Dr Kate Beeching

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  • Qualifications:MA Linguistics for Language Teaching (UCNW, Bangor, 1982); PhD (Surrey/Université de Paris-10 Nanterre, 2001)
  • Position:Associate Professor in Applied Linguistics/Director Bristol Centre for Linguistics
  • Department:College of Arts, Technology and Environment
  • Telephone:+4411732 86821
  • Email:Kate.Beeching@uwe.ac.uk

About me

Research Fellow, Bristol Centre for Linguistics

Director, Bristol Centre for Linguistics

Area of expertise

My main research interest is in the way that meaning is negotiated in socialinteraction 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, followed by Pragmatic Markers in British English. Meaning in Social Interaction. published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press. I have co-edited 4 volumes on sociolinguistics and pragmatics, in addition to a number of special issues of journals, journal articles and book chapters. As an applied linguist, I have collected spoken learner language data, published 8 French text-books, and supervised 14 PhD students on applied linguistic topics.


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