Kate Sayers


I am a second year interdisciplinary PhD researcher working accross linguistics and psychology. I have transfered to The University of Leeds from Leicester, and did my Masters in linguistics at The University of Nottingham, after a long gap from academia that included work in resource planning, radio presenting and flying around the world as a member of cabin crew. This varied experience enables research based on sound academic principles alongside practical application.

Research interests

I use corpus linguistic methodology to investigate the discourse of people with low mood such as that experienced by people with mood disorders including depression.

My research questions are as follows:

  • What linguistic markers are prevalent in the spoken narratives of people experiencing low mood?  Previous studies on other types of data have indicated recurring linguistic patterns indicative of a mood disorder. This project engages with and expands upon existing findings using a specific dataset of elicited spoken personal narratives and corpus linguistic methodology.
  • Do people with low mood focus on the past? This project will provide a rigorous examination of the relevance of tense use for people with low mood. Of particular interest is the use and distribution of references to the past, and the role of the past tense. Existing research has highlighted possible trends in temporality, but have not taken a systematic approach to the linguistic expression of temporality in discourses associated with low mood. 


  • MA Applied Linguistics
  • BA Drama