences. I have also been actively involved in the organization of the biennial congresses of Euralex, the European Association for Lexicography, held between 1998 and 2006.
- 2010 `What can a corpus tell us about lexis?', in M. McCarthy and A. O'Keeffe (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Corpus Linguistics, Routledge.
- 2010 ‘Words that spring to mind: idiom and allusion', in G.-M. de Schryver (ed.), A Way with Words: Recent Advances in Lexical Theory and Analysis. A Festschrift for Patrick Hanks. Menha Publishers.
- 2010 (with Carmen Caldas-Coulthard) ‘Curvy, hunky, kinky: using corpora as tools in critical analysis', Discourse and Society, 21/2, 1-35.
- 2009 (as editor) Words, Grammar, Text: Revisiting the Work of John Sinclair. Amsterdam: Benjamins. (Reprint of special issue of International Journal of Corpus Linguistics on the work of John Sinclair.)
- 2009 ‘The Cobuild Project', in A.P.Cowie (ed.), The Oxford History of English Lexicography, Oxford University Press
- 2008 ‘Conventionalized as -similes in English: a problem case’, International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 13/1
- 2008 ‘Dictionaries and collocation’, in S. Granger et al (eds.) The Many Faces of Phraseology, John Benjamins
- 2008 ‘Sinclair, phraseology, and lexicography’, International Journal of Lexicography, 21/3
- 2007 ‘Phraseology in general monolingual dictionaries', in N. Norrick et al (eds.) International Handbook of Phraseology, Mouton de Gruyter
- 2007 ‘Sinclair, lexicography, and the Cobuild Project: the application of theory', International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 12/2
- 2007 ‘Words, frequencies, and texts (particularly Conrad): a stratified approach', Journal of Literary Semantics, 34/1
- 2006, with G. M. Knowles, Introducing Metaphor, Routledge
- 2005 ‘Corpus analysis of idioms', in K. Brown et al (eds.) Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd ed, Elsevier
- 2005 ‘Dictionaries and metaphor, metaphor in dictionaries', in H. Gottlieb et al. (eds.) Symposium on Lexicography XI (Proceedings of the Eleventh International Symposium on Lexicography, 2002), Niemeyer
- 2005 with A.C. McDermott (eds). International Journal of Lexicography, 18/2. Special issue on Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language
- 2004 ‘Cawdrey's A Table Alphabeticall : a quantitative approach', in G. Williams and S. Vessier (eds.) Proceedings of the Eleventh EURALEX International Congress, EURALEX 2004, Université de Bretagne-Sud
- 2004 ‘On specifying metaphor: an idea and its implementation', International Journal of Lexicography, 17/2
- 2002 ‘Dictionaries: notions and expectations', in A. Braasch and C. Povlsen (eds.) Proceedings of the Tenth EURALEX International Congress, EURALEX 2002, University of Copenhagen, Center for Sprogteknologi
- 2001 ‘The distribution of idioms in English', SILTA (Studi Italiani di Linguistica Teorica e Applicata)
- 2000 ‘Lexical norms in spoken English' in R. M. Coulthard, J. Cotterill, and F. Rock (eds.) Proceedings of the International Association of Dialogue Analysts, 2000, Niemeyer
- 2000 ‘Lexicography and disambiguation: the size of the problem', Computers and the Humanities 34/1-2
- 2000 ‘Phraseology and early English dictionaries: the growth of tradition' in U. Heid et al. (eds.), Proceedings of the Ninth EURALEX International Congress, EURALEX 2000, Universität Stuttgart
- 1999 ‘Needles and haystacks: idioms and corpora' in Th. Herbst & K. Popp (eds.) The Perfect Learners' Dictionary(?), Niemeyer
- 1999 (appeared 2002) with L. Cignoni (Istituto and S. Coffey (Centro Linguistico Interdipartimentale, Università di Pisa), ‘Idioms and variation in Italian and English: two corpus-based studies', Languages in Contrast
- 1998 Fixed Expressions and Idioms in English: a Corpus-based Approach, (Oxford Studies in Lexicography and Lexicology), Oxford University Press
- 1998 ‘Frequencies and forms of phrasal lexemes in English' in A. P. Cowie (ed.) Phraseology: Theory, Analysis, and Applications, (Oxford Studies in Lexicography and Lexicology), Oxford University Press
- 1998 ‘On using spoken data in corpus lexicography' in Th. Fontenelle et al. (eds.) EURALEX ‘98 Proceedings, University of Liège