Courses / Research / Links / Home

Dr. Alex Sévigny: Research

Content & Discourse Analysis of Language and Media

My primary field of research is the analysis and measurement of the content of communication, both interpersonal and mediated. I have a particular interest in political communication, public relations and social media messaging. I have listed some areas below that I am looking for MA students to work with me on. If you feel you have an idea that could become an undergraduate thesis or a Master's research project in one of these areas, please contact me.

Current research opportunities for students involve:

  1. Question Period Monitoring and Analysis Project (QPMAP)
  2. Content analysis of news media and current affairs programming in Canada
  3. Social media measurement
  4. Applications of content analysis techniques to public relations (reputation and message management)
  5. Critical Discourse Analysis
Selected related publications:
  1. Sévigny, A. 2002. "Discourse Information Grammar."Linguistics Association of Korea Journal 10(4), 65-91.
  2. Sévigny, A. 2003. "Information flow in two translations of Madame Bovary."Linguistica Anverpiensia N.S. , 1:241-256.
  3. Sévigny, A. 2003. "Towards a procedural grammar for natural language understanding."Canadian Journal of Applied Lingusitics 6(2): 187-219.
  4. Sévigny, A. 2003. "Discourse linkers as drivers of procedural/conceptual information." In Clarke, S. (ed.), PAMAPLA 26. St. John's, NL: Memorial University Press, pgs. 191-208.
  5. Sévigny, A. 2004. "Coordination from an incremental, time-linear perspective." LACUS Forum XXX: 425-439.
  6. Sévigny, A. & J. McMullan. 2005. "A morphological parser for Discourse Information Grammar." PAMAPLA 28.
  7. Sévigny, A. 2006. "Discourse Information Grammar and Explanatory Adequacy." Submitted to Linguistica Atlantica,24.
  8. Sévigny, A., A. Moro & N. Bibis, eds. 2006. Explanatory Adequacy?, special issue, Linguistica Atlantica, 25, 180 pgs.

Indigenous Studies

While this is no longer an active field of research for me, I am still very interested in First Nations matters .

Please communicate with me if you have a project in mind related to First Nations or Indigenous Studies in:

  1. Dictionary or Cultural Archive Contruction (Digital and Print)
  2. Critical discourse analysis (CDA) of news related to Indigenous Peoples
Selected related publications:
  1. Cyr, D., E. Metallic & A. Sévigny, 2006. The Metallic Dictionary of Contemporary Mìgmaq. Québec City: Presses de l'Université Laval.
  2. Cyr, D. & Sévigny, A. 2003. "Critically examining the construction of a endangered language dictionary." In Clarke. S. (ed.), PAMAPLA 26, St. John's,NFLD: Memorial University Press, pgs. 91-104.
  3. Cyr, D. & A. Sévigny, 2004. "Traduire pour transmettre: le cas des langues amérindiennes", Linguistica Antverpiensia N.S., 2, pgs. 167-183.
  4. Cyr, D. & A. Sévigny, 2007. "Uniying the resources Unifying resources for Mìgmaq literacy: partnership, process, planning." Plurilingua XXX

Communication, Culture, Cognition


Karin Humphreys

I am interested in investigating how we can use cognitive, behavioural and neuroscientific techniques to supplement traditional qualitative and quantitative social scientific measurement techniques, such as content analysis, surveys and focus groups to measure communication content and how that content is effective. Students interested in this research should contact me to inquire about possibilities.

I wrote my Master's Dissertation, Une analyse neurolinguistique de deux cas d'aphasie de conduction in 1995 and have presented two conference papers and published two articles applying pragmatic and lexical-semantic analysis techniques to modeling of neurolinguistic data. I have recently begun a project looking into Foreign Accent Syndrome with my colleague Karin Humphreys and members of the patient care team at Hamilton General Hospital. I now occasionally participate in neurolinguistic research. Please contact me if you are interested in this area and think I could be of help to you.

Selected related publications:
  1. A. Sévigny & K. Humphreys. 2007. "Linguistics and Cognitive Neuroscience: Friends, Foes or Distant Acquaintances.", LACUS XXXIII, pgs.
  2. Sévigny, A. & K. Humphreys. 2007. Reconsidering the Future of the Field: Cognitive Science and Communication Studies in Canada, In J. Greenberg & C. Elliott, Communications in Question. Toronto: Thomson-Nelson, pgs.
  3. Naidoo, R., E. Warriner, W. Oskowizc, J. Wilson, A. Sévigny & K. Humphreys. In Press. "Neurophysiological & behavioural evidence of a case of Foreign Accent Syndrome."Canadian Journal of the Neurological Sciences
  4. Sévigny, A. & D. Scheffel-Dunand, 2000. "Réflexion / édition / Action / Interaction dans la correspondance Vizetelly-Zola ." Actes du Colloque international pour les études françaises valorisées par les nouvelles technologies d'information et de communication, Toronto, mai 2000. Toronto:Département d'études françaises.
  5. A. Sévigny & K. Humphreys. Submitted. "A quantitative analysis of gendered hate speech in Salon.com letters", LACUS XXXIV, pgs.
  6. Sévigny, A. 1999. "Une analyse générative-lexicale des erreurs d'un aphasique de conduction." In Van Herk, T., ed., Actes du colloque annuel de l'Association canadienne de linguistique 1999, Ottawa: Cahiers de linguistique de l'université d'Ottawa, pgs. 249-261.

Macedonian Language and Culture

A native speaker of Macedonian, I have always been fascinated by the culture and language of my ancestors. As such, I am investigating issues of Macedonian linguistics, pragmatics and culture (identity, diaspora, etc). For the linguist, Macedonian presents many interesting challenges: object doubling, clitic doubling, many modal particles, a grammaticalized sense of speaker view and speaker horizon, etc. For the theorist interested in processes of identification, diaspora and displacement, Macedonian also offers a rich tapestry of corpus and data to investigate, as the Macedonians lived as a colonized people for 500 years under the Ottoman Empire and then scattered into global diaspora throughout the 20th Century. I recently gave a talk at the 5th International Conference on Macedonian Studies organized by Brian Joseph at the Ohio State University. Current research initiatives involve:

Selected related publications:
  1. Sévigny, A. 2002. "Delighting in multicultural communications", Canadian Issues 4(3).
  2. Sévigny, A. 2003. "Formaliser les contraintes pragmatiques: l'exemple d'une particule du maçédonien." In Burelle, S. & S. Somesfalean, eds.,Actes du colloque annuel de l'Association canadienne de linguistique 2002, Montréal: UQAM, pgs. 259-272.
  3. Sévigny, A. 2004. "Analysis of a Pragmatic Macedonian Particle." In Joseph, B. & M. A. Johnson, eds., MACEDONIAN STUDIES. Papers From the Fifth International  Macedonian-North American Conference. Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University, pgs. 1-17.
  4. Sévigny, A. 2010. "A relevance theoretic account of kamo." In Miskovic, M. & M. Dedaic, eds., South-Slavic Discourse Particles.