This major collaboration by researchers and PhD students at King’s College London and Lancaster University is funded by the Leverhulme Trust from 2013 – 2016. It is exploring the different ways in which people talk and write about animals.

Our research examines how language choices realise specific stances towards animals. Findings will be relevant to both natural and social scientists, and will inform public debates about the ways animals feature in human experience: as companions, commodities, and quarry in hunting; in domains such as medical experiments, food production and consumption.

Our findings will:

  • deepen theoretical understanding of the relation between the linguistic system of English, choices made within it, and representations of animals
  • illuminate the degree to which established ways of talking and writing are attuned to describing the rapidly changing environment in which humans and animals co-exist
  • provide evidence about whether current ways of speaking and writing contribute to, or detract from, positive action in sustaining that co-existence.

2 thoughts on “Home

  1. David Jackson

    This seems like a very interesting analysis of the underlying perceptions revealed in people’s language. I think that a fair amount of people now view animals as commodities or pests. Part of this is because most humans are so far removed from having to kill the food that they may eat. Meat to them is literally something you go pick up in the store and not a living being whose life was ended to benefit another life. Again, very interesting study you are conducting, looking forward to more of the findings.

  2. asealey2014

    Thank you, David. Sorry I haven’t responded before. We have indeed found that other people have drawn attention to the disconnection between humans and other animals – at least for many contemporary members of societies in the ‘developed’ world. We’re still analysing some of the subtle ways that language choices may be implicated in this …


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