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School of Arts and Media

Dr Jack Wilson

Lecturer in English Language


  • BA in English Language and Linguistics from York St John
  • MA in Pragmatics from University College London
  • PhD from the University of Leeds, department of Linguistics and Phonetics


I teach on modules focussing predominantly on meaning in language. I am currently teaching on the following modules:

Level 4

  • Foundations of Language II: Semantics and Pragmatics
  • Researching English Language

Level 5

  • Corpus Approaches to Language
  • Truth and Meaning

Level 6

  • Language and Communication
  • Current Issues in Pragmatics

Research Interests

Generally speaking, my research attempts to address the following question: What is meaning in language and how does it differ from meaning we find elsewhere?

Particularly, I research co-speech gestures, which are meaning gestures that accompany language use. In addressing this question, I adopt a variety of experimental and observational methods.

I am currently working on a variety of research projects, including: Gesture in speech production and comprehension, (rural) Sign Languages, the evolution of sign systems, metaphor in contemporary song lyrics, and gesture in modern South Arabian Languages.


  • Watson, JCE. & Wilson J. (2017) Gesture in Modern South Arabian Languages: variation in multimodal constructions during task- based interaction. scheduled for the special issue Brill's Journal of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics, Volume 9, Issue 1.
  • Merrison, A. J., Wilson, J. J., Davies, B. L., and Haugh, M. (2012) Getting Stuff Done: Comparing ‘E-mail Requests’ from Students in Higher Education in Britain and Australia. Journal of Pragmatics , 44: 1077–1098