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Personal profile



Personal Details

Name: Sharon Louise Millar

Contact Address: Institute of Language and Communication
University of Southern Denmark
Campusvej 55, DK 5230 Odense M
tel: (0045) 65502127
e-mail: smi@language.sdu.dk

Education and Qualifications

BA (Hons) Linguistics, University of Reading, 1977-1981

Ph.D Sociolinguistics The Queen’s University of Belfast, 1982-1987

Career History

Current position: Associate Professor, Institute of Language and
(August 1995 -) Communication, University of Southern Denmark

January 2003- July 2004 College Lecturer, Department of Linguistics, University College Dublin (unpaid leave from the University of Southern Denmark)

August 1992 - July 1995 Assistant Professor, Institute of Language and
Communication, Odense University

August 1988 - July 1992 Foreign Lecturer, Department of English
Odense University

September 1986- July 1988 Executive Officer, Legislation and Policy, Department of Health and Social
Services, Stormont, Belfast 

September 1981-July 1982 Assistant manager, Murphs Restaurants, Bachelor's Walk, Dublin

Career Details

Current position: Associate professor

 Teaching English language and linguistics, communication at BA and MA level

 Research:

  • sociolinguistics (prescription in language; development of language norms in electronic media; language change; lingua franca English; multilingualism; language awareness);
  • rhetoric and discourse (communicative skills in speech and writing; construction of identity);
  • social psychology (social representations; attitudes; construction of identity)

 Managerial/administrative:

  • Chair of Humanities Faculty International Committee and member of the University’s International Committee
  • Vice-head of Institute of Language and Communication
  • Member of the board of the European Language Council (1997-2001)

- Projects:

  • Member of Lanqua Network (Language Quality Assessment), funded by EU Lifelong Learning Programme (2007-2010). Internal evaluator of subproject on Intercultural Communication
  • Manager of Danish research team for EU project (6th Framework programme) on Language Dynamics and Management of Diversity (2006-2011)
  • Member of a project group on Global communication in Danish companies, funded by the Danish Research Council for the Humanities (2003-2007)
  •  Member of a pan-European committee dealing with language teaching, with focus on Arabic, in Europe as part of EU-sponsored Thematic Network Project on language teaching and learning in Europe (2006-2007)
  •  Member of a pan-European committee dealing with curriculum innovation as part of EU-sponsored Thematic Network Project on language teaching and learning in Europe (2001-2004)
  •  Member of a project group on Language Acquisition funded by the Danish Research Council for the Humanities (1998-2001).
  • Co-applicant to European Science Foundation for a project on ‘European Worldview: narratives of European life’. EURESCO funding awarded for a conference in 2000.
  •  Member of a pan-European committee working on Postgraduate Studies in Europe as part of EU-sponsored Thematic Network Project on Languages (1997-99).

In-service training 

  • European Computer Driving Licence Danish Data Association and Council of European Professional Informatics Societies, 2000 
  • Project Management for Researchers, SDU, 2009
  • Sharepoint beginners course, SDU 2009
  • Atlas.ti introductory course, SDU 2009
  • Linking Discipline-Based Research and Teaching to Benefit Student Learning SDU 2011
  • Leader development programme SDU 2010-2012

Papers presented (selected)

‘Fairy tales and horror stories: the construction of the European Union in letters to the editor in the Danish press’. EURESCO-funded conference on ‘European Worldview: Narratives of European Life’, La Londe-les-Maures, May 2000.

‘Metalinguistic awareness: theoretical and methodological perspectives’ (with Teresa Cadierno). Workshop on Language Acquisition, Max Planck Institute, Leipzig, October 2000.

‘What haven’t I understood?: towards an investigation of incomprehensible language’. Symposium on Incomprehensible Language, University of Bergen, August 2001

‘Telling tales: constructing the European Union in Denmark’, 8th International Conference of Language and Social Psychology, City University of Hong Kong, July 2002.

‘Technologies and Techniques: conventionalising new means of communication’, International Conference on Historical Linguistics, University of Copenhagen 2003.

‘Vikings and Christians: Time as an argument in the construction of Danishness’, 9th International Pragmatics Conference, Riva del Garda, July 2005. Panel organiser ‘Discourse and Identity’.

‘Making communication work: instrumental and interpersonal aspects of intercultural communication in the globalised workplace’, Matchpoints Conference, University of Aarhus, November 2007.

‘Social representations of multilingualism in Denmark: constructing Danish as a threatened language’, 9th International Conference on Social Representations, Sanur, Bali, July 2008. (Paper presented with Sylvie Cifuentes)

‘Language Policies in Danish Multinational Companies’, 18th Congress of Linguists, National University of Korea, Seoul July 2008. (Paper presented with Astrid Jensen).

'Assuring Quality for the Teaching of Intercultural Communication in Europe: Perspectives and Challenges'. Languages in Higher Education 2010 Conference: Raising the Standard for Languages, London, July 2010

'"I think Spanish is fun": Metaphor Use in the Social Representations of Foreign Languages in the Danish Corporate Context'. Co-authors Sylvie Cifuentes and Astrid Jensen. Presented by Cifuentes at 10th International Conference on Social Representations, Tunis, July 2010. 

Publications (selected)

'The question of ethnolinguistic differences in Northern Ireland', English World-Wide, Vol.8.2: 201-13, 1987

'In pursuit of clarity: an analysis of speech education manuals'. Language and Communication, Vol.13, No. 4: 287-303, 1993.

'Group identity, group strategies and language in Northern Ireland'. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, Vol. 13, No. 3: 299-314, 1994.

'On 'new/non-native' Englishes: A gamelan'. Discussion article (10 contributors in total). Journal of Pragmatics, Vol. 24: 295-321, 1995

Form and Function in Discourse. Millar, S and Mey, J. (eds) (1995). Odense: Odense University Press.

'British educational policy, sociolinguistics and accent'. Journal of English Linguistics, Vol. 25.2: 107-121, 1997.

'Language prescription: a success in failure's clothing?' In R. Hogg and L. van Bergen (eds.) (1998) Historical Linguistics 1995 Vol 1 Germanic. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

‘Eloquence and elegance: ideals of communicative competence in spoken English’. In Richard Watts & Peter Trudgill (eds) (2002) Alternative Histories of English. London: Routledge, pp. 173-190.

‘The study of language variation and changes: changes in progress?’ Journal of Sociolinguistics 7(1): 78-90, 2003.

‘Children and linguistic normativity’. In D. Britain and J. Cheshire (eds.) (2004) Social Dialectology. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

‘Marketing identities in devolved regions: the role of global corporate culture in Scotland and Wallonia’. In J. Wilson and K. Stapleton (eds.) (2006) Devolution and Identity. Manchester: Ashgate, 157-172.

The Discourse of Europe: Talk and Text in Everyday Life. (edited with John Wilson) (2007). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

‘Rhetoricians at work: constructing the European Union in Denmark’. In Millar and Wilson (ed.), 115-131.

‘Introduction’. (with John Wilson) (2007). In Millar and Wilson (ed.), 1-16.

‘Technology and techniques: the (n)etiquette of telephone and email communication’. (2009). In C. Rowe and E. Wyss (eds.) Language and New Media: Linguistic, Cultural, and Technological Evolutions. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, pp. 285-312

'Language Choice and Management in Danish Multinational Companies: The Role of Common Sense'. Sociolinguistica 23:86-103, 2009 


Member of the national Danish external examiners corps for English (Courses, projects and theses at Bachelor and Master’s levels), 2007-2014

Expert for Linguistics Panel, Academy of Finland, 2009-10

Member of Scientific Committee for Sociolinguistics Symposium 12, 'Language and the city', Freie Universität Berlin, August 2012

Member of Scientific Committee for Conference on 'Teaching of Arabic to non-Arabic speakers: diverse experiences', Université de Rennes, April 2012

Member of editorial board for new journal 'Discourse, Context and Media' (Elsevier Press)

Erasmus/Socrates mobility: Universities of Manchester, Lund, London, Nice, Cluj-Napoca, Thessaloniki

Research areas

Sociolinguistics especially  lingua franca English, multilingualism, language prescription, new media, language policy

Social psychology especially social representations, attitudes, identity construction and everyday thinking

Rhetoric and discourse analysis especially argumentation

Organisational communication especially global communication, corporate communication and language policies

Research information

Research team manager and thematic theme coordinator: Language Dynamics and the Management of Diversity (Dylan project). Integrated project financed by EU 6th Framework programme. 2006-2011. 20 partners in total.

Member of CrossCom research centre.


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