Howard Manns


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Language and identity in interaction; Australian English; Indonesian and Indonesian languages; World Englishes; Intersubjectivity; Indexicality


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


My research explores language and meaning-making in interaction, with a focus on what happens when speakers from differing backgrounds (societal, cultural, linguistic) come into contact. I have a particular interest in how through such contact language meanings and social identities evolve over time.

My work falls with the “third wave” of sociolinguistics in that it brings together traditional sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology to better understand the evolution of language meanings and social identities. My approach to language study is informed by Conversation Analysis techniques, but also draws on interviews and ethnographic methods to provide a full account of how people view and use language, and assume and ascribe identities.

My particular strength may be found in multilingualism and my work across linguistic contexts, including a professional background in Persian linguistics (with the US military), and a research background in Indonesian linguistics, sign language linguistics, and a burgeoning portfolio in Australian/World Englishes.

Research area keywords

  • Interactional sociolinguistics
  • Conversation analysis
  • Linguistic Anthropology
  • Linguistics
  • Indonesian language
  • Sign language
  • Australian English
  • World Englishes
  • Intercultural communication
  • Language and Identity
  • Language and indexicality


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