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Dr Rachele De Felice


Profile summary

Professional biography

I am a Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and English Language. My main research and teaching interests are in the areas of corpus linguistics, pragmatics, workplace communication, and the intersections of these - such as corpus pragmatics. I joined the School of Languages & Applied Linguistics in 2022, after ten years as a senior teaching fellow and then lecturer at University College London. Previously I have held postdoctoral research positions at the University of Nottingham (Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow) and at ETS in Princeton, New Jersey.

I gained my DPhil (PhD) in Computational Linguistics  (Department of Computer Science) and MPhil in Linguistics at Oxford University. 

Research interests

In my research, I analyse large collections of naturally occurring language, called corpora, to understand how people use particular instances of language to achieve their communicative goals: expressing solidarity, making a request, avoiding a task, giving advice, and so on. I focus in particular on workplace emails (such as the Enron Corpus and the Clinton Email Corpus) and spontaneous conversation (e.g. from the London-Lund Corpus 2). Recently, I have also been exploring the nature of problem-oriented language in emails.

My Cambridge Element Advice in Conversation: Corpus Pragmatics meets Mixed Methods, co-authored with Nele Poldvere and Carita Paradis, is available now in Open Access.

I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of corpus linguistics, politeness, pragmatics, workplace communication.


Teaching interests

I am currently a member of the module team for LB170 Communication Skills for Business and Management.

Impact and engagement

You can watch a talk about my research on the Clinton Emails here (aimed at a non-specialist audience): , and read a short piece about asking for things in business emails here on MinuteHack.

I am on the ICAME Executive Board, and was co-chair of the 43rd ICAME conference hosted in Cambridge.


Identifying speech acts in a corpus of historical migrant correspondence (2019)
De Felice, Rachele and Moreton, Emma
Studia Neophilologica, 91(2) (pp. 154-174)

Routine politeness in American and British English requests: use and non-use of please (2019)
Murphy, M. Lynne and De Felice, Rachele
Journal of Politeness Research, 15(1) (pp. 77-100)

Politeness at Work in the Clinton Email Corpus: A First Look at the Effects of Status and Gender (2018)
De Felice, Rachele and Garretson, Gregory
Corpus Pragmatics, 2(3) (pp. 221-242)

Advice in Conversation: Corpus Pragmatics Meets Mixed Methods (2022-10-21)
Põldvere, Nele; De Felice, Rachele and Paradis, Carita
Elements in Pragmatics
ISBN : 9781009053617 | Publisher : Cambridge University Press | Published : Cambridge