Dr Valeria Sinkeviciute

Lecturer in Applied Linguistics

School of Languages and Cultures
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
+61 7 336 56913


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), corpora (no one made anyone do anything here) and, recently, 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 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 poorly) 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!


Programme contribution

Applied Linguistics Undergraduate Coordinator

Convenor of English as an International Language (BA major)


Course contribution/Teaching areas:

UQ (undergraduate):

UQ (postgraduate)

  • Independent Reading Course A: SLAT7897 (2019)
  • Language and Intercultural communication: SLAT7899


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


Publication highlights:

Among most cited in the journal:

  • Sinkeviciute, Valeria. 2017. Funniness and "the preferred reaction" to jocularity in Australian and British English: An analysis of interviewees' metapragmatic comments. Language & Communication 55: 41-54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langcom.2016.06.004 (since 2016)
  • Sinkeviciute, Valeria and Marta Dynel. 2017. Approaching conversational humour culturally: A survey of the emerging area of investigation. Language & Communication 55: 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langcom.2016.12.001 (since 2016)
  • Sinkeviciute, Valeria. 2014. “When a joke’s a joke and when it’s too much”: Mateship as a key to interpreting jocular FTAs in Australian English. Journal of Pragmatics 60, 121-139. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2013.11.004 (2014-2018)

Forthcoming publications:

Journal articles

  • Sinkeviciute, Valeria. (in preparation). Performing yourself in reality television: Identity construction in initial encounters with the audience and fellow participants.
  • Sinkeviciute, Valeria. (2019, in press). The interplay between humour and identity construction: From humorous identities to identities constructed through humorous practices. Journal of Pragmatics. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2019.07.005
  • Sinkeviciute, Valeria (2019, in press). Juggling identities in interviews: The metapragmatics of ‘doing humour’. Journal of Pragmatics. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2018.08.005

Book chapters

  • Dynel, Marta and Valeria Sinkeviciute. (under review). Conversational humour. In Michael Haugh, Dániel Z. Kádár and Marina Terkourafi (eds.), Handbook of Sociopragmatics. Cambridge University Press.


  • Sinkeviciute, Valeria (2019, forthcoming). Conversational Humour and (Im)politeness: A Pragmatic Analysis of Social Interaction. John Benjamins.




Forthcoming conference presentations/talks:

  • 9-14 June 2019 - “Hey […] this is Australia and we speak and read English”: An analysis of impoliteness in relation to linguistic diversity on a local government’s Facebook page at the 16th International Pragmatics Conference, Hong Kong


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.) (2019, 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. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/02715309/55?sdc=1


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:

  • 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
  • Lingua
  • Internet Pragmatics
  • Sociolinguistic Studies

Research Interests

  • Interactional pragmatics
  • Sociopragmatics
  • Discourse analysis
  • (Im)politeness
  • Conversational humour
  • Identity in interaction
  • Australian and British cultural contexts
  • Reality television discourse
  • Qualitative interviews
  • CMC (Facebook communication)


  • Bachelor of Arts, Vilnius University
  • Master of Arts, Vilnius University
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Antwerp


View all Publications


  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision


Book Chapter

  • Haugh, Michael and Sinkeviciute, Valeria (2019). Offence and conflict talk. In Matthew Evans, Lesley Jeffries and Jim O’Driscoll (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of language in conflict (pp. 196-214) Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9780429058011-12

  • Culpeper, Jonathan, Haugh, Michael and Sinkeviciute, Valeria (2017). (Im)politeness and mixed messages. In Jonathan Culpeper, Michael Haugh and Daniel Z. Kadar (Ed.), The Palgrave handbook of linguistic (im)politeness (pp. 323-355) London, United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan. doi:10.1057/978-1-137-37508-7_13

  • Sinkeviciute, Valeria (2016). "Everything he says to me it’s like he stabs me in the face": frontstage and backstage reactions to teasing. In Nancy Bell (Ed.), Multiple perspectives on language play (pp. 169-198) Berlin, Germany: Walter de Gruyter. doi:10.1515/9781501503993-008

  • Sinkeviciute, Valeria (2013). Decoding encoded (im)politeness: ‘Cause on my teasing you can depend’. In Marta Dynel (Ed.), Developments in linguistic humour theory (pp. 263-288) Amsterdam / Philadelphia: John Benjamins. doi:10.1075/thr.1.13sin

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors: