Meet the team: five questions for Rachele De Felice

  1. What is your role at the Survey, and what led you to your current position here?

I have been a Teaching Fellow here since September 2012, after a PhD in computational linguistics and postdoctoral experiences in industry and at Nottingham University. From this year, I am the convenor for our MA in English Linguistics.



  1. What are your main areas of interest in linguistics, in five words?

pragmatics, corpus linguistics, politeness, programming.


  1. What’s your favourite thing about working at the Survey?

Everyone has a different area of expertise, but we all share an enthusiasm for researching and exploring real language. It’s very exciting to be able to discuss linguistic issues from different angles and learn from each other.



  1. What do you enjoy most about teaching? 

I really enjoy seeing students’ analytical skills develop as they learn to work with language data. They come up with insightful ways of categorising, describing, questioning the examples provided, and every cohort brings new ideas and interpretations  that keep me on my toes!



  1. And finally, what’s one way in which research in linguistics has applications to the real world? 

One of my main areas of research is on how we perform everyday routines such as requesting, thanking, apologising and so on. Speakers of English in different countries (UK, USA, Australia, and so on) can perform these routines in very different – sometimes even opposite – ways. Linguistics research helps us explain these, so we can avoid clashes and misunderstandings between speakers from different cultures.



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