Belfast Telegraph

International conference set to bring in extra £2.5m for Belfast

Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

A major linguistics conference in Belfast this week will attract around 1,300 delegates in a £2.5m boost for the economy.

Ulster University is hosting the International Pragmatics Conference at Belfast Waterfront Hall. Linguistics and language experts will be exploring the connections between language use, context and social action.

Gerry Lennon, chief executive of Visit Belfast, said: "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."

Catrin Rhys, associate head of the School of Communication at Ulster University and chairperson of the conference, said: "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."

She said pragmatics focused on the theory "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."

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The conference started on Sunday and continues until Friday. It takes place biennially and will be hosted in Hong Kong in 2019.

Belfast Telegraph