Photo of Lynne Young

Lynne Young

Adjunct Research Professor (Applied Linguistics & Discourse Studies)

Degrees:B.A. (Carleton), M.A. (York), Ph.D. (Summa Cum Laude) (Leuven)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 8632
Office:215 B Paterson Hall


I began to study discourse, the use of language in use, many years ago when teaching English for Academic Purposes at Carleton. In the process of teaching second language learners how to recognize and use language in many different fields of study at the tertiary level I came to realize how necessary it was to examine the nature of discourse in a wide variety of contexts. To better understand language it was necessary to find a theory of and method for the study and typing of discourse. This led to the study of Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), which examines language from the perspective of the functions that language serves. The underlying idea of SFL is that by understanding what language does we can better understand what it is by examining the functions it serves.

With SFL providing both a theory and method for studying language in use, discourse, I moved to discourse analysis particularly of different disciplines at the university level examining how meanings are made in different contexts. This interest in different discourses led to the related field of Critical Discourse Analysis which focuses on the relationships between areas such as language and gender, language and politics, language and racism, language and the media in order to better understand the role of language in the production and maintenance of power relations. It is a form of discourse analysis which centers on issues and which aims to teach reflective practices when examining discursive influences in our lives.

Having written and taught in this area for more than ten years it became increasingly evident that when we speak about discourse we now have to include non-verbal communication and the role of verbal and non-verbal modalities. My research into and teaching of Multimodality focuses on the many different semiotic resources that are used to make meanings in different discursive situations. My current interest then includes not only verbal but visual communication in the examination of discursive influences in daily lives. The courses I teach reflect this interest.

Research Interests

  • Examining the role of discourse in issues of power and inequality;
  • Systemic Functional Linguistics
  • Critical Discourse Analysis
  • Multimodality and interconnections between visual and verbal meanings.


Current course information for this faculty member can be found by searching the Carleton Central/Public Schedule by Term and Name.

Courses previously taught

  • ALDS 4709 / ALDS 5102: Systemic-Functional Linguistics
  • ALDS 5408: Critical Discourse Analysis
  • ALDS 5902: Tutorial in ALDS
  • ALDS 5905: Special Topics in Applied Language Studies (formerly LALS 5905)

Recent Publications

The Power of Language: How Discourse Influences Society. London: Equinox Publishers, (With Brigid Fitzgerald) 2006.

Systemic Functional Linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis: Studies in Social Change (Ed. with Claire Harrison). Continuum Publishers, London, England. 2004.

Expository Discourse: A Genre Based Approach to Social Science Texts. (With Beverley Lewin, Tel Aviv University and Jonathan Fine, Bar-Ilan University). London: England, Continuum Publishers. 2001.

Chapters in books

Modeling Discourse in Continuing Discourse on Language. Edited by Jonathan Webster, Christian Matthiessen and Ruqaiya Hasan. London: Equinox Publishing Ltd. (with Carmel Cloran and Virginia Stuart-Smith) 2007

Bureaucratic Discourse: Writing in the ‘Comfort Zone’ (with Claire Harrison) Systemic Functional Linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis: Studies in Social Change (Ed. by Lynne Young and Claire Harrison). Continuum Publishers, London, England. 306 pages, March, 2004.

Second Language Acquisition: Learning How to Mean. Communication in Linguistics, Volume 1, Papers in honour of Michael Gregory, J. DeVilliers and R. Stainton (Eds). Editions Du Gref: Toronto, 2002.

Article in refereed journal

Leadership Discourse in Action: A Study of Organizational Change in a Government of Canada Department; Journal of Business and Technology Communication Vol. 19 No.1 January 2005 pp. 42-77 (with Claire Harrison).


Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, 2001

Recent Graduate Supervisions

Aixa Perez Aquilar: The meaning of localized websites: an analysis from critical discourse analysis and social semiotic perspectives. (thesis, passed with distinction) 2007

Mojdeh Majidi: An exploratory study of the idea of an auxiliary universal language. (thesis) 2007

Ghada Sbaiti: A study of the possibility of integrating critical discourse analysis into critical pedagogy.(research essay) 2006

Susan Boles: Applying critical discourse analysis to a study of global warming discourse in media with first year university students. (research essay) 2007

Michael Boutet: Repackaging Buddhism: A critical discourse analysis of Buddhist representation in spiritual self-help books. (research essay) 2005.

Krista Jack: Examining the CAEL Assessment Reading Text Specifications. (research essay)