Online Communication, Discourse and Context

3rd international Symposium: Micro-Analysis of Online Data (MOOD-Z)

University of Zurich, Switzerland | July 16th – 17th 2015

The Micro-Analysis of Online Data (MOOD) network is an interdisciplinary group of scholars who explore theoretical and methodological issues related to the study of computer-mediated communication (CMC). Although our broad focus is on the application and/or adaptation of conversation and discourse analytic techniques to online data, we are also sensitive to the fact that much online data consist of visual or hypertextual material. Therefore we are also interested in developing novel methods that are tailored towards multimodal environments with limited verbal and paralinguistic data from platforms such as Pinterest to Soundcloud to SecondLife.

The 2015 symposium will include two keynote speakers:

Prof. Dr. Miriam Locher, University of Basel

Dr. Sean Rintel, University of Queensland and Microsoft Research Cambridge

We invite proposals (see: Submissions) for data sessions or for paper presentations that address theoretical, methodological, and method-based issues related to the analysis of CMC. We particularly encourage submissions related to the following topics:

  • The application of conversation analysis and various forms of discourse analysis to the study of online interaction.
  • Methodological challenges related to carrying out micro-analyses of online discourse/ CMC environments, particularly with methodologies typically applied to face-to-face interactions.
  • Theoretical considerations around the communicative conditions for online (written) communication, e.g. addressing issues such as physical vs. virtual presence, and how processes of reading and writing differ in their communicative conditions and consequences from face-to-face interaction.
  • The issue of ‘place’ and ‘space’ in (relation to) online discourse.
  • Technologies that support the analysis of online interaction.
  • Ethical dilemmas inherent to the study of online interaction.

In addition the conventional formats (presentation and data session), there will be a slot that gives Ph.D. students the possibility to discuss clear-cut questions concerning their thesis with senior researchers. Please contact us directly if you are interested in this format so that we can reserve a slot for you.

Organisation committee of MOOD-Z: 

David Giles (University of Winchester),
Jessica Nina Lester (Indiana University),
Katrin Lindemann (University of Zurich),
Trena Paulus (University of Georgia),
Emanuel Ruoss (University of Zurich),
Wyke Stommel (Radbout Universiteit Nijmegen),
Caroline Weinzinger (University of Zurich)

Call for Papers as PDF

For more information about the Symposium:

For more information about the MOOD network:

Linguistics as a window to understanding the brain

Language as a complex system of ‘human’ communication remains an indecipherable mystery for linguists and cognitive scientists. Professor Steven Pinker, a Cognitive Scientist at Harvard University, despite studying language for over thirty years, still feels there is far more for him to know about language than he already knows. In this video, he takes us through the amazing complexities of language by explaining linguistics from psychological and cognitive scientist points of view.

Video credit: Big Think

Lancaster Postgraduate Conference in Linguistics

We are pleased to announce the 10th Lancaster University International Postgraduate Conference in Linguistics and Language Teaching which will take place at Lancaster University on Monday, 13 July 2015.

This one-day conference is designed to give linguistics postgraduates from various areas in linguistics and language teaching/assessment an opportunity to present and discuss their research in an informal and intellectually stimulating setting. The conference is organized by postgraduate students under the auspices of the Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University.


Conference registration is now open. Register Online >>

Conference Programme

The conference programme will be available on June 10th, 2015

Key Dates

Abstracts must be received by: Tuesday 17 March 2015
Notification of acceptance: Thursday 30 April 2015
Early bird pre-registration deadline: Friday 22 May 2015
Late registration deadline: Monday 15 June 2015
Conference: Monday 13 July 2015
Keynote speakers

Dr Jenefer Philp, Lancaster University
Dr Alison Sealey, Lancaster University
Further Information


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The gallantry of Captain Sagir on Ekiti vote

The worst and most dangerous mistake a country could make is to politicise its defence system. Two or three things are apparent from my perception of Captain Sagir’s action, and this gallantry hopefully will become the whistle that sounds the victory of Nigeria in the hard-hitting game of nationhood.

At first, blowing a whistle as fierce and sensitive as this nature is, without a doubt, a daring bravery, and Nigeria salutes Captain Sagir’s courage, prays and hopes for more from courageous Nigerians like him across all sectors!

Secondly, it is true to say his action exposes not only the profligacy of Nigerian politics, which is no longer news around the world but also a dreaded indication of a corrosive activity that has begun to eat the foundation upon which the country stands. Some people, especially within the military institution no doubt may see the action of Captain Sagir as an act of betrayal or cowardice, but this claim, controversial it might be, only justifies the bedlam within and the ardent need for the Nigeria military and all security institutions alike to put their house in order quickly! If they were as divided as they are now, Nigeria would have been forgotten a long time ago. It was their patriotism and resilience that kept the country alive, and so they shouldn’t allow corrupt politicians to systematically waste their sacrifice in vain.

To these ends, because Captain Sagir did what he did, though only God knows how much this heroism will cost him, as, based on his words, it has started, I strongly believe, his action and other incidences that preceded his are a sign of a defining moment for Nigeria. And, hopefully, these are what would eventually culminate to set the country finally free from its bondage.  So, help Nigeria, God.

A lesson to take home: An interview with Asari Dokubo

Given the experience Nigeria has gone through in the last six years of present administration, characterised by a high deterioration level of public service, law and order and security, I strongly doubt if President Good Luck’s capabilities are comparable to General Buhari’s. It is evident, leadership requires more than just an impractical humility to ox a diverse and convoluted country like Nigeria.

In this interview by Laylah Aliyu Mai (Voices of the Youth), a more evenhanded I have never seen granted by Alhaji Mujahid Asari Dokubo, there is a lesson to take home if fellow Northerners put off emotion and read between the lines. In my opinion, at least in this interview, this is someone who combines pride in being a Muslim, an Ijaw man and a Nigerian – all inclusive – and ready, without any predisposition, to sit on a dialogue table!

Again, in my opinion, Goodluck surprisingly appears to have far less in evidence to convince Nigerians to risk another four years of a plodding collapse, perhaps, we may with a more competent Nigerian-Ijaw.

For now, we have every reason to believe, Buhari, irrespective of his regional and religious identities, remains a strong hope of a drowning country.

See the continuation of the interview.

Gargadi ga mai yawan korafi

Yawan korafi kullum da hangen cewa wani ya take maka hakki, bai haifar da komai sai mutuwar zuciya da musiba a cikin al’umma. A duk lokacin da mutum ya zama mai yawan korafi, to kodai rago ne, yana zaune yana jira idan biri ya tsinko dan giginya ya fadi a kasa ya dauka, ko kuwa shi ya zalunci kansa, ya ki yin abinda ya cancanta na karbo yancinsa.  Ina wannan bayani ne a dangane da irin dambalwar siyasa da a ke tabkawa a jihata, jihar Taraba. Musulmai da Kiristoci, musamman matasa hankali ya gushe; a maimakon yin abinda ya kamata na ci gaban jiha, sai zage-zage da zargin juna kawai a ke yi, wanda ba zai haifar da da mai ido ba.  Continue reading “Gargadi ga mai yawan korafi”

Happy independence celebration: Nigeria at 54

Today, Nigeria is celebrating its 54th Independence Anniversary with a lot of mixed feelings, good and bad stories to tell, numerous openings to patch and unimaginable wounds to heal. For me, this is a story of every nation, especially a diverse country like ours, that would have to crawl, stagger and attain development. The road is always rough, thorny and arduous.

Some people believe, at 54, Nigeria is matured enough to put all early developmental crises behind its back. I feel this is true if Nigerians mean allowing their cherished country to reach its greater height.  Continue reading “Happy independence celebration: Nigeria at 54”

Adieu, Professor Dora Akunyili 1954 – 2014


Gone in the way of all mortals! Adieu, Professor Dora Akunyili. Nigeria will continue to mourn you as one of its greatest pearl of recent time.

During her worth-lived life, Professor Dora, an academic per excellence, stood firmly for genuine principles of hard work and excellence; fought fiercely and courageously for the country she so much believed in, and even in her last days of dilapidated health still had the strength to contribute her proportion of wisdom in the national conference.  Continue reading “Adieu, Professor Dora Akunyili 1954 – 2014”

The rise and fall of Muslim Brotherhood in Egyptian politics

Nearly a century, since 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood has been at the forefront of Egyptian politics. It was a long and hard journey, which after a general election that followed a fierce people’s revolution, for the first time, their dream came true; they gripped the leadership they had long fought for with Mohammed Morsi at the helm of affairs – the first democratically elected Egyptian president. Just one year after this historic event, Morsi and indeed Muslim Brotherhood lost to another revolution which today 3rd July 2013 culminated in a military intervention or more or less a systematic coup de tat. Continue reading “The rise and fall of Muslim Brotherhood in Egyptian politics”