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Centre for Advanced Studies in Language and Communication

An interdisciplinary research centre for language, communication and interaction



The Centre for Advanced Studies in Language and Communication (CASLC) at the University of York is an innovative interdisciplinary research centre for the study of language and communication in interaction.

Members of the Centre – from the Departments of Education, Health Sciences, Language and Linguistic Science, Psychology, Social Policy and Social Work and Sociology – see language, interaction and communication as central to our disciplines. We conduct research into how interactions work in a wide variety of social settings and institutional contexts. These include medical and health-related, educational, political, employment, industrial, legal and other settings in which outcomes depend so much on the effectiveness of communication between clients and professionals, and between professional colleagues.

The Centre draws on the expertise of its members in the study of language use. We bring together a range of methodological and theoretical approaches from our various disciplines. A distinguishing feature of our work is a commitment to investigating the dynamics of interaction and communication, through examining how language is used in sequences of interaction (sequential analysis). Although we draw on a range of methodological perspectives in our research, we work particularly from the methodological standpoint of Conversation Analysis (CA). CA has come in recent years to make a significant contribution to providing a more fully integrated view of language use, one that best accounts for the dynamics of interaction and communication.

The Centre provides a platform for

  • Basic research into linguistic patterns and processes associated with language use in social interaction
  • Applied research into the effectiveness of communication, and strategies for improving communication, in social and organizational settings (for instance, in medical, legal and educational settings, emergency service calls/help lines)
  • Developing innovative interdisciplinary research into language use and communication
  • Postgraduate training, in particular on the PhD Programme Language & Communication
  • Collaboration with other researchers at York, in the UK and beyond
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration between Centre members, research students, post-doctoral and other visitors
  • Training in the methodology of Conversation Analysis, and its implementation in basic and applied research projects


Current members


CASLC is currently co-ordinated by Prof Richard Ogden.

Doctoral students

  • Reihaneh Afshari Saleh (Language and Linguistic Science)
  • Marina Cantarutti (Language and Linguistic Science)
  • Zhiying Jian (Language and Linguistic Science)
  • Yuening Yang (Language and Linguistic Science)


  • Bianca Di Giacinto (Università di Roma)
  • Yumei Gan (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
  • Hui Ju (Heilongjiang University)  
  • Ren Xiaohua (Peking University)
  • Jess Young (Flinder University)
  • Yang Zi (University of Science and Technology Beijing)

We welcome academic visitors from other institutions. Our policy on visitors is here. Please contact Richard Ogden ( if you are interested.

Previous members

Previous staff

Previous doctoral students

Previous visitors

  • Rasmus Persson (Linköping University, 2016-18)
  • Søren Sandager Sørensen (Aarhus University, 2017)
  • Ryan du Toit (Rhodes University, 2015)
  • Marco Pino (Loughborough University, 2015)
  • Lucas Seuren (University of Groningen, 2015)
  • Meg Zellers (post-doctoral fellow, 2012)
  • Giovanni Rossi (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, 2011)


A wide range of activities is conducted through CASLC, including conferences, data sessions, talks by visiting lecturers, and seminars. We run inter-departmental data sessions twice a term and have an active Erasmus agreement with the University of Helsinki at staff and PhD student levels. Follow us on Twitter @CASLC_UoY for the latest updates.

Special issues


  • Sounds on the Margins of Language (in progress; edited by Leelo Keevallik and Richard Ogden; Research on Language and Social Interaction)




Conference panels organised


  • Beginnings in interaction: cross-cultural and multimodal perspectives (organised by Beatrice Szczepek Reed, Xiaoting Li, and Darren Reed; ICCA, Loughborough)

  • Between the lab and the wild: new technologies for CA research (organised by Paul McIlvenny, Jacob Davidsen, and Kobin Kendrick; ICCA, Loughborough)

  • Non-lexical vocalisations (organised by Leelo Keevallik and Richard Ogden; ICCA, Loughborough)

  • Recruitment and the organization of assistance in interaction (organised by Kobin Kendrick; ICCA, Loughborough)


  • Recruitment in interaction (organised by Kobin Kendrick and Paul Drew; IPrA, Belfast)


  • Prosodic constructions (organised by Nigel Ward, Richard Ogden, and Oliver Niebuhr; IPrA, Antwerp)



  • Medical interaction: evaluating decision-making in practice (led by Merran Toerien; ICCA, Loughborough)

  • Quantification (led by Kobin Kendrick; ICCA, Loughborough)

  • Phonetics and prosody (led by Richard Ogden; ICCA, Loughborough)

  • Video/audio data management (led by Clare Jackson and Daren Reed; ICCA, Loughborough)


  • Insights from qualitative research: an introduction to the phonetics of talk-in-interaction (led by Richard Ogden; Interspeech, Stockholm)


  • Lectures on Phonetics and Prosody in Interaction (taught by Richard Ogden and Rasmus Persson; ENS de Lyon, Lyon)

  • AQUALM: Conversation Analysis Summer School (led by Celia Kitzinger and including Ray Wilkinson, Sue Wilkinson, Merran Toerien, and Richard Ogden; White Rose Social Sciences DTP, York)


  • MAINLY - MultimodAl (INter)actions LYon: the construction and organisation of social actions (taught by Paul Drew, Richard Ogden, and colleagues; Lyon, France).

  • AQUALM: Advanced Conversation Analysis (led by Celia Kitzinger and including Ray Wilkinson, Sue Wilkinson, Merran Toerien, Beatrice Szczepek Reed and Richard Ogden; White Rose Social Sciences DTP, York).

Recent guest lectures and data sessions


  • Julia Moreno (University of Glasgow)

  • Danielle Pillet-Shore (University of New Hampshire)


  • Mirjam Eiswirth (University of Edinburgh)

  • Aurora Guxholli (University of Helsinki)

  • Spencer Hazel (Newcastle University)

  • Elizabeth Manrique (University College London)

  • Ana Cristina Ostermann (Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos)

  • Giovanni Rossi (University of Helsinki)

Grants and projects

Grants and projects

Members of the Centre are currently engaged in a variety of basic and applied projects, and collaborate with individuals and groups elsewhere in the country on projects where our expertise can assist realising the practical aims of projects. Our work focuses on the linguistic organisation of social action; uses of phonetic detail in spoken interaction, especially non-lexical details; recruitment; medical interaction, among other topics.

Current projects (funded and non-funded)

Enhancing the quality of psychological interventions delivered by telephone (National Institute for Health Research, 2018-present)

Interactional practices of decision-making during childbirth in maternity units. Also known as VIP: Voices in Partnership, Video-Informed Practice (National Institute for Health Research, 2017-present)

Parents and Neonatal Decisions Study: Improving communication during conversations about limiting life-sustaining treatment in neonatal intensive care (SANDS, 2017-present)

Recruitment: offers, requests, and the organisation of assistance in interaction (2014-present)

Non-lexical vocalizations (2009-present)

Completed projects (funded)

Evaluating nuanced practices for initiating decision-making in neurology clinics: a mixed-methods study (National Institute for Health Research, 2015-2017)

Delivering patient choice in clinical practice: a conversation analytic study of communication practices used in neurology clinics to involve patients in decision making (National Institute for Health Research, 2012-2015)

Temporal co-ordination in talk-in-interaction (British Academy, 2012-2014)

A pilot study of interactions between speech and language therapists and persons with aphasia (Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders, University of York, 2013-2014)

A study of patient participation in decision making in 5 clinical settings; ENT oncology, diabetes clinics, genetics counselling, family planning and homeopathy (Department of Health, 2001-2014)

Multiple-methods approaches to discourse topic structure (ESRC Post-Doctoral Fellow award to Meg Zellers, held in Language and Linguistic Science, 2012)

Sound to Sense: a collaboration between phoneticians, intonationalists, psycholinguists, computer scientists and others with partners in the UK, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain,  Sweden (Marie Curie Research Training Network, 2007-2011)

The sequential and linguistic-phonetic design of indirectness in talk-in-interaction (AHRC, 2007-2010)

A Study of Language and Communication Between Advisers and Claimants in Work Focused Interviews (Department for Work and Pensions, 2007-2009)

An Exploratory Comparison of the Interactions Between Advisers and Younger and Older Clients during Work Focused Interviews (Department for Work and Pensions, 2007-2009)

Affiliation and Disaffiliation in Interaction: Language and Social Cohesion (ESRC, 2003-2006)

Short courses and events

Short courses and events

Communication in Medical and Healthcare Interactions (Monday 27 - Wednesday 29 March 2023)

The course will take place at the University of York campus on Monday 27 - Wednesday 29 March 2023.

The course will include lectures on a range of integrated topics, directed exercises, as well as practical hands-on sessions giving participants experience in analysing data, using the perspective and methods of Conversation Analysis (CA).

Practical sessions will be focused on applying CA’s methodology, not only in the detailed analysis of particular medical/health care interactions but also in working on collections of significant patterns to be found in medical interactions. 

The data used throughout will be real-life, authentic medical interactions – based on the considerable experience each of us has had working in a range of divers medical settings (these include primary care, oncology, neurology, seizure clinics, memory clinics, maternity units, medical helplines).

Our research has focused on aspects of the effectiveness of communication, on patient-centred medicine and patient choice and the role of communication in diagnosis. We will draw on our own datasets and research findings across the practical elements of this workshop.

Our aim is to assist participants in developing research skills, through enhancing their understanding of CA’s methodology, and their ability to apply CA in their investigations of medical interactions.  


The cost for this three-day course is:

Standard rate:

  • £550
  • Early bird £495 - book before the 16 December 2022 - use promo code CMHI10

Postgraduate rate:

  • £330 - use promo code CMHIPG40

Prices are exempt of VAT.

The rate includes course materials, a Certificate of Attendance, lunches, tea and coffee for the three days, and one dinner together on the 28 March - the evening before the final day.

Places are limited and early registration is advised, don't miss out, book your place today!

Registration is done online by Credit/Debit Card for instant payment and a guaranteed secured place on the course (please note the University of York does not accept American Express cards).

Course tutors

Paul Drew, is a Professor in the Department of Language and Linguistic Science, has considerable experience of teaching CA at introductory and advanced levels, both in conventional courses and through workshops, worldwide. His recent research in medical communication includes projects on the delivery of NHS’s IAPT programme of psychological therapy, conversations between doctors and parents in neonatal critical care, and the language used in (US) medical records.

Clare Jackson is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology.  Her research covers both basic CA – particularly practices for referring to persons – and applied CA – particularly feminist issues and healthcare.  She is currently working on an NIHR funded project examining decisional practices between women, birth partners and practitioners in midwife-led intrapartum care. 

Danielle Jones is an Associate Professor in the Centre for Applied Dementia Studies at the University of Bradford. Her research includes projects on everyday family interactions involving a person living with dementia as well as medical communication, during the assessment and diagnosis of dementia. She uses conversation analytic methods and findings to teach health and social care professionals how to enhance their dementia care practice.

Merran Toerien is a Reader in the Department of Sociology. She has expertise in the application of conversation analysis to communication in institutional settings, with a particular interest in patient choice.  She has extensive experience of teaching CA at undergraduate and graduate levels, and has run workshops in South Africa, Brazil, China, the Netherlands and the UK.

Phonetics of Talk-in-Interaction (Wednesday 22 - Friday 24 March 2023)

The course will take place online on Wednesday 22 - Friday 24 March 2023. The course will run from 9am to 4.30pm BST (GMT+1) each day, and the daily synchronous online sessions will take place from 10.30am to 12noon and 1pm to 4.30pm BST (GMT+1). 

Participants will learn some of the basic linguistic terminology of phonetic/prosodic description including phrasing, accentuation, articulatory setting and intonation to be able to describe conversational speech in more technical terms. Participants will learn how to provide suitable evidence (such as pictures in Praat, and phonetic transcription) to illustrate some phonetic/prosodic phenomena. There will be overviews of linguistic phenomena and a chance to apply these to an interactional phenomenon in data sessions.

The course will offer mini-lectures, skills demonstrations, ear-training and transcription sessions, data sessions, and short assignments to be completed in groups.

The course will be limited to 20 participants so that we can work intensively to develop basic skills in data analysis and to understand the core topics to be covered.


The cost for this three-day course is:

Standard rate:

  • £400
  • Early bird £360 - book before the 16 December 2022 - use promo code PTI10

Postgraduate rate:

  • £240 - use promo code PTIPG40

Prices are exempt of VAT.

The rate includes course materials and a Certificate of Attendance. 

Places are limited and early registration is advised, don't miss out, book your place today!

Registration is done online by Credit/Debit Card for instant payment and a guaranteed secured place on the course (please note the University of York does not accept American Express cards).

For further information please contact the team.

Course tutors

Richard Ogden is a Professor of Linguistics at the University of York. His research focuses on the phonetic details of naturally occurring conversation, including turn-taking, and the phonetic implementation of social actions, combining conversation analytic and phonetic methods. He also has an interest in multimodality. He is on the editorial boards of Phonetica and Interactional Linguistics, and is the author of the textbook An Introduction to English Phonetics.

Marina Cantarutti is a Lecturer in (Interactional) Linguistics at the University of York. Her research uses the methods of conversation analysis, gesture studies, and the phonetics of talk-in-interaction to the study of collaborative practices in interaction, such as anticipatory completions, choral productions, and co-animation. She is particularly interested in phonetic detail and gesture in interactional practices where people are momentarily “doing being” other people or ventriloquising objects.

Study with us

PhD in Language and Communication

The PhD in Language and Communication is an interdisciplinary programme involving Education, Language and Linguistic Science, Psychology and Sociology. It focuses on investigating language as it is used in the real world and the processes which underpin it. We conduct highly data-driven research into the communicative structures – linguistic, sequential, gestural – used in everyday life, in workplace settings, in educational settings, and in on-line interaction.

Areas of research in which we would be willing to supervise theses include (but are not limited to):

  • conversation analysis, especially its relation to linguistics (including phonetics), gesture, and its application to different settings and problems

  • language in particular settings: new media, the classroom, clinical encounters

  • developing new methodologies, especially multi-modal, and methodologies that combine insights from qualitative and quantitative research paradigms

  • cross-linguistic differences in language and communication; bilingual communication; communication in English as a second language

Further information can be found on the PhD in Language and Communication website.

Contact us

Contacting the Centre for Advanced Studies in Language and Communication

Centre Director: Dr Merran Toerien

Department of Sociology
University of York
Wentworth Graduate College
YO10 5DD

Tel: 01904 323061