Researcher biography

I'm originally from Lithuania, where I graduated from BA in English Philology and MA in English Studies. While at university, I spent part of my study period in Spain (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) and Quebec (Université de Montréal). After teaching two years at Vilnius University, in 2012 I started my PhD at the IPrA Research Center at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. Apart from analysing interactional (jocular) practices in terms of (im)politeness in Australian and British cultural contexts, I also explore how identity is (co-)constructed and negotiated in discourse and its link to linguistic diversity.

I have been working with different types of data, including reality television discourse (yes, they made me watch Big Brother!), qualitative interviews (I made [ok, begged] people [to] give me some answers about their interactional behaviour), corpora (no one made anyone do anything here) and social media (people, just keep using Facebook!).

I've always loved languages, maybe because I've always been surrounded by a variety of them. I'm a native speaker of Lithuanian (lietuvių) and Russian (русский), I spent many years studying and then also teaching English and I also have a certificate for teaching Spanish as a foreign language (español como lengua extranjera ELE). Due to my study/research relocations, I can also communicate (sometimes extremely poorly) in Dutch (nederlands), French (français) and Portuguese (português), and at the moment I'm struggling with Modern Greek (ελληνικά) and Japanese (日本語)!

And now my quest for a 'holy grail' theory continues in the School of Languages and Cultures, here at UQ!


Programme contribution

Convenor of English as an International Language (BA major)

Convenor of Discourse Discussion Group (DDG): Extra-curriculum activity for undergraduate and postgraduate students

  • Sem 2, 2021: Fridays, 12 pm - 2 pm;
  • Interested in joining or would like to find out more? Fill in the EoI form or contact me via email.


Course contribution/Teaching areas:

UQ (undergraduate):

  • Communicating Across Cultures: Theory and Practice (COMU1002)
  • Language Awareness & Cross-Cultural Competence for the Global Workplace (COMU2040)
  • Collaborations: Relating and Working Together (HUMN2500)

UQ (postgraduate)


  • English as a Second Language (Vilnius University)
  • Academic English (reading, writing, presentations) (Vilnius University)
  • Stylistics (Vilnius University)


Supervision (MA & PhD):

PhD (current)

  • Amir Sheikhan (associate supervisor; with Prof Michael Haugh and Dr Wei-Lin Melody Chang): Conversational humour in intercultural initial interactions.
  • Chantima Wangsomchok (associate supervisor; with Prof Michael Haugh): Conversational humour in English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) workplaces.

MA (current)

  • Zhiyi Liu: Exploring identity in Chinese-Australian immigrant family conversations.

MA (completed)

  • (2021) Maria Nagao: English teachers of young learners in Japan: A discourse analytical study on identity construction.
  • (2021) Shupei Ni: Relational work in video game live-streaming interactions: Case studies of jocular abuse and joint fantasizing.
  • (2021) Andrea Rodriguez: "Ay no, I do feel exhausted": Interactional co-construction and interpersonal management of complaints in Spanish phone conversations between friends and relatives.
  • (2020) Duyen Hong Ngoc Luong: Teaching English as a foreign language in Vietnam: Teachers' and students' perceptions of the English-only approach and code-switching in the classroom.


Forthcoming publications:

Journal articles

  • Chang, Wei-Lin Melody and Valeria Sinkeviciute (submitted). The role of 'familiarity' in Mandarin Chinese speakers' metapragmatic evaluations of Australian conversational humour.


Projects (current & past):

  • 2021: "Conversational humour in multilingual Australia: A closer look at Tennant Creek's Indigenous and Brisbane's Spanish speech communities" (with Dr Samantha Disbray and Dr Wei-Lin Melody Chang) funded by Strategic Researh Initiative Fund (SRIF), School of Languages and Cultures (UQ)
  • 2021: ""I'm nearly old enough to be your mother": Using membership categorisation analysis to explore identity construction in getting acquainted interactions" funded by ECR Support Scheme, School of Languages and Cultures (UQ)
  • 2020-2021: "The co-construction and negotiation of multilingual and multicultural identities in Australia: A case study of online interactions" funded by Targeted Research Support Scheme, School of Languages and Cultures (UQ)
  • 2019-2022 (CI: Assoc. Prof Marta Dynel): "FUNGRESSION: Humour and impoliteness on social media" funded by National Science Centre (Poland) (2018/30/E/HS2/00644)
  • 2018-2019 (with Dr Wei-Lin Melody Chang): "How far can an Aussie joke travel? Intercultural perspectives on Australian humour" funded by Strategic Research Initiative Fund (SRIF), School of Languages and Cultures (UQ)


Forthcoming conference presentations/talks:


Edited special issues:


Reviews of my monograph "Conversational humour and (im)politeness: A pragmatics analysis of social interaction":

  • Murphy, J. (2021). Review of Conversational Humour and (Im)politeness: A Pragmatic Analysis of Social Interaction, Valeria Sinkeviciute. John Benjamins, Amsterdam/Philadelphia (2019). 274 pp. ISBN 9789027262110 (e-book). Journal of Pragmatics 183: 105-106.
  • Krendel, A. (2020). Review of Conversational Humour and (Im)politeness. Valeria Sinkeviciute, John Benjamins Publishing Company, Amsterdam/Philadelphia, 2019 (e-book), ISBN: 9789027262110. Corpus Pragmatics 4: 479–483.


Panel organisation:

  • 9-14 June 2019 – (with Marta Dynel), Aggression as (im)politeness on social media, at the 16th International Pragmatics Conference, Hong Kong
  • 6-8 February 2019 - Metapragmatic labels and commentary on humorous practices: An (inter-)cultural perspective, at Australian Humour Studies Network conference, Melbourne, Australia
  • 1-3 November 2018 - Panel organiser (with Wei-Lin Melody Chang), Doing 'being ordinary' in reality television discourse, at 4th International Conference of the American Pragmatics Association (AMPRA), SUNY, Albany, USA
  • 16-21 July 2017 – Panel organiser, From self to culture: Identity construction in humour-related discourses, at the 15th International Pragmatics Conference, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • 26-31 July 2015 – Panel organiser (with Marta Dynel), The Pragmatics of Conversational Humour, at the 14th International Pragmatics Conference, Antwerp, Belgium


Invited talks/lectures:

  • 21 January 2021 - Social interaction and identity construction. Guest lecture for postgraduate students at University of Maribor, Slovenia
  • 20 January 2021 - Pragmatics and social action. Guest lecture for undergraduate students at University of Maribor, Slovenia
  • 14 November 2019 - "Hey BCC this is Australia and we speak and read English": Linguistic diversity and impoliteness on Brisbane City Council's Facebook page, invited talk at Linguistics Seminar Series, School of Languages and Cultures, The University of Queensland (
  • 27 September 2019 - Studying linguistics, what's next? An invited speaker at UQ Linguistics Society's Careers Night.
  • 26 May 2017 - Evaluating (im)polite interactional behaviour: From reality television to qualitative interviews, talk at the Research Seminar at the School of Languages and Cultures, The University of Queensland, Australia
  • 10 May 2017 - Metapragmatics and humour, guest lecture at The University of Queensland, Australia
  • 6 November 2015 - What makes teasing impolite? "Step[ping] over those lines […] you shouldn't be crossing", guest lecture at University of Antwerp, Belgium
  • 25 November 2014 - "[Sometimes] it's not particularly funny, [sometimes] it's just rude": Getting a laugh and/or taking offence to teasing, talk at the Research Seminar at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia
  • 6 December 2013 - (Im)politeness in context, guest lecture at University of Antwerp, Belgium


Advisory Editorial Board member

Advances in (Im)politeness Studies (book series), Springer

Journal Referee

Journal of Pragmatics / Pragmatics / Journal of Politeness Research / Lingua / Language & Communication / Internet Pragmatics / Contrastive Pragmatics / Pragmatics and Society / Gender, Work & Organization / Sociolinguistic Studies / Pragmatics & Cognition

Areas of research