Dr Pia Pichler

Staff details

Position Senior Lecturer in Linguistics
Email p.pichler (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7454
Dr Pia Pichler

Pia Pichler is Senior Lecturer in Linguistics and Programme Convenor of the MA Sociocultural Linguistics in the Department of English and Comparative Literature, at Goldsmiths, University of London. Since joining Goldsmiths in 2004 Pia has dedicated herself to promoting linguistics and, in particular, the study of language, society and culture at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Pia’s research focuses in particular on the everyday spontaneous talk of young people in their friendship groups. Much of Pia’s teaching is linked to her own work in which she investigates the interplay of gender with other sociocultural and situational practices and identities from a sociocultural linguistic/discourse analytic perspective. She has written extensively on the talk of young British women from a range of different backgrounds, including public school and British Bangladeshi girls. She is currently working on couples’ talk as well as on young London masculinities.

Academic qualifications

  • Magistra of Philosophy (English and Italian), Salzburg University, Austria, 1995
  • PhD, Roehampton University, London, 2003

Prior to joining Goldsmiths in 2004, Dr Pia Pichler served as a visiting lecturer at Roehampton University from 1999-2003 and as a lecturer at Middlesex University from 2003-2004.


Pia has devised, convened and taught a wide range of modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, with a particular focus on sociocultural linguistics and discourse analysis. Modules include:


  • EN52230A Varieties of English
  • EN53362A Language and Gender


  • EN71077A Analysing Discourse and Identity in Spoken Interaction
  • EN71076B Language in its Sociocultural Context
  • EN71079A Intercultural Discourse and Communication

Examples of courses currently taught:

  • Language and Gender - On this module students examine how gender is reflected and constituted in language, that is, how women and men speak, how language is used to accomplish gender identities. Offered as an optional module to final year graduates.
  • Analysing Discourse and Identity in Spoken Interaction: This module allows students to develop in-depth, critical understanding of approaches, concepts and debates in spoken discourse analysis. Offered as an option module on MA Sociocultural Linguistics and MA Multilingualism, Linguistics and Education.

Areas of supervision

Pia will accept applications for PhDs on a range of topics from the perspective of microlinguistic discourse analysis and sociocultural linguistics. She is particularly happy to supervise PhDs on the following topics:

  • language and gender
  • language and ethnicity
  • (intersections of) linguistic identity
  • feminist linguistics

Professional activities

  • Programme Coordinator and Admissions Tutor: MA Sociocultural Linguistics
  • Member of College Research and Integrity Sub-Committee
  • Chair of ECL Research Ethics Sub-Committee
  • Editorial board member: International Journal of Sociolinguistics, Journal of Gender and Language
  • Board member: Language, Gender & Sexuality SIG (British Association of Applied Linguistics)

Featured work

Language and Gender. A Reader. Second Edition. Oxford: Blackwell (2011), with Jennifer Coates.

Talking Young Femininities. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan (2009) Shortlisted for International Gender and Language Association (IGALA) Book Prize, 2010.

‘Hipsters in the hood: authenticating indexicalities in young men’s hip hop talk’. DiscourseNet Congress, Bremen University, Germany, September 2015.

‘You’re a kuti little muti’; ‘you got cauliflower toes’: expressing affection in the talk of a young multicultural married couple; International Gender and Language Conference 8, Vancouver, June 2014

Research Interests

Pia's research interests include:

  • Language and Gender
  • Language and Identity
  • Sociocultural Linguistics
  • Microlinguistic Discourse Analysis

Pia’s research explores the construction of identity in everyday spoken interaction, focusing in particular on the interplay of gender with other sociocultural and situational practices and identities. Pia works with mostly self-recorded, spontaneous conversational data which she explores from cross-disciplinary perspectives, combining tools from linguistic discourse analysis and sociocultural linguistics with insights from cultural studies, anthropology, sociology and social psychology. This research explores a wide range of topics, including linguistic indexicality, intersectionality, processes of authentication and identification, and draws on a wide range of methodological frameworks, such as sociocultural linguistics, linguistic ethnography, interactional sociolinguistics, and conversation analysis.

Pia recently organised a conference, entitled ‘Ethnographies of Language, Gender and Sexuality’ at Goldsmiths. For more information see conference website:



Research projects

You are stupid, you are cupid’: playful polyphony as a resource for affectionate expression in the talk of a young London couple

This study shows that linguistic discourse analysis can make a significant contribution to our understanding of how affection is expressed in intimate relationships. The research focuses on the playful switching of frames, voices, codes and personas which emerges as central to the affectionate practice in the spontaneous talk of a young multi-cultural London couple. It argues that quantitative interview studies based on an a-priori understanding of affection are unable to capture many of the idiosyncratic and creative ways in which speakers express their affection for one another in their intimate talk.

Watch a video highlighting Pia's research.

Hipsters in the hood: authenticating indexicalities in young men’s hip hop talk

This research explores the spontaneous hip hop talk of four young London men from multi-ethnic working class backgrounds. In their self-recorded talk the speakers position themselves in relation to a range of ‘cultural concepts’ and (classed, raced) practices and identity performances which signal various affiliations with hip hop. We explore how the young men authenticate when they talk about ‘hipsters’ moving into the ‘hood’, ‘white posh girl’ appropriating ‘world star’ hip hop culture, and South London gangs’ displaying violence and bling.

Talking Young Femininities

This project explores the spontaneous, self-recorded talk of adolescent British girls from different socio-cultural backgrounds, including girls from a prestigious private school, the British Bangladeshi community and the East End in London. The project explores a range of questions on the basis of the girls’ conversations about friends, friendships, boys, parents, music, drugs, school, sex, (arranged) marriage and social class:

  • What do young British women talk about with their friends?
  • How do gender and (adolescent) identity interact with social class and ethnicity?
  • How do adolescent girls position themselves in relation to sexual experiences, practices and identities?
  • What is the relationship between the girls’ local positions and larger-scale socio-cultural norms or identity categories?
  • In what way can linguistic discourse analysis build on and contribute to cross-disciplinary research on gender and adolescent identity?



Mooney, Annabelle; Peccei, Jean; LaBelle, Suzanne; Eppler, Eva; Pichler, Pia; Irwin, Anthea; Preece, Siân and Soden, Satori. 2011. Language, Society and Power. An Introduction. Third edition. New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780415576598

Pichler, Pia. 2009. Talking Young Femininities. Houndmills, Baskingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9780230013285

Edited Book

Pichler, Pia and Eppler, Eva, eds. 2015. Gender and Spoken Interaction. Paperback edition. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137564528

Mooney, Annabelle; Peccei, Jean; LaBelle, Suzanne; Eppler, Eva; Irwin, Anthea; Soden, Satori and Pichler, Pia, eds. 2011. The Language, Society and Power Reader. Routledge. ISBN 978-0415430838

Coates, Jennifer and Pichler, Pia, eds. 2011. Language and Gender. A Reader. Second Edition. John Wiley & Sons; 2nd Edition. ISBN 978-1405191449

Pichler, Pia and Eppler, Eva, eds. 2009. Gender and Spoken Interaction. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0230574021

Book Section

Pichler, Pia. 2015. Language, gender and identity. In: Nancy Bonvillain, ed. The Routledge Handbook of Linguistic Anthropology. Routledge, pp. 191-205. ISBN 978-0415834100

Pichler, Pia. 2011. Hybrid or in between cultures: traditions of marriage in a group of British Bangladeshi girls. In: Jennifer Coates and Pia Pichler, eds. Language and Gender: A Reader. 2nd Ed Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 236-249. ISBN 9781405191449

Pichler, Pia. 2009. All I’ve gotta do is wank on about some bollocky poem: cool and socially aware positions in the talk of London private school girls. In: Pia Pichler and E. Eppler, eds. Gender and Spoken Interaction. Houndmills, Baskingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 87-114. ISBN 0230013287

Pichler, Pia. 2008. Gender, ethnicity and religion in spontaneous talk and ethnographic-style interviews: balancing perspectives of researcher and researched. In: K. Harrington; L. Litosseliti; H. Sauntson and J. Sunderland, eds. Language and Gender Research Methodologies. Houndmills, Baskingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 56-70. ISBN 0-230-55069-X

Pichler, Pia. 2008. Hybrid or in between cultures: traditions of marriage in a group of British Bangladeshi girls. In: Jose Santaemilia and Patricia Bon, eds. Gender and Sexual Identities in Transition: Cross-cultural Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press., 199-218.. ISBN 9781847186683

Pichler, Pia. 2007. '"This sex thing is such a big issue now": Sex talk and identities in three groups of adolescent girls'. In: Sakis Kyratzis and Helen Sauntson, eds. Sexual Identities and Desires across Cultures. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 68-95. ISBN 978-1403933270

Pichler, Pia. 2005. The effect of social class and ethnicity on the discursive negotiation of feminities in the talk of British Bangladeshi girls. In: Janet Cotterill and Anne Ife, eds. Language across Boundaries. Continuum; New edition, pp. 25-46. ISBN 978-0826478733


Pichler, Pia. 2018. “He’s got Jheri curls and Tims on”: Humour and indexicality as resources for authentication in young men’s talk about hair and fashion style. Journal of Pragmatics, ISSN 0378-2166

Pichler, Pia. 2017. ‘You are stupid, you are cupid’: playful polyphony as a resource for affectionate expression in the talk of a young London couple. Gender and Language, 11(2), pp. 153-175. ISSN 1747-6321

Pichler, Pia and Williams, Nathanael. 2016. Hipsters in the hood: authenticating indexicalities in young men’s hip hop talk. Language in Society, 45(4), pp. 557-581. ISSN 0047-4045

Pichler, Pia. 2007. Talking Traditions of Marriage: Negotiating Young British Bangladeshi Femininities. Women s Studies International Forum, 30(3), pp. 201-216. ISSN 02775395

Pichler, Pia. 2006. Multifunctional teasing as a resource for identity construction in the talk of British Bangladeshi girls. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 10(2), pp. 225-249. ISSN 13606441