Dr Heike Pichler
Senior Lecturer in Variationist Sociolinguistics
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3519
- Fax: +44 (0)191 208 8708
- Personal Website: http://heikepichler.weebly.com/
- Address: School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics
Percy Building (Room 2.05A)
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU
FEEDBACK HOURS: By appointment only.
I am a variationist linguist specialising in discourse-pragmatic and morpho-syntactic variation and change.
Postgraduate Director, taught programmes
Chair of the PG Board of Studies
Chair of the PGT Board of Examiners
Previous internal roles: PGR Director (linguistics) (2013-15), Degree Programme Director IPhD in linguistics/English language (2013-15), Ethics convenor (SELLL) (2013-16), Visiting speaker co-ordinator (linguistics) (2013-14), CRiLLS executive member (2012-15), Schools liaison officer (2012-13)
Previous external roles: Committee member Linguistics Association of Great Britain (membership secretary) (2010-2015), External PhD thesis examiner (UCD, Ireland) (2016)), Editor of Ampersand (sociolinguistics & pragmatics) (2014-16), member of the ESRC Doctoral Training Partnerships Peer Review College (2016)
Recent leadership training
I am a variationist linguist, specialising in the study of discourse-pragmatic and morpho-syntactic variation and change in contemporary varieties of English. My work is firmly grounded in the Labovian variationist paradigm and combines quantitative with qualitative research methods to provide principled and accountable explanations for observed patterns of variation and change in synchronic dialect data.
Recent and current work
My monograph on The Structure of Discourse-Pragmatic Variation (John Benjamins, 2013) demonstrates the theoretical insights that can be gained into the structure of synchronic language variation and the interactional mechanisms creating it by subjecting discourse-pragmatic variables to systematic variationist analysis. My edited volume on Discourse-Pragmatic Variation and Change in English: New Methods and Insights (Cambridge University Press, 2016) features twelve chapters by leading scholars in the field which: introduce new methods for analysing discourse-pragmatic features such as like, innit, you get me, at the end of the day; and provide new empirical and theoretical insights to broaden and deepen our understanding of how these forms vary and change
In other recent work I have explored patterns of variation in the formal encoding of discourse-pragmatic variables; social variation patterns in discourse collocations; the suitability of synchronic dialect data for tracing the grammaticalization of discourse-pragmatic features; and methods for studying variation and change in discourse-pragmatics. The main variables I have studied include: I don't know, I don't think, negative-polarity tag questions (including innit), and general extenders such as and (all) that (kind of stuff), and stuff (like that), or something (like that). My current research focus is on clarifying the sociolinguistic mechanisms of discourse-pragmatic innovations in multi-ethnic communities, and on identifying clinically relevant patterns of discourse-pragmatic variation in health communication.
To help develop and promote the analysis of variation and change on the level of discourse-pragmatics, I have founded the Discourse-Pragmatic Variation & Change (DiPVaC) research network.
I welcome enquiries from students interested in conducting research in any of the following areas:
- variationist sociolinguistics
- variation and change in varieties of English and other languages (social, regional, ethnic, historical)
- discourse markers/pragmatic particles
- language variation in health communication
SEMESTER 1 (2016-17)
SEL1029: Language across space (module leader)
SEL2091: Sociolinguistics and sociology of language
SEL8163: Sociolinguistics of language and society
SEMESTER 2 (2016-17)
SEL3372: Language & ethnicity in twenty-first century Britain (module leader)
SEL8639: Ethno-linguistic variation and change (module leader)
AGE2000: Ageing generations education
- Hesson AM, Pichler H. Breaking Down Barriers in Pediatric Mental Health Consultations: Understanding Patients’ Use of I DON’T KNOW. Health Communication 2017, Epub ahead of print.
- Pichler H, Hesson A. Discourse-pragmatic variation across situations, varieties, ages: I DON'T KNOW in sociolinguistic and medical interviews. Language & Communication 2016, 49, 1-18.
- Pichler H, ed. Discourse-Pragmatic Variation and Change in English: New Methods and Insights. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2016.
- Hesson A, Pichler H. Interpreting "I don't know" use by persons living with dementia in Mini-Mental State Examinations. Patient Education and Counseling 2016, 99(9), 1534-1541.
- Pichler H. Introduction: discourse-pragmatic variation and change. In: Pichler, H, ed. Discourse-Pragmatic Variation and Change in English: New Methods and Insights. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2016, pp.1-17.
- Pichler H. Uncovering discourse-pragmatic innovations: innit in Multicultural London English. In: Pichler, H, ed. Discourse-Pragmatic Variation and Change in English: New Methods and Insights. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2016, pp.58-81.
- Pichler H, Truswell R, VandePoel K, VanOlmen D, Watson K. Editorial. Ampersand 2015, 2, 70-71.
- Pichler H. Analysing Variation in English by Warren Maguire & April McMahon (eds.) [Book review]. Journal of English Linguistics 2013, 41(2), 204-207.
- Pichler H. The Structure of Discourse-Pragmatic Variation. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2013.
- Pichler H, Levey S. In search of grammaticalization in synchronic dialect data: general extenders in northeast England. English Language and Linguistics 2011, 15(3), 441-471.
- Pichler H. Methods in discourse variation analysis: Reflections on the way forward. Journal of Sociolinguistics 2010, 14(5), 581-608.
- Pichler H, Levey S. Variability in the co-occurrence of discourse features. Language Studies Working Papers 2010, 2, 17-27.
- Pichler H. The functional and social reality of discourse variants in a northern English dialect: I DON'T KNOW and I DON'T THINK compared. Intercultural Pragmatics 2009, 6(4), 561-596.