Staff profile

Dr Barbara MacMahon

Senior Lecturer in English Language

Barbara MacMahon


English, Creative Writing and Publishing


College of Arts, Humanities and Education




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



Senior Lecturer in English Language

Teaching responsibilities

I teach on the BA (Hons) English Literature and Language and English Language (Joint Honours). My teaching specialisms include Literary Linguistics, Pragmatics and Psycholinguistics.

Research interests

My research is in literary linguistics and literary pragmatics. I am currently interested in two main areas of literary language. One is the use of voice in narrative, how we can explain it using a cognitive theory of communication (relevance theory), and how it is related to non-literary modes of communication.

The other area is sound-patterning in poetry and poetic language. I am interested in how sound-patterning contributes to the effects of a poem, and how we process it as readers. I use psycholinguistic models of lexical access alongside relevance theory to explore these questions.


Recent publications