Dr Andrew John Merrison

BA (York), MSc (Edinburgh), PhD (Edinburgh)

Having started his professional life training to be an accountant, Andrew switched to linguistics in 1987. After a BA in Language (German and Mandarin) & Linguistic Science (York, 1991) and an MSc in Cognitive Science and Natural Language (Edinburgh, 1992), he gained his PhD in linguistics from the University of Edinburgh in June 1998. He started working for York St John University in September 1998. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for English Language & Linguistics within the Business School.

He is the founder and co-organiser of the York St John University Colloquium Series in Linguistics (which to date has hosted 53 lectures). This series is now organised under the auspices of Languages and Identities in InterAction Research Unit (LIdIA) of which he is a co-founder.

Andrew is a mac-using viola player who, if lucky, occasionally gets to play bridge and golf. He spends most of his life doing Conversation Analysis and studying the socio-pragmatics of inter-action, too much money on books, way too much time on Facebook, and nowhere near enough with Sally, Ben and Joe Merrison. Invariably quite cheerful, his favourite words are minimum and outwith. He usually finds it much harder to stick to word counts.

Further Information


Andrew teaches on the BA in English Language & Linguistics and the Joint Honours degrees that pair with it. He provides part of the team teaching on Key Concepts (1LL010) and is Module Director for Semantics and Pragmatics (1LL020),Analysing Talk-in-Interaction (2LL040), Sociolinguistics (2LL090), Advanced Conversation Analysis (3LL020) and English Language & Linguistics Dissertation (3LL990/991). Andrew has supervised five postgraduate research degrees to successful completion (one MA and four PhDs) and is currently supervisor to five PhD students with a sixth to be interviewed in early July 2012.

Professional Activities

Since 2000, Andrew has been an executive member of the Linguistic Politeness Research Group (LPRG). The LPRG management group organises conferences, research seminars, symposia and reading groups on the subject of politeness and impoliteness. It was also responsible for founding the Journal of Politeness Research: Language, Behaviour, Culture in 2005. The LPRG maintains a website of relevant resources which is available at < http://research.shu.ac.uk/politeness/index.html >.

In 2009, at a serendipitous breakfast in a café in Brisbane following a symposium on Face hosted at Griffith University, Andrew co-founded GAS (the Goffman Appreciation Society) with Jim O’Driscoll and Oliver Hambling-Jones. GAS currently operates as a reading group with the aim of reading and discussing all of Erving Goffman’s publications in chronological order. After eleven meetings, our twelfth will be a discussion of Stigma (1963) at the University of Huddersfield on the 12thof September 2012. Although GAS has regular participants from Huddersfield, Leeds, Loughborough, Nottingham, Sheffield and York, it is a group that is open to all (contact Andrew for details).

Andrew is a regular peer reviewer for the Journal of Politeness Research and the Journal of Pragmatics. He is in his fourth year as external examiner for a suite of BAs in English Language and Communication at Cardiff University’s School of English, Communication and Philosophy. In September 2012 he is about to start a three year term as external examiner for linguistic components of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in the Department of Human Communication Sciences at the University of Sheffield.

Since 2008, Andrew has been a Principal Investigator on a Collaborative Multi-Institutional Research Project (A.J. Merrison, York St John University; G.H. Turner and G.A. Quinn, Heriot–Watt University; B.L. Davies, University of Leeds):Interpreting Task-Oriented Discourse between Deaf and Hearing Participants.

Research & Publications

Barry, Rebecca & Merrison, Andrew John (2010) Language-in-Use: A Clarkian Perspective, In Griffiths, Patrick,Merrison, Andrew John & Bloomer, Aileen [eds.] (2010) Language in Use: A Reader. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 37–46.

Bloomer, Aileen, Griffiths, Patrick & Merrison, Andrew John (2005) Introducing Language in Use: A Coursebook. Abingdon: Routledge.

Corrigan, Karen P., Merrison, Andrew John, Monaghan, Mary & Whewell, Peter (1997) An Analysis of the Written Discourse in the Questionnaire Responses of Borderline Personality Disordered Patients. Final Report to The Research & Development Directorates of the Northern & Yorkshire Regional Health Authority.

Davies, Bethan L., Haugh, Michael & Merrison, Andrew John [eds.] (2011) Situated Politeness. London: Continuum.

Davies, Bethan L., Merrison, Andrew John & Goddard, Angela (2007) Institutional Apologies in UK Higher Education,Journal of Politeness Research, Volume 3 (1), 39-63.

Davies, Bethan L., Merrison, Andrew John & Haugh, Michael (2011) Epilogue, In Davies, Bethan L., Haugh, Michael & Merrison, Andrew John [eds.] (2011) Situated Politeness. London: Continuum, pp. 270–277.

Gilroy, Helen & Merrison, Andrew John (in prep.) When Wor(l)ds Collide: The Role of Common Ground in Face and Identity Management within a Virtual Learning Environment Discussion Forum.

Griffiths, Patrick, Merrison, Andrew John & Bloomer, Aileen [eds.] (2010) Language in Use: A Reader. Abingdon: Routledge.

Hambling-Jones, Oliver & Merrison, Andrew John (2012) Inequity in the Pursuit of Intimacy: An Analysis of British Pick-Up Artist Interactions, Journal of Pragmatics. (44), 1115-1127.

Haugh, Michael & Merrison, Andrew John (in prep.) Politeness in Interaction: A Conversation Analytic Perspective, for Kádár, Dániel [ed.] Politeness: Interfaces. London: Equinox.

Haugh, Michael, Davies, Bethan L. & Merrison, Andrew John (2011) Situating Politeness, In Davies, Bethan L., Haugh, Michael & Merrison, Andrew John [eds.] (2011) Situated Politeness. London: Continuum, pp. 1–23.

Linguistic Politeness Research Group [eds.] (2011) Discursive Approaches to Politeness. Berlin: Mouton DeGruyter.

Merrison, Andrew John (1992) Compensatory Gesture: A Non-Verbal Contribution to Mainstream Linguistics, Signpost, Periodical of the International Sign Linguistics Association, Vol. 5 (4), 15–19.

Merrison, Andrew John, Anderson, Anne H. & Doherty-Sneddon, Gwyneth (1994) An Investigation into the Communicative Abilities of Aphasic Subjects in Task-Orientated Dialogue. Edinburgh: HCRC publications, University of Edinburgh.

Merrison, Andrew John (2002) Politeness in Task-Oriented Dialogue, Working Papers on the Web, No 3 available online at < http://extra.shu.ac.uk/wpw/politeness/ >.

Merrison, Andrew John (2011) ‘Doing Aphasia – Are You With Me?’: Analysing Face-Work around Issues of (Non-)Competence, In Linguistic Politeness Research Group [eds.] (2011) Discursive Approaches to Politeness. Berlin: Mouton DeGruyter, pp. 221–244.

Merrison, Andrew John, Wilson, Jack J., Davies, Bethan L. & Haugh, Michael (2012) Getting Stuff Done: Comparing ‘E-mail Requests’ from Students in Higher Education in Britain and Australia, Journal of Pragmatics. (44), 1077 - 1098.

Merrison, Andrew John, Bloomer, Aileen, Griffiths, Patrick & Hall, Christopher J. (2014) Introducing Language in Use: A Coursebook (2nd edition). Abingdon: Routledge.

Merrison, Andrew John, & Wilson, Jack J. (in prep.) Introducing ‘Using Language’: A Short, Accessible Introduction to a Clarkian Perspective on Language in Use.

Merrison, Andrew John & Turner, Graham H. (in prep.) Construing Understandings and Understanding Construals: Insights into Meaning-Making from Simultaneously- Interpreted Multimodal Task-Oriented Interactions.

Merrison, Sally & Merrison, Andrew John (2003) MerriMaps: An Assessment and Therapy Resource for Pragmatic Language Skills. Ponteland, Northumberland: STASS Publications.

Merrison, Sally & Merrison, Andrew John (2005) Repair in Speech and Language Therapy Interaction: Investigating Pragmatic Language Impairment in Children, Child Language Teaching and Therapy, Volume 21 (2), 191-211.

Turner, Graham H. & Merrison, Andrew John (in prep.) Using the Map Task to Illuminate Dialogue Interpreting.

Whisker, Kate, Merrison, Andrew John & Swift, Nikki (2007) TH-fronting in Hull: Investigating the Inland Revenue, York Working Papers in Linguistics, Series 2, Issue 8, 235–247.

Wilson, Jack J., Merrison, Andrew John & Graham, Sage Lambert (in prep.) Reflections on Face, Commitment and Identity in an Online Christian Forum.

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