School of Modern Languages

Staff Profiles

Professor Richard Waltereit

Prof of Romance Linguistics



After graduating from the Université de Poitiers with a Maîtrise ès Lettres, I obtained my Ph.D. from the Free University of Berlin with a thesis on French verb semantics. Subsequently, I joined the University of Tübingen. I was awarded the Habilitation (higher doctorate) degree there. Furthermore I held temporary positions at the Université Paris 7 – Denis Diderot and the University of Konstanz. I have been at Newcastle since 2006. 

Roles and Responsibilities

Director of Research

School Research Ethics Convenor

Member of Newcastle University Humanities Research Institute steering group

University Council of Modern Languages executive representative for Linguistics


2002 Habilitation, University of Tübingen
1997 Ph.D., Freie Universität Berlin (summa cum laude)
1992 Maîtrise Lettres Modernes, Université de Poitiers (mention très bien)

Previous Positions

2004-2005 Hochschuldozent (fixed-term Senior Lecturer), University of Tübingen
2003-2004 Replacement professorship, University of Konstanz
1999-2000 Maître de conférences, Université Paris 7 Denis Diderot
1998-2004 Wissenschaftlicher Assistent (Fixed-term Lecturer B), University of Tübingen
1997-1998 Wissenschaftlicher Angestellter (Fixed-term Lecturer A), Universität Tübingen
1993-1997 Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter (Fixed-term Lecturer A), Freie Universität Berlin


Association for French Language Studies
Linguistic Association of Great Britain
Société Internationale de Diachronie du Français
Society for Italian Studies
Philological Society
Société de Linguistique Romane
International Pragmatics Association
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft
Deutscher Romanistenverband
Deutscher Italianistenverband


Research Interests

Language change in French and other Romance languages is my main research interest. I am intrigued by the way patterns of language use and communication can shape language structure over time. Specifically, I have worked on grammaticalisation, reanalysis, the rise of discourse markers, and the role of conversational implicatures in language change.

Some of my work is available on my Newcastle e-print pages and on

Current Work

Left and right periphery


Discourse genres and their role in language change

Argument structure

Research Roles

Editor-in-Chief (Linguistics) of Revue Romane 
AHRC Peer Review College Member 2010-2017
AFLS Research Committee Member
External advisor for a graduate school on Ambiguity at the University of Tübingen

Postgraduate Supervision

Areas of supervision: French linguistics, in particular: semantics and pragmatics, historical linguistics, discourse markers,  Romance linguistics.

Completed PhD (co-) supervision:

Tawei Wang (now Lecturer in Translation and Interpreting, Chinese University of Hong Kong Shenzhen): A Study of the Use of Discourse Particles in English-to-Chinese Simultaneous Interpreting by Trainee Interpreters, 2016.

Jo Lumley (now Teaching Fellow, University of Sheffield): Pragmatic perspectives on the second language acquisition of person reference in Japanese: a longitudinal study, 2013.

Pin-Ling (Mavis) Chang (now Lecturer, Chang Jung Christian University): Hegemony and resistance as shown in Critical Discourse Analysis of trainee interpreters from the P.R.C. and Taiwan in Mandarin-English simultaneous interpreting, 2012.

Kevin McManus (now Assistant Professor, Pennsylvania State University): The development of aspect in a second language, 2011.

Huan-Li (Stella) Kao (now Assistant Professor, Chang Jung Christian University): Coherence and audience reception in subtitling with special reference to connectives, 2011.

Esme Winter-Froemel (now Professor,  University of Trier): Entlehnung und Lehnwortintegration aus der Perspektive der Sprachbenutzer (Loans and loanword integration from a usage-based perspective), 2009. 

I am currently supervising two research students.

Esteem Indicators

I am chief editor (linguistics) of  Revue Romane; in addition, I am on the editorial boards of Journal of Historical Syntax and Web Journal of French Media Studies. I have reviewed papers for a number of international journals and book publishers, as well as grant proposals for the AHRC, the Agence Nationale de la Recherche, the Fonds Wetenschapelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen, and the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique. I have been review panelist for many conferences, and I am on the Advisory Boards of Journal of French Language Studies,  Philologie im NetzCahiers AFLS, and the Histoire et évolution du français series .
I have been solicited on numerous occasions (20+) to give guest lectures and talks in many countries. In addition, I have given plenary lectures at the following international conferences:
New Reflections on Grammaticalization 4, KU Leuven, 2008
2nd International Meeting on Syntax and Semantics and their Interfaces, PUCRS Porto Alegre, 2015

View citations to my work on my  Google Scholar profile .


2010 AHRC Fellowship for project on change in the expression of reflexivity in the history of French
2006 Newcastle University HASS Faculty Futures project award
2005 DFG travel grant for attending a conference in USA
2002 DAAD grant for trip to Brazil
1999-2005 Co-director (Beratender Wissenschaftler): Project on semantic change in body-part terms and on lexical motivation (PI: Peter Koch) as part of Colloborative Research Programme (SFB) Linguistic data structures, University of Tübingen
1993 Ph.D. studentship, University of Hamburg


Undergraduate Teaching

SML 1019 Introduction to Linguistics
SML2014 An introduction to Italian language and culture (Module leader)
FRE 2061 French Level C General Language
FRE2009 Paris - Aspects of History and Culture
FRE 4014 Historical perspectives on the French language (Module leader)

Postgraduate Teaching

SML 8105 Issues in the diachrony of French (Module leader)
HSS8004 Qualitative methods for the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences