Kathryn Burridge


1986 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile


Kate Burridge is Professor of Linguistics at Monash University and Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. She completed her undergraduate training in Linguistics and German at the University of Western Australia. This was followed by three years postgraduate study at the University of London. Kate completed her PhD in 1983 on syntactic change in medieval Dutch. She also taught at the Polytechnic of Central London before joining the Department of Linguistics at la Trobe University in 1984. In 2003 she took up the Chair of Linguistics in the Linguistics Program in the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University.

Her main areas of research are language change (focus on changing vocabulary and grammar), the notion of linguistic taboo, the structure and history of English. She has authored / edited more than 20 books on different aspects of language. Her most recent books are: Forbidden Words: Taboo and the censoring of language (with Keith Allan, 2006); Gift of the Gob: Morsels of English language history (2010); Wrestling with Words and Meanings (with Réka Benczes, 2014); Understanding Language Change (with Alex Bergs 2018); Introducing English Grammar (with Kersti Börjars, 2019); For the Love of Language (with Tonya Stebbins 2019).  

Kate is a regular presenter of language segments on ABC radio and 3AW, and has appeared as a weekly panelist on ABC TV’s Can We Help (2007-11). She has given a TED Talk on euphemism and taboo.

Research area keywords

  • Germanic languages, language change, history of English, taboo and euphemism, prescription, popular perceptions about language

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Research Output

History of Australian English

Burridge, K., 2020, Australian English Reimagined: Structure, Features and Developments. Willoughby, L. & Manns, H. (eds.). 1st ed. Abingdon Oxon UK: Routledge, p. 175-209 18 p. (Australian English Reimagined).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

World Englishes Old and New: English in Australasia and the South Pacific

Biewer, C. & Burridge, K., 2020, The Cambridge Handbook of World Englishes. Schreier, D., Hundt, M. & Schneider, E. (eds.). 1st ed. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press, p. 282-308 26 p. (Cambridge Handbooks in Languages and Linguistics).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

For the Love of Language

Burridge, K., 2019, 2nd Edition ed. Sydney NSW Australia: Cambridge University Press. 627 p.

Research output: Book/ReportTextbookOtherpeer-review

Introducing English Grammar: Third Edition

Börjars, K. & Burridge, K., 2019, 3rd ed. London UK: Routledge. 344 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBookOtherpeer-review

Speaking of disease and death

Burridge, K. & Benczes, R. A., Jan 2019, The Oxford Handbook of Taboo Words and Language. Allan, K. (ed.). Oxford UK: Oxford Univ Press, p. 61-77 16 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review