Category Linguistics

Face-threatening Act (example)

Here is an example of an FTA to help you understand the concept. It is a non political example.


I heard this comment on Radio 4 this afternoon on the PM show and though it was worthy to bring it to you.


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Books & Research

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About me

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Quote of the times

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Selected journal for Language Teachers and Applied Linguistics

Here are some journals that will be of interest to students on ELT and Applied Linguistic courses. As a student, the key to success is to engage with the academic literature so you should be reading these journal morning afternoon… Continue Reading →

Quote of the times

Can viruses read?

The quote below of Andrew Neil on the GMB show, said somewhat tongue-in-cheek, claims that a virus ‘can’t read’. Most people would agree with that I think. Andrew Neil01 well as you say02 the only reason for not making this… Continue Reading →

Quote of the times

New book by Michael Cribb

Ever thought there might be something missing from our understanding of the universe? Ever thought there may be some extra dimension curled up, hidden away right in front of us? What if language was that dimension, a fifth dimension in… Continue Reading →

Quote of the times

Impolite conversation of the week

Sometimes being impolite and creating conflict doesn’t take much effort. All you need to do is raise your voice!

Grice’s maxim

Grice’s maxim of relevance states that: “expect a partner’s contribution to be appropriate to immediate needs at each stage of the transaction”.Leech (1983: 94) In the following turns, we see in line 01 that A signals to B that he… Continue Reading →

Fighting for control of the floor

Fight for control of the floor can sometimes produce odd utterances out of the mouths of the interlocutors. Here is Boris Johnson and Nick Robinson spluttering syllables like bird wings flapping in the air as they fight for the turn… Continue Reading →

Linguistic Rapping

Fighting for the floor can take on epic proportions at times with your interlocutor when you both want to get something out. In the following two examples, David Davis and John Humphrys almost end up rapping together as they negotiate… Continue Reading →


I heard an interesting little neologism today in a meeting when someone misheard the word ‘ungrammatical’ for ‘angrammatical’. The neologism has quite a nice ring to it, don’t you think? Maybe a blend along the lines of ‘anger about some… Continue Reading →

The ‘shame’ shout

Standing up and speaking in public is not just a one-way affair from speaker to audience. The reaction of the audience to what is said can be just as important and defining as the speaker’s words themselves.

Negotiation of the floor

In general, only one person can hold the floor in a conversation. When a debate is taking place, there are often periods where negotiation of the floor occurs. The current speaker will use rhetorical devices to try and maintain the… Continue Reading →

Trite journalism?

Is it “trite journalism” to ask the shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer what the country pays on its national debt? Should the shadow chancellor have these figures to hand, or can he rely on an iPad or advisor to tell… Continue Reading →

PMQs Watch

Corbyn negotiates with the Chamber The example below is a good example of how the current speaker at the dispatch box, Jeremy Corbyn in this case, often has to negotiate with the chamber to establish their rights to the floor…. Continue Reading →

An app that can read your mind or maybe not?

By Daniel Hartworth Swift Key Neural: the world’s first smartphone keyboard software that uses an artificial neural network to predict and correct language. Swift Key Blog is here Swift key are an software company, most notably known for their original,… Continue Reading →

Analysis of Jimmy Carr Joke

The general theory of verbal humour (GTVH) is a theory which attempts to explain how a joke works and why it is funny. The theory only refers to ‘verbal’ humour and not other forms such as slapstick comedy. The basic… Continue Reading →

Does the Andromeda Galaxy disappear after you finish reading this question?

Read the following sentence: Does the Andromeda Galaxy disappear after you finish reading this question? What is your answer? Some of you may say ‘yes’, many I expect will say ‘no’. Others might ask what is the ‘Andromeda Galaxy’? Well… Continue Reading →


Hello, This website is designed for students on module 313DEL Language and the Mind at Coventry University. The website is run by the module leader, Mike Cribb. On this site you will find blogs and articles relating to the topics and issues… Continue Reading →

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