In recent decades, football, the major spectator sports in Europe and South America, has seen an increasing commercialization and globalization, accompanied by an ever-growing popularity and intensive coverage in various kinds of media and modalities. This increased popularization and public attention has also led to more research on the language and discourse(s) of football, which is, however, scattered over a diversity of outlets with only few thematically focused collections existing to date (see, e.g. Adelmann et al. 2003; Settekorn 2007; Lavric et al. 2008; Taborek et al. 2012; Aptum 2018).
Football-related linguistic research has for a long time focused on structural-linguistic aspects in various reporting genres such as post-match reports and live commentary on radio and TV, in particular with a view to phraseology, including specialised terminology and jargon. Only few studies to date have examined specific pragmalinguistic resources such as the discourse-pragmatic functions of selected syntactic constructions in live sports reporting (e.g. Ferguson 1983; Jürgens 1999; Callies & Levin 2019b) or pragmatic borrowings (e.g. Balteiro 2018). Generally speaking, research has become more diverse and interdisciplinary in the last fifteen years or so with an increasing number of studies looking at football language from a wider discourse perspective in several under-researched contexts (see Caldwell et al. 2016). For example, recent studies have examined wordplay and humour (Chovance 2017; File & Schnurr 2018), talk in football audiences (Gerhardt 2014; Tolson 2016; Hauser & Meier 2018), and post-match interviews (e.g. Wilton 2016; File 2017, 2018). At the same time, the emergence of new genres of sports reporting in the age of online computer-mediated communication has opened up many new and innovative ways of studying football language and discourse and its accompanying audio-visual modes of communication from a multimodal perspective (see e.g. Chovanec 2018 or several papers in Callies & Levin 2019a). Concurrently, recent years have also witnessed a growing discourse-oriented research in football as gendered social practice (Jeans & Kay 2007; Jeans 2012; Graf & Fleischhacker in prep.) and gender aspects in televised football (Johnson & Finlay 1997; Kennedy 2004).
With this panel we invite contributions that adopt a pragmatic, usage-based perspective and make use of a broad range of data and methodologies to examine the pragmatics of the language, communication and discourses of football in a variety of genres, by participants and stakeholders on and off the pitch and in all kinds of contexts of use. The contributions should add to current efforts of extending the scope of (applied) linguistic research on football language and discourse to new genres, participants and contexts of use, e.g. sports media, in-team communication, sports-related professional discourse, multimodal fan communication in social media and in the stadium, e.g. through chants and banners (Brunner 2009; Siebetcheu 2016; Monaghan 2020).