Laura L. Paterson Lecturer in English Language and Applied Linguistics
BA (Hons) English and Linguistics, University of Leeds 2007; MA Linguistics, University of Leeds 2008; PhD, Loughborough University 2011; FHEA, University of Leeds 2013
I am a corpus-based sociolinguist and critical discourse analyst interested in how language is used to encode and normalise social structures. My first book, British Pronoun Use, Prescription and Processing (Palgrave 2014), focused on the use of epicene (gender-neutral) pronouns in written British English and included a new theory which aims to account for why the formally-plural pronoun they can be processed as a singular form in the brain. Most recently I have published the book Representations of Poverty and Place: Using Geographical Text Analysis to Understand Discourse (co-authored with Gregory, Palgrave 2019). I have also collaborated on four multi-institution research projects including an analysis of the associations of language and class on the Channel 4 programme Benefits Street (Paterson et al. 2016, 2017, van der Bom et al. 2018), an investigation of media representations of the Occupy movement (Gregoriou and Paterson 2017), and a study of (non)dominant readings of the lyrics and music video of the song Blurred Lines (Handforth et al. 2017). As a core member of the Discourses of Marriage Research Group I have also analysed same-sex marriage debates in the UK (van der Bom et al. 2015, Jones et al. 2017, Turner et al. 2018, Paterson & Coffey-Glover 2018) and organised a two-day seminar on this topic in 2017 joint funded by the British Association of Applied Linguists and Cambridge University Press. I am also editor of the Journal of Language and Discrimination.
Gregory, I. & L.L. Paterson. 2019. English Language and Spatial Humanities: Representations of poverty in Historical Newspapers. In S. Adolphs and D. Knight (eds). The Routledge Handbook of English Language and Digital Humanities. London: Routledge.
Paterson, L.L. & I. Gregory. 2019. Represenations of Poverty and Place: Using Geographical Text Analysis to understand Discourse. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Paterson, L.L. & L. Coffey-Glover. 2018. Discourses of marriage across same-sex marriage debates in the UK press 2011-2014. Journal of Language and Sexuality 7(2): 175-204.
Paterson, L.L. 2018. “You can just give those documents to myself’: Untriggered reflexive pronouns in 21st century spoken British English. In V. Brezina, R. Love & K. Aijmer. 2018. Sociolinguistic Variation in Contemporary British English: Exploration of the Spoken BNC2014. New York: Routledge. pp 235-255.
van der Bom, I., L.L. Paterson, K. Grainger & D. Peplow. 2018. ‘It’s not the fact that they claim benefits but their useless, lazy, drug taking lifestyles we despise’: Analysing audience responses to #BenefitsStreet using live tweets. Discourse, Context & Media 21: 36-45.
Turner, G., S. Mills, I. van der Bom, L. Coffey-Glover, L.L. Paterson & L. Jones. 2017. Opposition as victimhood in media debates about same-sex marriage. Discourse & Society 29(2): 180-197.
Paterson, L.L., D. Peplow & K. Grainger. 2017. Does money talk equal class talk? Audience responses to poverty porn in relation to money and debt. In A. Mooney & E. Sifaki (eds). The Language of Money and Debt: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Gregoriou, C. & L.L. Paterson. 2017. “Reservoir of rage swamps Wall St”: The linguistic construction and evaluation of Occupy in international print media. Journal of Language, Aggression and Conflict.
Jones, L., S. Mills, L.L. Paterson, G. Turner & L. Coffey-Glover. 2017. Identity and naming practices in marriage and civil partnerships. Gender & Language.
Handforth, R., L.L. Paterson, L. Coffey-Glover & S. Mills. 2017. Reading between Blurred Lines: The complexity of interpretation. Discourse, Context & Media 20: 103-115.
Paterson, L.L., L. Coffey-Glover & D. Peplow. 2016. Negotiating stance within discourses of class: Reactions to Benefits Street. Discourse & Society 27(2): 195-214.
van der Bom, I., L. Coffey-Glover, L. Jones, S. Mills & L.L. Paterson. 2015. Implicit homophobic argument structure: Equal marriage discourse in the Moral Maze. Journal of Language and Sexuality 4(1): 102-137.
Paterson, L.L. 2014. British Pronoun Use, Prescription, and Processing: Linguistic and Social Influences Affecting he and they. London: Palgrave.
Paterson, L.L. 2011. Book Review: The Bishop’s Grammar: Robert Lowth and the Rise of Prescriptivism. Linguist list [linguistlist.org/issues/22/22-2940.html].
Paterson, L.L. 2011. Epicene pronouns in UK national newspapers: A diachronic study. ICAME 36: 171-186.
Paterson, L.L. 2010. Grammar and the English National Curriculum. Language and Education 24(6): 473-484.
I currently teach on the MA Applied Linguistics pathway and am Module Team Chair of EE817 (Applied Linguistics and English Language). I am also a member of the production/presentation team for L101 (Introduction to English Language Studies).
I would be interested in supervising postgraduate students in the following areas: