1986 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile


Kate Burridge is Professor of Linguistics at Monash University and Fellow of both the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. 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.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education

Research area keywords

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

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or