Dr Damien Gaucher

Research interests

My main research interest lies in the domain of syntactic variation, one particular area of variationist sociolinguistics. In my thesis, I examined Past Participle Agreement as a sociolinguistic variable, in the context of spontaneous spoken French. The study was based upon two major types of analysis :

1 - a corpus-based variationist study of the production of agreement, mainly inspired by the various works in corpus linguistics.

2 - an investigation of listeners’ perception of this variable, notably with the use of a Matched Guise Test.

I am particularly interested in the various methodological and technical aspects available to collect, analyse and present data, be it under the form of transcribed spoken language (with e.g. the use of a concordancer) or of raw figures emerging from the use of forms, and to be analysed with statistical tools such as R-Brul.

More broadly, I am particularly interested in many fields of linguistic research, including the following:

  • the relation to norm in French linguistics
  • diachronic linguistics and sociolinguistics
  • first and second language acquisition

As far as language teaching is concerned, I also find a strong interest in the following topics:

  • learning pedagogy and syllabus development
  • application of learning styles to syllabus development
  • online learning psychology


Conference papers:

2016: Comprendre la Zone Postverbale: le cas de l’accord du Participe Passé. Colloque AFLS (Association of French Language Studies). Queen’s University Belfast, 20-22 June.

2015: Analyse de la variation diaphasique dans le contexte du débat informel. Colloque AFLS (Association of French Language Studies). University of Caen, France, 25-27 June.

2014: Invited Keynote Speaker : «Accord et variation en français parlé : le cas du participe passé». Colloque Les relations d’accord dans la syntaxe du français, Université de Fribourg (Switzerland), 25-26 September.

2014: «Normes et variations de l'Accord du Participe Passé dans les constructions pronominales». Colloque AFLS (Association of French Language Studies), University of Kent, 25-27 June.

2013: «Des conséquences de l’exclusion : hypercorrections de l’accord du participe passé à l’oral». Conference Si j’aurais su, J’aurais pas venu ! Linguistique des formes exclues : descriptions, genres, épistémologie. Université Libre de Bruxelles, 19-23 June.

2013: «Perceptions et réactions devant l’accord du participe passé». Colloque AFLS (Association of French Language Studies). Université de Perpignan, 6-8 June.

2013: «Attitudes to past participle agreement in French». Conference I-Mean@UWE (international conference on pragmatics and sociolinguistics). University of the West of England, Bristol, 18-20 April.

2012: «L’influence de la sémantique des temps verbaux sur l’accord du participe passé». Conference Le complexe du verbe. IUFM of Lyon, 30-31 May.

2011: «L’accord du participe passé à l’oral comme variable sociolinguistique». Conference Le participe passé entre accords et désaccords. University of Opole, 16-17 June.