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Ulster University hosts landmark international conference in Belfast

Dr Catrin Rhys

Ulster University will host a major global conference this week as over 1300 delegates from over 60 countries arrive for the 15th International Pragmatics Conference at the Belfast Waterfront.

The annual conference brings together some of the world’s leading linguistics and language experts with the aim of exploring the important and essential connections between language use, context and social action.

A broad range of topics will be debated and discussed over the entire week from language and politics to the changing use of language in a social media context.

Dr Catrin Rhys, Associate Head of the School of Communication at Ulster University and Chair of this year’s conference said:

“Pragmatics is underpinned by the basic idea that the way we use language in everyday life matters. What makes it so interesting is that we are mostly unaware of the effects of the language around us on how we think, feel and behave.

“In Northern Ireland, a society in post-conflict transition, this is a particularly relevant theme, as cultural sensitivities can be impacted by the language choices that we make to talk about life here.

“Ulster University is proud to host this prestigious conference in Belfast, not just because of the globally respected role we play in linguistics and language research but also because it reinforces Belfast’s current status as the top conference destination in the UK.”

Gerry Lennon, Chief Executive Visit Belfast welcomed yet another international conference to the city:

“The huge investment we’ve seen in the city’s infrastructure, particularly in the Belfast Waterfront and our conference services, is making the city an even more attractive place to host events and share knowledge.

“Conferences represent an opportunity not only to highlight our world-class academia, but it enables us to showcase how vibrant Belfast has become as a city break and conference destination. Delegates will experience a warm Belfast welcome from the moment they arrive, with time to sample our attractions and hospitality, this is a great business opportunity for the whole city.”