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Emeritus Professor of Linguistics, Monash University

Keith Allan MLitt, PhD (Edinburgh), FAHA, is Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at Monash University and Honorary Associate Professor at the University of Queensland. He was a recipient of the Centenary Medal for Service to Australian Society and the Humanities in Linguistics and Philology in 2003. Keith’s research interests focus mainly on aspects of meaning in language, with a secondary interest in the history and philosophy of linguistics. He has published on the topics of censorship, discourse analysis, dysphemism, euphemism, grammaticalization, jargon, language policy, linguistic metatheory, morphology, politeness, pragmatics, prosody, psycho¬linguistics, semantics, sociolinguistics, speech act theory, syntax, and taboo. Keith is Editor of The Australian Journal of Linguistics and is also on the editorial boards of Language Sciences, Journal of Pragmatics, Journal of Philosophical Pragmatics, Odisea: Journal of English Studies, International Journal of Language Studies and the series Empirical Foundations of Theoretical Pragmatics. Keith’s books include Linguistic Meaning (Routledge, 1986); Euphemism and Dysphemism: Language Used as Shield and Weapon (with Kate Burridge, OUP, 1991); Natural Language Semantics (Blackwell, 2001); Forbidden Words: Taboo and the Censoring of Language (with Kate Burridge, CUP, 2006); Concise Encyclopaedia of Semantics (Elsevier, 2009); The Western Classical Tradition in Linguistics Second Expanded Edition (Equinox, 2010, first edition 2007); The English Language and Linguistics Companion (with Julie Bradshaw et al. Palgrave, 2010); The Cambridge Handbook of Pragmatics (with Kasia Jaszczolt, CUP, 2012); Salient Meanings, Default Meanings, and Automatic Processing (with Kasia Jaszczolt, Mouton de Gruyter, 2012); The Oxford Handbook of the History of Linguistics (OUP, 2013)); Routledge Handbook of Linguistics (2016); Pragmemes and Theories of Language Use (with Alessandro Capone and Istvan Kecskes, Springer 2016); Oxford Handbook of Taboo Words and Language (OUP, 2018); Dynamics of Language Changes: Looking Within and Across Languages (Springer Nature, 2020). He has also published more than 30 book chapters, 35 articles in encyclopaedias, more than 45 articles in journals and about the same number of book reviews. Email: Homepage:


  • –present
    Emeritus Professor of Linguistics, Monash University


  • 1977 
    Universiy of Edinburgh, PhD Linguistics