Dr Kate Beeching

About me

Associate Professor in Applied Linguistics

Programme Manager MA Translation

Area of expertise

My main research interest is in the way that meaning is negotiated in social interaction and how social interaction impacts on the meanings of words. I focus specifically on the evolution and etymology of pragmatic markers, such as sort of, like, you know and I mean in English and a range of similar markers in French (enfin, hein, quand même, quoi). As they become semantically bleached, such words may acquire social meaning, giving rise to particular attitudes and indexicalities. I am also interested in politeness theories and the role of politeness in language variation and change. My research is empirical, quantitative and corpus-based, drawing on large historical, literary and courtroom corpora, (socially stratified) contemporary spoken corpora and translation corpora to trace meaning change and its propagation across genres and speakers. Gender, Politeness and Pragmatic Particles in French appeared in 2002, published by John Benjamins, and I have co-edited 4 volumes on sociolinguistics and pragmatics, in addition to a number of journal articles and book chapters. As an applied linguist, I have collected spoken learner language data, published 8 French text-books, and supervised 9 PhD students on applied linguistic topics.

My Publications