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Professor Allan Bell.

Professor Allan Bell

  • Director, Institute of Culture, Discourse and Communication, Auckland University of Technology
  • Professor of Language and Communication
  • Director of the World Internet Project New Zealand
  • Co-founder and editor of the international quarterly Journal of Sociolinguistics.

Professor Allan Bell holds a PhD from the University of Auckland and for many years led a dual career combining academic research with journalism and communications consultancy.

Allan has held research appointments at several overseas and New Zealand universities and has made field-defining contributions over the past 30 years in several areas of language and communication.

Research interests

Allan is known for his theory of style, Audience Design, and for pioneering work on media language and discourse, and on New Zealand English.

His other research interests include:

  • Discourse analysis of biblical texts
  • Social and linguistic aspects of the Internet
  • Stylisation in mass communication
  • Language and identity
  • Sociolinguistic and communication theory
  • Science communication
  • Multilingualism in New Zealand.


Allan has published many papers in leading academic journals and edited collections, and has authored or co-edited five books:

  • New Zealand Ways of Speaking English (ed., with Janet Holmes, 1990)
  • The Language of News Media (1991)
  • Approaches to Media Discourse (ed., with Peter Garrett, 1998)
  • New Zealand English (ed. with Koenraad Kuiper, 2000)
  • Languages of New Zealand (ed., with Ray Harlow and Donna Starks, 2005).

More from Professor Allan Bell

He has led several major research projects funded by NZ public agencies, including projects on language style, Pasifika languages in New Zealand, and television violence in New Zealand.

Allan also supervises PhD and Masters students, teaches Sociolinguistics at postgraduate level, heads up research projects and is a member of the national PBRF Social Science and Other Cultural/Social Studies panel.

Areas for Supervision:

Allan supervises PhD and Masters students in a range of research areas:

  • Language in society
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Applied linguistics
  • Multilingualism
  • NZ English
  • Languages of New Zealand
  • Language style
  • Language and identity
  • Discourse analysis
  • Media
  • Media language and discourse
  • Communication
  • Internet
  • Science communication