Relevance Researchers’ Network

The network was set up in January 2021 by Ryoko Sasamoto and Kate Scott to provide a space for researchers working on relevance theory to share ideas and discuss their work.

Relevance theory is a theory of cognition and communication which developed out of work in pragmatics but is now used by researchers from a range of fields and disciplines. We identified a need to bring together researchers working in the field to nurture collaboration and provide a space for interaction and development.

This network was founded in January 2021. We wanted to take advantage of the new opportunities afforded by the increased use of online conferencing to bring together researchers from all over the world.

Our membership comprises an international group of over 50 members including PGR students, ECRs, postdoctoral researchers and professors from over 20 different countries.

Kate and Ryoko

About Ryoko Sasamoto

Ryoko Sasamoto completed her PhD at the University of Salford under the supervision of Professor Diane Blakemore in 2006. She is Associate Professor in the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies and a member of Centre for Translation and Textual Studies at Dublin City University. She was Director of Research at the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies from 2016-2020.

Ryoko’s research is interdisciplinary and she works across different disciplines such as Pragmatics, Audiovisual Translation and Reception Studies. Her research concerns how humans communicate using resources beyond verbal meaning. This takes her to many aspects of human communications and she has been working on onomatopoeia, fansubtitling communities, and multimodal interaction on digital media using the framework of Relevance Theory. She also examines multimodal interaction by combining Relevance Theory and the empirical analysis using eye-tracking technology. Her first monograph, Onomatopoeia and Relevance: Communication of Impressions via Sound, was published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2019. Other selected publication include Relevance, style and multimodality: Typographical Features as Stylistic Devices (Sasamoto and O’Hagan, 2020), Contemporary Global Media Circulation based on Fan Translation: A particular case of Thai Fansubbing (Wongseree, O’Hagan and Sasamoto), Telop, Affect, and Media Design: A Multimodal Analysis of Japanese TV Programs (Sasamoto, O’Hagan and Doherty 2017), and Onomatopoeia – Showing-word or Saying-word? Relevance Theory, lexis, and communication of impressions (Sasamoto and Jackson 2016).

She is currently the Director of Teaching and Learning at the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies.

About Kate Scott

Kate Scott completed her PhD in 2010 at UCL under the supervision of Professor Deirdre Wilson. She then taught at UCL and at Middlesex University before joining Kingston University in 2012. Although her research focuses primarily on language and linguistics, her interests are broad and intersect with literary and media studies. She has published on the language of social media and has used ideas from linguistics in the analysis of literary texts. She was Head of Department for Humanities from May 2019 to February 2021, overseeing courses in English, Creative Writing and Philosophy.

Kate’s research focuses primarily on the pragmatics of language, and she has applied ideas from the relevance theory pragmatic framework to a range of data and texts. Her PhD thesis focused on the pragmatics of reference, and this work has since been published as a monograph by Cambridge University Press. A second key strand of Kate’s research focuses on the pragmatics of digitally-mediated communication. She is currently preparing a monograph for Routledge on the Pragmatics of Online Language and her journal article on the pragmatics of hashtags has been cited over 100 times. She is currently preparing papers on the pragmatics of sharing, memes and clickbait. In 2019, Kate co-edited a volume published by Cambridge University Press (Scott, Clark and Carston 2019) which brought together the most influential and cutting edge scholars working in relevance theory. In a final strand of her research, Kate has applied ideas from relevance theory to the analysis of literary texts, including a paper on the typography of written texts. 

She is currently the School Director for Research, Business and Innovation at the Design School, KSA, and she is the research director for the Writing Cultures Group.