Researcher biography

I am Senior Lecturer in the School of Languages and Cultures at The University of Queensland (UQ).

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 in Linguistics at the IPrA Research Center at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. After my PhD studies, I joined UQ as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and then in a continuing position as Lecturer.

My research interests lie within the broad areas of pragmatics and discourse analysis, particularly, the pragmatics of social interaction (face-to-face and online), identity construction, humour, (im)politeness, getting acquainted and family talk. I have been working with different types of data, including naturally-occurring conversations, reality television discourse, qualitative interviews, corpora and social media.

I am Associate Editor in the Journal of Pragmatics and the Australian Review of Applied Linguistics journal, and an Editorial Board member in Advances in (Im)politeness Studies (book series), Springer.

I regularly review grant applications and I am a member of:

  • College of Experts, European Science Foundation (from 2021)
  • Review College, FWO (Research Foundation – Flanders) (2024-2026)

I am also a mentor as part of the IPrA mentoring programme.

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)

School's Honours coordinator (email:

Convenor of Discourse Discussion Group (DDG): Data analysis sessions and Membership categorisation analysis (MCA) group

  • Fridays, 3 pm - 5 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)
  • Digital Discourse and Social Media (SLAT3030)

UQ (postgraduate):

  • Language, Culture and Communication (SLAT7899)
  • Structure of Language (SLAT7705)


  • Collaborations: Relating and Working Together (HUMN2500)
  • Language Awareness & Cross-Cultural Competence for the Global Workplace (COMU2040)
  • Independent Reading Course (SLAT7897)
  • Dissertation (SLAT7853)
  • English as a Second Language (Vilnius University)
  • Academic English (reading, writing, presentations) (Vilnius University)
  • Stylistics (Vilnius University)


Supervision (MA & PhD):

PhD (current)

  • Chilmeg Elden (associate supervisor; with Prof Michael Haugh): The establishment and management of interpersonal relationships in early encounters between Australian and Japanese language exchange partners
  • Zhiyi Liu (principal supervisor; with Dr Wei-Lin Melody Chang and Prof Ping Chen): Relationship management in everyday Mainland Chinese and Chinese-Australian family talk
  • Andrea Rodriguez (principal supervisor; with Prof Michael Haugh): The role of categorical membership and accountability in the negotiation of action ascription
  • Nicholas Hugman (associate supervisor; with Prof Michael Haugh): Footballer identity, humour, and the digital interactional domain
  • Chantima Wangsomchok (associate supervisor; with Prof Michael Haugh): Conversational humour in English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) workplaces

PhD (completed)

  • (2023) Amir Sheikhan (associate supervisor; with Prof Michael Haugh and Dr Wei-Lin Melody Chang): Conversational humour in intercultural initial interactions in English

MA (completed)

  • (2023) Yeisy Vanessa Maldonado Ramirez: Reporting offence to friends in Spanish: A pragmatic analysis of moral grounds and impolite behaviour
  • (2023) Shea-Lea Wheeler: A discourse study of fictional self-presentation in Dungeons & Dragons gameplay
  • (2021) Zhiyi Liu: Constructing identities of a mother and an older sister/adult child: Membership categorization analysis of Chinese-Australian family talk
  • (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

Special Issues

  • Sinkeviciute, Valeria and Andrea Rodriguez (eds). (2025 forthcoming). Rules of engagement: Relationships and socialisation practices in family discourse.


Projects (current & past):

  • 2023: "Talking families into being: Analysing family interactions in Australian multilingual context" funded by Research Fund, School of Languages and Cultures (UQ)
  • 2022: "'Who we are' in multilingual Brisbane: Family talk in Spanish and Russian speech communities" funded by HASS Enabler Funding Scheme (HASS EFS), Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (UQ)
  • 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:

  • June 9-11: Saying 'no': Exploring children's disagreement, refusal and rejection responses in parent-child and sibling interactions, at Child Language Symposium 2024, Newcastle, UK


Edited special issues:


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

  • Yang, N. (2022). Book review: Sinkeviciute, Valeria.2019. Conversational Humour and (Im)politeness. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Journal of Politeness Research 18(2): 451-455.
  • Tsami, V. & Saloustrou, V. (2021). Book review: Sinkeviciute, Valeria.(2018). Conversational Humour and (Im)politeness. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. The European Journal of Humour Research 9(3): 179-183.
  • 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:

  • 22-27 June 2025 (with Andrea Rodriguez) - (Cross-)linguistic studies on relationships and socialisation practices in family discourse, at the 19th International Pragmatics Conference, IPrA2025, Brisbane, Australia
  • 9-14 July 2023 (with Andrea Rodriguez) - Membership categorisation and interpersonal relationships in social interaction, at the 18th International Pragmatics Conference, IPrA2023, Brussels, Belgium
  • 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 – From self to culture: Identity construction in humour-related discourses, at the 15th International Pragmatics Conference, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • 26-31 July 2015 – (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


Journal Referee

Journal of Pragmatics / Pragmatics / Journal of Politeness Research / Discourse Studies / Lingua / Language & Communication / Research on Language and Social Interaction / Internet Pragmatics / Contrastive Pragmatics / Pragmatics and Society / Gender, Work & Organization / Sociolinguistic Studies / Pragmatics & Cognition / The Sociological Review

Areas of research