Dr Matteo Fuoli

Dr Matteo Fuoli

Department of English Language and Linguistics
Associate Professor of Corpus-based Discourse Analysis
International Exchange Tutor

Contact details

Frankland Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

My work combines corpus linguistic and experimental methods with discourse analysis to study the linguistic factors at the heart of important societal issues such as trust, polarization and climate change.


  • PhD in English Language and Linguistics, Lund University, Sweden, 2017
  • MA in Language Sciences for Business, International Communication and Tourism, Università di Trento, Italy, 2011
  • BA in Foreign Languages for Business and Tourism, Università di Trento, Italy, 2007


I joined the Department of English Language and Linguistics in Birmingham as a Lecturer in April 2017. Prior to this, I received my PhD in English Language and Linguistics from Lund University, in Sweden. My thesis focused on the phenomenon of trust from a discourse analytical and experimental perspective. Specifically, it examined how companies use language as a strategic tool to manage the trust of relevant audiences.


I currently teach 2 UG modules and 1 MA module in Discourse analysis and Business Discourse and Communication and co-supervise 10 PhD students (2 as the lead supervisor).

Postgraduate supervision

I would be happy to supervise research projects on the following topics:
• business discourse and communication: how companies use language to communicate with different audiences and accomplish important communicative goals
• polarization on social media: what are the linguistic factors that drive people apart online?
• experimental approaches to (critical) discourse analysis: using experiments to test hypotheses based on exploratory discourse analysis research
• trust from a linguistic perspective: how speakers use linguistic resources to build and repair trust in spoken and written interaction
• evaluative language: how speakers express emotions and opinions in discourse

Find out more - our PhD English Language and Applied Linguistics  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


My research draws on an interdisciplinary mix of corpus, experimental and data science methods with discourse analysis to study the linguistic mechanisms at the heart of important social phenomena and issues, such as trust, polarization and climate change. I have helped establish trust as a new and promising avenue for research within linguistics. My work on this fundamental human phenomenon brings together linguistics and psychology to explore the question of how trust is created, challenged and maintained. I have done extensive research on business communication, including on corporate social responsibility, crisis communication and webcare. I am currently working on project funded by the Institute for Global Innovation which focuses on ideological polarization on social media. The project combines corpus and experimental methods to examine the linguistic factors that drive people apart when interacting online.

Other activities

Selected International Invited Presentations

  • 2022: Exploring the language of business (Guest lecture series), Università di Bari (Italy).
  • 2022: Analysing Corporate Discourse Using Corpus & Experimental Methods, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia (Italy).
  • 2021: Business Discourse and Communication (Guest lecture series), University of International Business and Economics (China).
  • 2020: Metaphor and evaluation in film reviews (Special panel keynote), Stance, (Inter)Subjectivity, Identity in Discourse international conference (online).
  • 2020: Exploring trust from a discourse analysis and experimental perspective, Leiden University (Netherlands).
  • 2019: How persuasive is persuasive discourse? Using experimental methods to assess reader response empirically (Keynote), Languaging Diversity international conference, Teruel (Spain).
  • 2019: Exploring business discourse, University of Sydney (Australia).
  • 2018: Trust management strategies in business communication: discourse analytical and experimental perspectives (Keynote), ABC Conference, Alcalá (Spain).
  • 2017: Methodological strategies for the annotation of evaluative language in discourse, Università della Svizzera Italiana (Switzerland).
  • 2016: Annotating appraisal in text and corpora: Challenges and strategies, Univeristat Pompeu Fabra (Spain).

Memberships and Professional Activities

  • 2021-present: Member of the editorial board of the Corpora and Discourse book series, Bloomsbury.
  • 2020-present: Member of the editorial board of Applied Corpus Linguistics Journal.
  • Member of the Scientific Committee for the conferences: Corpus Linguistics 2019, Translation in Transition 4 (2019), DICOEN 2019, UKCLC (2020), ESFLC 2021.
  • Regular refereeing for major international journals including: Applied Linguistics, Discourse & Society, Discourse Studies, Discourse, Context & Media, International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, Journal of Pragmatics, Language and Communication.
  • 2020: Member of selection committee for a Lecturer in English Linguistics at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain.
  • 2019: Referee for the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Institutional service

  • 2020-present: International Exchange Tutor for the School of English, Drama and Creative Studies.
  • 2019-present: Elected member of the University of Birmingham’s Academic Senate.
  • 2020-2021: Staff-student Liaison, English Language and Linguistics Department.
  • 2017-2020: Deputy Director of Undergraduate Programs, English Language and Linguistics Department.


Recent publications


Yu, D, Li, L, Su, H & Fuoli, M 2023, 'Assessing the potential of LLM-assisted annotation for corpus-based pragmatics and discourse analysis: The case of apologies', International Journal of Corpus Linguistics.

Fuoli, M & Beelitz, A 2023, 'Framing the path to net zero: a corpus-assisted discourse analysis of sustainability disclosures by major corporate emitters, 2011-2020', International Journal of Corpus Linguistics. https://doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.22123.fuo

Hansson, S, Fuoli, M & Page, R 2023, 'Strategies of Blaming on Social Media: An Experimental Study of Linguistic Framing and Retweetability', Communication Research. https://doi.org/10.1177/00936502231211363

Hansson, S, Page, R & Fuoli, M 2022, 'Discursive strategies of blaming: the language of judgment and political protest online', Social Media + Society, pp. 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1177/20563051221138753

Fuoli, M & Bednarek, M 2022, 'Emotional labor in webcare and beyond: a linguistic framework and case study', Journal of Pragmatics, vol. 191, pp. 256-270. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2022.01.016

Fuoli, M, Littlemore, J & Turner, S 2021, 'Sunken ships and screaming banshees: metaphor and evaluation in film reviews ', English Language and Linguistics . https://doi.org/10.1017/S1360674321000046

Hart, C & Fuoli, M 2020, 'Objectification strategies outperform subjectification strategies in military interventionist discourses', Journal of Pragmatics, vol. 162, pp. 17-28.

Fuoli, M, Clarke, I, Wiegand, V, Ziezold, H & Mahlberg, M 2020, 'Responding effectively to customer feedback on Twitter: a mixed methods study of webcare styles', Applied Linguistics, vol. 2020, amaa046. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amaa046

Fuoli, M 2018, 'A stepwise method for annotating APPRAISAL', Functions of Language, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 229-258. https://doi.org/10.1075/fol.15016.fuo

Fuoli, M 2018, 'Building a trustworthy corporate identity: a corpus-based analysis of stance in annual and corporate social responsibility reports', Applied Linguistics, vol. 39, no. 6, pp. 846-885. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amw058

Fuoli, M & Hart, C 2018, 'Trust-building strategies in corporate discourse: an experimental study', Discourse and Society, vol. 29, no. 5, pp. 514-552. https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926518770264

Fuoli, M, van de Weijer, J & Paradis, C 2017, 'Denial outperforms apology in repairing organizational trust despite strong evidence of guilt', Public Relations Review, vol. 43, no. 4, pp. 645-660. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2017.07.007

Põldvere, N, Fuoli, M & Paradis, C 2016, 'A study of dialogic expansion and contraction in spoken discourse using corpus and experimental techniques', Corpora, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 191-225. https://doi.org/10.3366/cor.2016.0092

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Fuoli, M 2022, Structural Equation Modeling in R: a practical introduction for linguists. in D Tay & M Xie Pan (eds), Data Analytics in Cognitive Linguistics: Methods and Insights. Applications of Cognitive Linguistics, vol. 41, De Gruyter, pp. 75-102. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110687279-004

Book/Film/Article review

Fuoli, M 2015, 'Geoff Thompson and Laura Alba-Juez (eds.) Evaluation in Context. (Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 242) Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins 2014: Reviewed by Matteo Fuoli (Lund University)', Functions of Language, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 278-287. https://doi.org/10.1075/fol.22.2.06fuo

View all publications in research portal


  • How business organizations use discourse to negotiate public trust and social legitimacy