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Dr Maria Secova

Profile summary

Professional biography


PhD (Linguistics) - Queen Mary University of London                                                     

MA (Sciences du langage) - Université Paris Ouest Nanterre


I joined the Open University in May 2016. Prior to that, I held academic posts at different universities as a Lecturer in French (Coventry University, University of Bath) and Lecturer in Linguistics (Birkbeck, University of London). For four years, I was involved in the ESRC-funded project 'Multicultural London English - Multicultural Paris French' which examined the effect of language contact on patterns of variation and change in Paris and London. 

More generally, my work focuses on synchronic and diachronic variation in features typical of informal spoken French and English. I am also interested in the use of spoken corpora in language teaching.

Research interests

Sociolinguistic variation and change, language contact, language attitudes and linguistic discrimination, urban vernaculars, use of spoken corpora in language teaching.

(I welcome PhD proposals in any of these areas).


Secova, M., Gardner-Chloros, P., & Cheshire, J. (2020) 'Deux ou trois choses que je sais d’elles : les variantes émergentes en français multiculturel de la région parisienne', In: F. Diémoz et al. (eds), Le français innovant. Bern: Peter Lang.

Secova, M. (2018) 'Direct speech, subjectivity and speaker positioning in London English and Paris French’ In: Beeching et al., Positioning the self and others: linguistic traces. John Benjamins. 

Secova, M., Gardner-Chloros, P. and Atangana, F. (2018) "Il parle normal, il parle comme nous”: self-reported usage and attitudes in a banlieue. Journal of French Language Studies (Special Issue).
Cheshire, J. and Secova, M. (2018) 'The origins of new quotative expressions: the case of Paris French.' Journal of French Language Studies (Special Issue).
Gardner-Chloros, P. and Secova, M. (2018) 'Grammatical change in Paris French: In-situ question words in embedded contexts.' Journal of French Language Studies (Special Issue).
Secova, M. (2017) ‘Changement grammatical et discursif en français multiculturel de la région parisienne: éléments de comparaison’. Lingvisticæ Investigationes, 40: 02.
Secova, M. (2017) ‘Discourse-pragmatic variation in Paris French and London English: Insights from general extenders’. Journal of Pragmatics, 114: 1-15.
Secova, M. (2015) ‘Discours direct chez les jeunes : nouvelles structures, nouvelles fonctions', Langage et société, 151: 131-151.  
Secova, M. (2014) ‘Je sais et tout mais: ... might the general extenders in European French be changing?’ Journal of French Language Studies, 24 (02): 281-304.
Secova, M. (2011) ‘Discourse‐pragmatic features of spoken French: analysis and pedagogical implications.’ PhD thesis, Queen Mary, U. of London.   

27 September 2018: Secova, M. ‘Parisians and Banlieusards: diverging language practices and polarised identities in a diverse metropolis’. 3rd International Conference on the Sociolinguistics of Immigration, Sestri Levante, Genoa (IT).

15-16 March 2018: Cheshire, J., Gardner-Chloros, P. and Secova, M. ‘Deux ou trois choses que je sais d’eux: l’emploi divergent d’innovations vernaculaires à Paris’, Troisième colloque international DIA du français actuel - Le français innovant, Université Paris 3, Sorbonne Nouvelle (FR).

8-10 August 2017: Secova, M. ‘Variation and change in Multicultural Paris French: uses and attitudes’, Association for French Language Studies conference, York University, Toronto (CA).

8 April 2017: Secova, M. ‘Comparing grammatical and discourse-pragmatic variation in Paris French’. Association for French Language Studies panel, iMean5 conference, UWE, Bristol (UK).

15-18 June 2016: Gardner-Chloros, P., Atangana, F. & Secova, M. ‘Attitudes v. Usage of Linguistic Innovations in a Paris banlieue: a survey among schoolchildren’, Sociolinguistics Symposium 21, University of Murcia (SP).

18 May 2016: Secova, M. ‘Change   in   Paris   French   and  London  English:  linguistic motivations and social  correlations’, Researching  pragmatic  particles in communication: cognitive,  argumentative  and  social  dimensions; Workshop, NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim (NO).

3-6 June 2015: Cheshire, J., Gardner-Chloros, P. and Secova, M. (organisers of invited panel): Language Change in London and Paris. The Sociolinguistics of Globalization: (De)centring and (de)standardization’, University of Hong Kong (CN).

11 February 2015: Secova, M. ‘Multicultural Paris French: comparing sites of innovation’. University of Exeter, Centre for Translating Cultures research seminar (UK).


Teaching interests

• L192: Bon départ: beginners' French (Chair)

• L161: Exploring Languages and Cultures (Presentation)

• L222: Upper Intermediate French (Production)

• L112: French studies 1 (Production)

• L211: Envol: upper intermediate French (Presentation, Residential School)