Core team

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Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics (ELAL)

paulaPaula Pérez-Sobrino, Research Fellow

(download PPS_CV 2017)

Paula Pérez-Sobrino holds a postdoctoral fellowship Marie Curie from the European Commission. She obtained in 2015 her PhD in Cognitive Linguistics (Distinction with Honours) from the University of La Rioja (Spain) with her dissertation “Expanding the figurative continuum to multimodal settings: multimodal metaphor in interaction with metonymy in advertising”.  Her research interests cover Cognitive Linguistics, cognitive operations (with special focus on the interaction between metaphor and metonymy), and multimodal environments ranging from advertising to classical music.

LOGO  She brings to EMMA expertise on conceptual complexes based on the dynamic interplay between metaphor and metonymy, with varying degrees of inferential potentiality. In her doctoral thesis she analysed in detail conceptual operations based on the interaction between metaphor and metonymy (with varying degrees of conceptual complexity) and applied them to the study of printed advertising from three complementary perspectives: qualitative, corpus-based, and experimental.

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Prof. Jeannette Littlemore, Principal Investigator

Jeannette Littlemore is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Head the English Language Department at the University of Birmingham. She specialises in figurative language (particularly metonymy), cognitive linguistics, second language teaching, and the relationship between language and thought. She is a reputed theoretical and applied linguistic expert on metaphor and metonymy and on the challenges that they present to individuals from different linguistic backgrounds. She has produced a comprehensive inventory of the ways in which metaphor is misunderstood by learners of English and has conducted numerous qualitative and quantitative research studies involving figurative language comprehension and production. She teaches on the BA English Language modules ‘Psycholinguistics’ and Language and the Mind’, and the MA module ‘Mind, Metaphor and Language learning’. She contributes to the Distance MA programmes, and supervises a number of PhD students who are working on metaphor.

LOGO  She brings to EMMA her extensive contribution to the area of Cognitive linguistics with her analyses on figurative language acquisition by learners from different nationalities (English, Japanese, Spanish, French, amongst others). She is fully versed in the research methodologies and will supervise the design of the project, the management of data according to the appropriate scientific and ethical standards, and will contribute to draw inferences from the project’s findings.

Birmingham Business School


 Dr. David Houghton, Co-investigator

David Houghton is Lecturer in Marketing at Birmingham Business School. He has a Ph.D. in Management from the University of Bath, and a degree in Psychology. His research centers on the psychology of communication online, with a specific interest in the management of privacy, self-disclosure, uncertainty reduction and the formation, maintenance and deterioration of relationships.

LOGO  He brings to EMMA expertise in both experimental and qualitative research methods, as well as in the disclosure and concealment (privacy) of information in online social media, which can aid in testing the impact of different adverts and videos used for online consumer engagement (the goal for modern viral advertising) and advertising more generally.