School of Linguistics & English Language

Staff profile of Dr Alan Wallington

Dr Alan Wallington
Dr Alan Wallington
Teaching Associate
01248 388638
Room 305, 37-41 College Road

I joined the School of Linguistics and English Language at Bangor University in September 2011 as a Part-Time Teaching Associate in Cognitive Linguistics. Before moving to Bangor I was employed for eight years as a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham, working on Artificial Intelligence and figurative language. I have also worked at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology or UMIST (In 2004, this merged with the Victoria University of Manchester to form the University of Manchester) and the University of Sussex.

I gained my Ph.D. from the Department of Language and Linguistics at UMIST. The thesis, entitled “Arguments and the Resolution of Local Syntactic Ambiguity”, was concerned with why certain structurally ambiguous sentences often have a strongly preferred interpretation, at least out of context.

Research interests

My main interests for the past decade have involved figurative language and more specifically, metaphor. I am interested in what might motivate the association of a source concept with its target meaning and how such metaphors can be extended and elaborated to give the appearance of a family of related metaphors. An important aspect of my work is the study of metaphorical terms which seem to belong to such families yet do not appear to be motivated by any direct relationship between source and target. In short, I explore the frequent lack of parallelism between source and target.

A recent interest is in metaphors that convey what is thought to be temporal information, particularly those that exploit spatial and kinetic knowledge as the source for the metaphor.

I have also studied metaphor in a more applied setting: as a means of conveying emotion in on-line drama.

Selected recent publications

Wallington, A.M. (2012). Back to the future: Just where are forthcoming events located? In, Filipovic, L. and K. M. Jaszczolt (eds). Space and Time in Languages and Cultures II: Language, Culture, and Cognition. Chapter 4. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Human Cognitive Processing Series 37.

Wallington, A.M. (2012). Metaphorical Futures. In C. Hart, (ed): Selected Papers from UK Cognitive Linguistics conferences. Volume 1, pp. 249-261. ISSN 2046-9144. Published: Bienially in June/July, since 2012.

Wallington, A.M., Agerri, R., Barnden, J.A., Glasbey, S.R., Lee M.G. & Rumbell T. (2011). Affect transfer by metaphor for an intelligent conversational agent. In A. Khurshid (ed). Affective Computing and Sentiment Analysis: Emotion, Metaphor and Terminology. Dordrecht: Springer.

Barnden, J.A & Wallington, A.M. (2010). Metaphor and its unparalled meaning and truth. In A Burkhardt & B. Nerlich (eds).Tropical Truths : The epistemology of metaphor and other tropes, pp. 123-135. Berlin & New York: De Gruyter.

Wallington, A.M. (2010). Systematicity in Metaphor and the Use of Invariant Mappings. In G. Low, Z. Todd, A. Deignan & L Cameron (eds.), Researching and Applying Metaphor in the Real World. Ch. 11. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.


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