Dr Ralph Morton
Dr Ralph Morton is a Research Assistant on the ‘Language of DIY Justice’ project and has around a decade of research experience. He started his linguistics career at Aston University, studying for a MA in Applied Linguistics (Forensic Linguistics), and working as a research assistant on the two corpus building projects: Gesprochene Wissenschaftssprache kontrastiv (‘GeWiss’ for short), and the ESRC-funded Midlands English: Speech and Society project.
Following this he went on to construct the British Telecom Correspondence Corpus (BTCC) at Coventry University, a corpus of letters the vast public archives of British Telecom (‘the world’s oldest communications company’). The construction and analysis of this corpus informed his PhD thesis ‘The BT Correspondence Corpus 1853-1982: The development and analysis of archival language resources’, and his work in this area provided valuable insights not only into the development of business English over this period, but also some of the challenges of working with archival material to produce linguistic resources.
Prior to joining BCU he worked as a Research Associate at Loughborough University on the Leverhulme Trust-funded project Exploring the language barrier to engagement in youth justice assessment interview practice (informally ‘YOT Talk’). This multi-disciplinary project set out to examine the barriers to and enablers of effective communication in interactions between young people and youth justice practitioners. He worked with young people and practitioners across four sites to collect assessment interview data for linguistic analysis, and focus groups and questionnaires data for content analysis. Bringing these threads together he produced a set of recommendations (a ‘toolkit’) for effective communication in youth justice assessment interviews.