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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2018/19 Prof. Dr. Kate Burridge

Prof. Dr. Kate Burridge

Monash University
Linguistics
External Senior Fellow
Marie S. Curie FCFP Fellow
November 2017 - January 2018

Room 02 006
Phone +49 (0)761 203-97402
Fax +49 (0)761 203-97451

CV

Kate Burridge completed her undergraduate training in Linguistics and German at the University of Western Australia. This was followed by three years postgraduate study at the University of London. She completed her PhD in 1983 on syntactic change in medieval Dutch. Kate also taught briefly at the Polytechnic of Central London before joining the Department of Linguistics at la Trobe University in 1984. In February, she moved to Monash University to become Professor of Linguistics in the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics. She is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities.

Kate has authored / edited more than 25 books and written around 100 articles and book chapters on different aspects of language, focusing on grammatical change, the Pennsylvania German spoken by Anabaptist communities in North America, the notion of linguistic taboo and the structure and history of English (focus on Australian English). She is a regular presenter of language segments on radio, has been a panelist on ABC TV’s Can We Help, and has given a TED Talk “Telling it like it isn’t”.

Selected Publications

  • Burridge, K. & A. Bergs 2017. Understanding Language Change. Routledge.
  • Burridge, K. & T. Stebbins 2016. For the Love of Language. Cambridge University Press.
  • Burridge, K. 2010. Gift of the Gob: Morsels of English Language History. HarperCollins.
  • Allan, K. & Burridge K. 2006. Forbidden Words: Taboo & the censoring of language. Cambridge University Press.
  • Burridge, K. 2005. Weeds in the Garden of Words. Cambridge University Press.

FRIAS Research Project

From obelisks and asterisks to modern-day views about English language usage

In this research I explore popular perceptions of language, in particular linguistic prescription. I focus not on formal acts of censorship such as might be carried out by a language academy, but rather on the attitudes and activities of ordinary people in, say, letters to newspapers or comments on radio. In these contexts, language users act as self-appointed censors and take it upon themselves to condemn those words and constructions that they feel do not measure up to the standards they perceive should hold sway. The significance of this work lies in the key role that prescriptivism plays within a framework of folk linguistic attitudes (cf. Niedzielski & Preston 2003). And the social consequences of these attitudes are far-reaching.