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Remembering Michael Hoey's Work

by Alan Partington


Prof. Michael Hoey was one of Britain’s leading academic linguists and language theorists who made transformative contributions in the areas of text and discourse analysis, and in corpus-based lexicology and dictionary-building. Hoey’s body of academic work spanned five decades, during which linguistic theory underwent a sea-change. Hoey was one of scholars not only creating the change but also making it comprehensible to a worldwide audience.

Hoey’s early work, in days when dealing with discourse above the level of the sentence was still a novelty, presents a fascinating picture of how relations among sections of texts can be categorised into a limited set of patterns, including Sequence (e.g. Time, Consequence) and Matching (e.g. Contrast, Exemplification) relations.

Hoey viewed all discourse, including writing, as a dialogue of sorts, and his work on cohesion, which aims to aid receiver comprehension, shows how the majority of the physical signals of the semantic relations connecting the different parts of a text are lexical items of some sort, and reversed tradition notions of the frequency and significance of lexical cohesion in relation to grammatical.

His later work on lexical priming demonstrated in meticulous detail how extremely complex the associative behaviour of all lexical items is. It presents a new theory of language, of how we internalise knowledge of this associative behaviour by exposure to language, reproduce it in our own speech and thus continue the cycle of lexical priming of others in our various language communities.

Read the full Obituary on JCads

Seminar series 2021  





"Corpora and medical/clinical communication" 


(Fridays at 11 a.m. CET)

1 October 2021 

Elena Semino (Lancaster University): "Metaphors of Covid-19"         Join


29 October 2021 

Sylvia Jaworska (University of Reading): "To take or not to take: the worlds of antidepressant use" Join


12 November 2021 

Gavin Brookes (Lancaster University): "Obesity in the News; A Corpus-Based Critical Analysis" Join


3 December 2021 

Daniel Hunt (University of Nottingham): "Gangstalking: A linguistic analysis of online communication about a novel persecutory belief systemJoin


17 December 2021 


Discussing the role of language and communication medical practice on the territory 

Chair: Rafael Lozano Miralles (Professor of Spanish Literature, Department of Interpreting and Translation, University of Bologna, Forlì)

Guests: Elena Semino (Professor of Linguistics at Lancaster University and Director of the ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science), Antonio Francesco Maturo (Professor of Sociology at University of Bologna and Coordinator of PhD Programme of Sociology and Social Research), Sylvia Jaworska (Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at University of Reading), Marco Domenicali (Associate Professor of Medical and Surgical Sciences at University of Bologna, Ravenna), Gavin Brookes (Senior Research Associate at ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science, Lancaster University), Alessio Avenanti (Professor of Psychobiology and Physiological Psychology at University of Bologna and Director of the Non-invasive brain stimulation research group, Department of Psychology "Renzo Canestrari", Cesena)