I joined the English Department at Dalarna University as Professor of English Linguistics in 2012. Before taking up the post at Dalarna University, I was a research fellow in the English Department at Stockholm University. I have also held a post-doc at the University of Michigan, followed by a position as Director of Applied Corpus Linguistics in the English Language Institute at the same university. I have been affiliated with the Program in Applied Linguistics at Boston University as a visiting scholar. I earned my doctoral degree in English Linguistics from Göteborg University in 2003.
I have been invited to give talks and seminars in Chile, Austria, Chile, Hong Kong, Italy, Pakistan, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the US. I regularly serve as a reviewer for a range of different international journals. I am a current or past member of the editorial boards of English for Specific Purposes, Journal of English for Academic Purposes, International Journal of Learner Corpus Research, Nordic Journal of English Studies and Miscelánea: Journal of English and American Studies.
I have experience teaching a wide range of topics in English linguistics and applied linguistics in different university contexts. I am a keen supervisor of students’ thesis projects.
My main areas of research include discourse analysis and pragmatics, English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and corpus linguistics.
My research focus is on usage, especially from the perspective of language functions. Above all, I work on 'meta' aspects of communication through research on 'metadiscourse', which has to do with how we use language to talk about language itself and manage the interaction with other discourse participants. Other major language functions that I have studied include phatic communication ('small talk') and evidentiality, or how we refer to different sources of information as support for what we say or write.
As a discourse analyst, I am interested in mapping how language varies across contexts, for example depending on the roles of the participants, the extent to which there is room for interaction in the communicative situation, and whether the interaction is done in real time (synchronously) or not. In my research, I try to find what is typical and characteristic of the type of language and language users studied, as discourse is highly patterned. The types of discourses I have studied are primarily academic speech and writing. I have done research on how communication works in the academic sector, in teaching as well as in research, and I have studied genres such as student theses, student spoken presentations, teachers’ written feedback, academic lectures and the research article. One of the discourse types that I have researched most extensively is writing by advanced language learners, where I have investigated phenomena such as writer-reader interaction, involvement/detachment features and formulaicity in language. Beyond that, I have also done research on newspaper discourse, political discourse, popular science texts and digital forms of communication.
My methodological approach is empiricist: generalisations about language need to be supported by authentic and, where possible, substantial samples of language data. To enable empirically supported lines of enquiry, I have been involved in a number of projects developing corpora, such as the Michigan Corpus of Academic Spoken English (MICASE), the Michigan Corpus of Upper-level Student Papers (MICUSP), the English-Swedish Parallel Corpus (ESPC), the Mid-Sweden Corpus of Computer-Assisted Language Learning (McCALL), and a recent corpus of metaphor in academic talk (METCLIL). When studying corpus data, I try to combine quantitative corpus work with qualitative analysis whenever possible.
Recent research interests include intercultural communication and attempts to find communicative patterns that may vary across various cultural divides, large and small. Intercultural perspectives are increasingly relevant to today’s workplace, so workplace communication is another area of study under development. Together with Jan-Ola Östman, I am also exploring how risk is communicated in workplace settings and in society in general. We are publishing an edited volume on "Risk Discourse and Responsibility" with Pragmatics & Beyond in 2023.