Dr Vittorio Tantucci

Senior Lecturer in Linguistics and Chinese Linguistics

Research Overview

My research combines synchronic, diachronic and developmental approaches in Pragmatics and Cognitive Linguistics. I am interested in diachronic phenomena of language change, such as grammaticalization, (inter-)subjectification, chunking, entrenchment, constructionalization and semasiology.

My publications are also focused on corpus-based and multifactorial analysis of naturalistic interaction occurring in context-specific settings (e.g. child-caregiver exchanges in first language acquisition, adult telephone conversation, various settings of intercultural communication and so on) in different languages. One of the core areas of my research is the combination of diachronic, developmental and online analysis of Theory of Mind, Facework and Intersubjectivity, about which I published the book Language and Social Minds: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Intersubjectivity (Cambridge University Press, 2021). Many aspects of my research are centred on both the structure and the usage of typologically different languages, such as Mandarin Chinese and other Sinitic languages, but also Germanic, Romance and other language families which I study from a cognitive and (intercultural-)pragmatic point of view. The domains of enquiry of my publications are:

• grammatical-semantic-pragmatic approaches to evidentiality, epistemic-modality, tense-aspect, factuality (or factivity)

• cognitive and pragmatic approaches to presuppositions, common ground, assertions and speech act theories

• intercultural and diachronic analysis of (im-)politeness and face-work theory

• usage-based approaches to dialogic syntax, conversation analysis and interactional pragmatics


My methodology is mainly characterized by qualitative and quantitative corpus-based/driven models of analysis, R-based machine-learning modelling and data-manipulation techniques, questionnaire-design, typological as well as intercultural-pragmatic comparison.

  • DisTex - Discourse and Text Research Group
  • Research Group in Cognitive Linguistics
  • UCREL - University Centre for Computer Corpus Research on Language