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 (primarily jocular) practices in terms of (im)politeness in Australian and British cultural contexts, I've also recently developed interest in identity studies, particularly in relation to jocularity. 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) and corpora (no one made anyone do anything here).

I've always loved languages, maybe because I've always been surrounded by a variety of them. I'm a native speaker of Lithuanian and Russian, I spent many years studying and then also teaching English and I also have a certificate for teaching Spanish as a foreign language. Due to my study/research relocations, I can also communicate (sometimes extremely poorely) in Dutch, French and Portuguese, and at the moment I'm struggling with Modern Greek!

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

PS Full CV to be found here


Teaching areas (past & present):

English as a Second Language

Academic English (reading, writing, presentations)


Intercultural Communication


Forthcoming publications:

Journal articles

  • Haugh, Michael & Valeria Sinkeviciute (under review). Accusations and interpersonal conflict in televised multi-party interactions amongst speakers of (Argentinian and Peninsular) Spanish.
  • Sinkeviciute, Valeria (under review). "Ya bloody drongo!!!": Impoliteness as situated moral judgement on Facebook.

Book chapters


  • Sinkeviciute, Valeria (under contract). Conversational Humour and (Im)politeness: A Pragmatic Analysis of Social Interaction. John Benjamins


Forthcoming conference presentations/talks:

  • 8-10 June 2018 - "Variability in group identity construction in reality television discourse" at 8th International Conference on Intercultural Pragmatics & Communication, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus
  • 27-30 June 2018 - "I wouldn't publicly make a big song and dance about it": Resisting (un)desirable identities at Sociolinguistics Symposium 22, Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1-3 November 2018 - "'Being fake' as (a deviation from) 'being ordinary' in a Big Brother house" at 4th International Conference of the American Pragmatics Association (AMPRA), SUNY, Albany, USA


Edited special issues:

  • Haugh, Michael and Valeria Sinkeviciute (eds.) (forthcoming). The pragmatics of getting acquainted: Cross-cultural and intercultural perspectives. Journal of Pragmatics.
  • Sinkeviciute, Valeria (ed.) (forthcoming). The interplay between humour and identity construction. Journal of Pragmatics.
  • Dynel, Marta and Valeria Sinkeviciute (eds.). 2017. Conversational humour: Spotlight on languages and cultures. Language & Communication 55.


Panel organisation:

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:

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


Journal Referee

Journal of Pragmatics


Sociolingustic Studies

Areas of research