Universiteit Leiden

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Sociolinguistics and Discourse Studies

Interactional sociolinguistics

How do social and political developments influence the process of meaning-making in different parts of the world? Why is a particular discourse interpreted in numerous ways depending on the context it is produced and propagated? And how are culture, politics, history, and language intertwined?

These are some of the overarching research questions we ask within the field of Interactional Sociolinguistics, whose main goal is to unveil layers of meaning-making through discursive interactions. These range from formal events like political speeches to everyday, informal and casual communicative practices like conversations between friends or neighbors. 

Our research in interactional sociolinguistics takes a wide variety of conceptual approaches, including (critical) discourse analysis, cross-cultural pragmatics, conversation analysis, semiotics and linguistic anthropology, and queer linguistics.

Examples of topics

  • the relation between language, gender, and sexuality
  • the political consequences of language use
  • the role of cultural norms in communication
  • interaction in both formal and informal contexts

We welcome applications by prospective PhD students in all these areas. 

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