PhD students

Olivia Inwood @olivia_inwood

A Discourse-Analytic Approach to Understanding the Genres of Deceptive Communication on Social Media

The aim of my PhD research is to make a new contribution to the study of deception and mis/disinformation on social media, by applying methods from Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) such as the appraisal framework, affiliation and SFL-based genre theory, to a collection of data from Youtube. There is currently an ongoing debate regarding how forms of deceptive communication are defined and detected, and the value of using terms such as ‘fake news’, ‘disinformation’ and ‘misinformation’ has been questioned. My PhD thesis will propose a new way of mapping out these genres of deceptive communication by analysing the interpersonal not just the ideational aspects of deceptive discourse, and to illuminate the nuances in language that occur when people are engaging in communities that bond around deceptive communication. Website   ResearchGate

Giselle Newton @newtonatron

Understanding lived experience of donor conception: community building and peer-support amongst donor-conceived people in Australia

(Supervised with Associate Professor Christy Newman and Dr Kerryn Drysdale)

Giselle is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Social Research in Health at UNSW researching donor-conceived peoples experiences of and attitudes towards face-to-face and online support initiatives and how donor-conceived people are engaged in the development and evaluation of services, policy and research that affects them. Her research is interdisciplinary and employs Appraisal and Affiliation analysis as well as Sociological Methodology and Research Methods. More broadly, she is passionate about issues of access, choice and justice in relation to health and health care.   ResearchGate    Academia

Nida Tahseen @nida_tahseen

Freedom to move: mobility issues face by the female journalists of Pakistan.

The study explores how culture, religion and economy influence the traditional gender-based mobility experiences of female journalists in Pakistan. In particular, the patriarchal structure of journalism in Pakistan will be investigated in terms of its impact on women journalists’ ability to meet their daily transport needs.

Awni Etaywe @AwniEtaywe19

Language as Evidence: A Discourse Semantic and Corpus Linguistic Approach to Examining Written Terrorist Threatening Communication

My research demonstrates linguists' responsibility to society by contributing to supporting the law enforcement and investigatory communities' intervention, specifically in counterterrorism and anti-radicalisation surveillance and (intelligence) investigative analysis. It belongs to the area of 'language as evidence', of forensic linguistics, and chiefly concerns with meaning examination/ ‘proof of understanding’ and authorship (style) ‘markedness’. Drawing on a discourse semantic and corpus linguistic analytical and descriptive framework, it identifies a set of distinctive lexicogrammatical features that mark author's language use and semantic orientation in four sub-corpora of texts. It also empirically investigates written terrorist texts with multiple interwoven security threat of (radicalised attitude and) radicalisation to violence, incitement to violence and threatening to harm, that is, how they are semantically realised and what patterns do group-specific texts reveal.

Jiani Chen @chenjiani04231

Corporate apologies on social media: How corporates affiliate with the target communities and repair their image on social media after crises.

My PhD study focuses on corporate apologies on social media, from linguistic and crisis communication and public relations perspectives. It analyses how the corporates respond to the public criticisms and grievances on social media after public relations crises break out in order to repair the relationship with the target communities, and how such attempts are received by the public.

Viewing corporate apologies as a crisis communication discourse, from a crisis communication and public relations perspective my study refers to the strategies established within the frameworks of Image Repair Theory by William Benoit and Situational Crisis Communication Theory by Timothy Coombs, which provide corporates with instrumental strategies for conducting crisis communications. To analyse the linguistic features of the corporate apologies and how the crisis communication strategies are implemented, the linguistic perspective of my study draws on the model of affiliation, which originated from the theory of Systemic Functional Linguistics and focuses on how people are aligned to particular beliefs, values and bonded as communities. Taking the multimodal nature of social media interactions into account, my study not only focuses on the text content of the corporate apologies, but also the embedded images, videos, hashtags and the intersemiotic relationships.

By connecting the two perspectives, my study aims to analyse how the established corporate crisis communication strategies are realised at the linguistic level and push the affiliation studies forward to corporate crisis communication discourse.

Previous students

PhD Students

Dr Lorenzo Logi @logi_lorenzo

Bonding, affiliation & culture in stand-up comedy

For my thesis I will be exploring how bonding and affiliation unfolds in stand-up comedy texts. This refers to how individual and communal identities are realised and negotiated in stand-up comedy, and how humour functions to resolve tension arising from friction between audience members’ social values and the comedian’s performance. In particular, I am interested in how comedians employ projected characters to represent certain social values and perspectives, and the role gesture and voice quality play in both manifesting and evaluating these characters.

Recent publication: Logi, L. & Zappavigna, M. (in press). Dialogic resources in interactional humour. Journal of Pragmatics.
Bandar Almutiari - Text Visualisation for Discourse Analysts, 2015
See Almutiari, B (2013). Visualizing patterns of appraisal in texts and corpora  Text & Talk, 33(4-5), pp. 691-723.

Yu Yang - Environmental Discourse on Twitter: Community, Negotiation and Affiliation. 2010

Masters Students

Bandar Almutiari – Visualising Sentiment/Appraisal Patterns in News Articles. 2010

Ariel Spigelman - The Intersubjectivity of Left and Right: A corpus-based, cross-cultural exploration of ideological variation in online political commentary. 2009

Honours Students

Heiki Santillana - A media discourse analysis of the early years of AIDS coverage in Australia, 2015

Angelica Tziotis - Smartphones, spaces, and the self: The use of social images in the resemiotisation of identity across physical and virtual spaces, 2014

Alexander Stanley – Shouting into the Ether (Investigating conversational structures in microblogging). 2010