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Tony McEnery supervises 7 postgraduate research students. Some of the students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Professor Tony McEnery FAcSS, FRSA

Distinguished Professor

Tony McEnery


Tel: +44 1524 510851

Research overview

I undertake research using corpus linguistics in a range of areas across theoretical and applied linguistics. As well as undertaking 'blue skies' research, I have also done applied work with a range of partner organizations in the public sector (e.g. the Department of Culture Media and Sport, the Environment Agency and the Home Office) and the private sector (e.g. with British Telecom, IBM, Nokia and Research in Motion). I have worked on projects in a wide range of languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish. I have also constructed many corpora including the CRATER and EMILLE corpora. The latter remains the largest and most comprehensive collection of written and spoken corpus materials for South Asian languages.

Career Details

I am currently Director of the ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science and Distinguished Professor of English Language and Linguistics at Lancaster University. 

I was Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Lancaster University, from 2008-2014. 

I was Director of Research at the Arts and Humanities Research Council from 2005-2008.

I was Head of Department of the Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University, from 2000-2005.

Research Grants

I have received research funding to date of £7,296,714. This has been gained from a wide range of funders including the AHRB, ESRC, NERC, EPSRC, the Leverhulme Trust, the Newby Trust and the European Union. My current research grants are:

  • I am principal investigator of the Lancaster component of the NERC funded project Analysis of historic drought and water scarcity in the UK: a systems-based study of drivers and impacts (with the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology)
  • I am principal investigator of the Newby Trust funded project Newspapers, poverty and long-term change. A corpus analysis of five centuries of text
  • I am principal investigator of the joint Trinity/ESRC funded project Trinity Learner Corpus
  • I am principal investigator of the ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science
  • I am co-investigator on the Newton grant Big data media analysis and the representation of urban violence in Brasil (Prof. Elena Semino is the principal investigator)


Research Interests

I am interested principally in the application of corpus methods to a range of questions relating to language in linguistics and beyond. This included topics which touch upon the theoretical core of linguistics, such as theories of aspect, but I look more at issues in applied linguistics such as the representation of Muslims and Islam in the UK Press. I am interested in language as a socially situated phenomenon and have pursued social explanations of langauge use, most notably through my work looking at swearing in English. My commitment to exploring the interaction between langauge and society stretches beyond the here and now - much of my work in this area is rooted in historical exploration. Such explorations are being enabled by the production of large new corpora covering early modern to present day English. I am very happy to be actively involved in the production of such corpora, and other datasets relevant to my research, especially the BNC2014 which is a current focus of effort for me.

Current Teaching

Though I am currently devoting much of my time to research, I am still active in teaching. Each summer I teach on a summer school in corpus linguistics at Lancaster University. I also run a MOOC on the Futurelearn platform, through which I have introduced corpus linguistics to tens of thousands of people. In addition, I supervise postgraduate students at both Masters and PhD levels.

Professional Role

I am a Fellow both of the Academy of Social Sciences and of the Royal Society of Arts.

 I am a member of the Audit Committee of the Academy of Social Sciences,

External Roles

I am a member of the Council of the University of Chester.

I have held the following visiting positions:

  • 2015-2020     International Advisor, China Multilingual and Multimodal Corpora and Big Data Centre, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Beijing University of Foreign Studies
  • 2010-2012    Visiting Professor, University of Limerick
  • 2003             Visiting Professor, Beijing Foreign Studies University
  • 1999             Visiting Professor, Chemnitz University, Germany
  • 1997             Visiting Professor, Tohoku State University, Japan
  • 1991             Visiting Lecturer, Aberystwyth University
  • 1990             Visiting Lecturer, Liverpool University

Additional Information

I was awarded the Odzmacsewie Universyteti Łódźkiego (Jubilee Medal) by the University of Łódź in in 1999 for an outstanding contribution to the intellectual life of the University. 

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