Celeste Rodriguez Louro

Dr, Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow, DE170100493, MA Ill., PhD Melb.

  • The University of Western Australia (M257), 35 Stirling Highway, Room 2.46, Social Sciences Building, Perth campus

    6009 Perth


  • 31 Citations
  • 4 h-Index
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Personal profile


I was born and raised in Argentina. I lived in Costa Rica, the USA, Austria, and Poland before arriving in Australia in 2005 and becoming an Australian citizen in 2012. I completed a BA/Honours in English Language Teaching at the Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Argentina in May 2001, an MA in Hispanic Linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2004 and a PhD in Linguistics at Melbourne University in December 2009. I am currently an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow (2018-2021) and a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at The University of Western Australia. I am on Twitter! @CelesteRLouro

I am a variationist sociolinguist, with an interest in morpho-syntactic and discourse-pragmatic variation and change as well as historical sociolinguistics, multilingualism/bi-dialectalism and specific language change processes including grammaticalisation, lexicalisation and pragmaticalisation. My work focuses/has focused on Anglo-Celtic Australian English, Australian Aboriginal English and Latin American Spanish. Since the completion of my PhD (University of Melbourne, 2009) I have committed to bringing time depth to my research. Time-depth can be obtained using real time (historical materials such as oral histories) and apparent time (speakers of different generations), and I have used both with great success (e.g. Rodríguez Louro, 2013, 2016). I am a strong advocate for comparative sociolinguistics and have consistently carried out cross-dialectal comparisons (e.g. Tagliamonte, D'Arcy, & Rodríguez Louro, 2016). My work on morpho-syntactic variation has explored tense variation and narrative structure in synchronic and diachronic perspective across languages and dialects. My work on discourse-pragmatic features (linguistic items and constructions which are formally and functionally diverse but unite in their performing textual and/or interpersonal functions in discourse) has explored quotative verbs (such as be like as in ‘I gota phone call from my housemate and I’m like, ‘What’s happened?’), epistemic/evidential constructions (such as I think) and – more recently – discourse like. The lion’s share of my work has examined grammaticalisation and specific processes such as specialisation to explain how language changes over time. At the core of the variationist enterprise is a concern with how the entire system in which a feature operates actually behaves. Cherry-picking examples to support the researcher’s theoretical claims is of little use when systemic shift is considered. Instead, we are interested in how the variable grammar operates and, crucially, in the relationship between linguistic and social categories. These relationships are statistically modeled on data that have been carefully collected, extracted, analysed and interpreted. 


2020   Invited plenary address, Discourse Pragmatic Variation and Change (DiPVac) 5, University of Melbourne, 3-5 June 2020.

Roles and responsibilities

Vice-president, Australian Linguistic Society, 2018-2020

Organiser, Language Variation and Change Australia 4 (LVC-A 4), December 2019, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia (with Catherine Travis, ANU)

Organiser, Language Variation and Change Australia 3 (LVC-A 3), December 2017, University of Sydney, Australia (with Catherine Travis [ANU] & James Walker [La Trobe])

Organiser, Language Variation and Change Australia 2 (LVC-A 2), December 2015, University of Western Sydney, Australia (with Catherine Travis [ANU] & Adam Schembri [Birmingham])

Organiser, Language Variation and Change Australia 1 (LVC-A 1), July 26 2013, La Trobe University City Campus, Melbourne, (with Catherine Travis [ANU] & Adam Schembri [La Trobe])

Australian Speech Corpus, Associate Member

Celeste is a NAATI accredited English-Spanish translator (NAATI accreditation ASCO 2529-15) and holds an Acreditación de examinadores DELE: Niveles B1 y B2 from Instituto Cervantes in Sydney

Funding overview

Australian Research Council (ARC), Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA). Aboriginal English in the global city: Do minorities participate in surrounding language change?; DE170100493; 17% success rate; $350,000

UWA, School of Social Sciences, Staff Travel Grant, $1,000; 2015, 2016

UWA, 2015 Research Collaboration Award; research grant for project entitled “The voices in the stories: Quotation in Aboriginal English oral narratives” in collaboration with Farzad Sharifian (Monash University), $14,542; 2014

Perth Convention Bureau, 2013 Aspire University Professional Development Award, $5000; 2013

Australian Academy of the Humanities, 2013 Publication Subsidy Award, $2,000; 2013

UWA, 2013 Research Collaboration Award; research grant for project entitled “Narratives from the past: Quotation across time in Australian, Canadian and New Zealand English” in collaboration with Alexandra D’Arcy (University of Victoria, Canada) and Sali Tagliamonte (University of Toronto), $17,500; 2012

UWA, Supplementary Travel Grant; $750; 2012

UWA, 2012 Research Development Awards; research grant for project entitled “A sociolinguistic study of syntactic variation and change in Australian English”, $35,348; 2011

Programme for Cultural Cooperation between the Ministry of Culture of Spain and the Australian National University (ANU), research and conference grant for project entitled “Global, sexy and fun: Attitudes to Spanish language learning by Australian university students”; $3000; 2011

UWA, School of Humanities, Staff Research Travel Grant, $2,000; 2011

UWA, Supplementary Travel Grant; $750; 2011

UM (University of Melbourne), Grants-in-Aid, “Exploiting bilingualism: The Melbourne Language Exchange Group”; $1,896; 2010 (Declined)

ARC Network in Human Communication Science, HCSNet WinterFest Scholarship, $1,200; 2010

Australian Federal Government, Department of Education, Science and Training: International Fee Remission Scholarship; full tuition fee coverage for duration of course and annual Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC); $22,400 p.a.; 2005–2009

La Trobe University, Conference of the Australian Linguistic Society, registration fee waiver, 2009

UM, Scholarships office and School of Languages and Linguistics: Melbourne International Research Scholarship; $19,425 p.a.; 2005–2008

UM, Faculty of Arts: Lillian Ernestine Lobb Scholarship, one scholarship awarded annually to a female postgraduate with excellent academic records (on the recommendation of the Dean of the Arts Faculty), $12,000; 2008

UM, School of Languages and Linguistics: Matching funding support, $600; 2008.

UM, Faculty of Arts: Travel for research in postgraduate study, $1,350; 2008.

UM, School of Languages and Linguistics: Conference attendance support scheme, $500; 2007

UM, Faculty of Arts: PhD Fieldwork Support Scheme, $3,900; 2006

UM, School of Languages: Conference attendance support scheme, $750; 2006

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese: Full tuition, partial fee waiver (USD 21,714 p.a.) and teaching assistantship; 2002–2004

Previous positions

Celeste has held teaching/research positions at the following institutions of higher learning:

Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Argentina
Mar del Plata Community College, Argentina
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
University of Melbourne, Australia
RMIT University, Australia
La Trobe University, Australia
University of New England, Australia

Current projects

I am currently working on a number of projects, including:

1. Variation and change in narrative, tense and quotation in earlier and contemporary Australian Aboriginal English (in collaboration with Glenys Collard and Ian Malcolm, Edih Cowan University, Perth and James Stanford, Dartmouth College, USA).
2. Variation and change in narrative structure and tense/quotation in earlier Australian English.
3. The effects of genre on quotation in Australian English (with Sophie Richard and Sana Bharadwaj, University of Western Australia).
4. Discourse-pragmatic variation and change in Australia, a chapter for a volume on Australian Englishes edited by Louisa Willoughby and Howie Manns (Monash University) for Routledge with a planned publication of 2020.

Teaching overview

I am an award-winning teacher. My most recent awards include two UWA Arts Teaching Excellence Awards, 2014 and 2017. My teaching schedule at UWA has been as follows.


I will be a DECRA Fellow in this period and will only teach Honours-level courses. In 2019 I will teach LING4103 Methods in Sociolinguistic Research in Semester 2.




Semester 1 only (on maternity leave from August 2017)

LING1001 Language and Communication (1st year)
LING3003 Historical Linguistics: Language History and Language Change (3rd year)


LING1001 Language and Communication (1st year)
LING1901 Language Learning and the Multilingual World (Broadening)
LING2003 Language, Culture and Society (2nd year)
LING3003 Historical Linguistics: Language History and Language Change (3rd year)
LING3006 Topics in Linguistic Theory (3rd year)
LING4103 Methods in Sociolinguistics: Time (4th year/Honours)


LING1901 Language Learning and the Multilingual World (Broadening)
LING2003 Language, Culture and Society (2nd year)
LING4103 Methods in Sociolinguistics: Time (4th year/Honours)
LING4104 Advanced Topics in Semantics and Pragmatics (co-taught with John Henderson and Sophie Richard)

[On study leave in Semester 1]




LING4103 Methods in Sociolinguistics: Social class (4th year/Honours)
LING3003 Historical Linguistics: Language History and Language Change (3rd year)
LING2003 Language, Culture and Society (2nd year)
LING1901 Communication across Cultures and Languages (Broadening)
LING1002 Language as a Cognitive System (1st year)
LING1001 Language and Communication (1st year)


LING3002 Typology: The Diversity of Languages (3rd year) (co-taught with Luisa Miceli)
LING2003 Language, Culture and Society (2nd year)
LING1901 Communication across Cultures and Languages (Broadening)


LING3312 Linguistic Field Methods: Methods in Sociolinguistics (3rd year)
LING1103 Language, Culture and Society (1st year)


Richard, Sophie. 2018. Tense/aspect variation and the Present Perfect in Australian English narratives: Sociolinguistic constraints and discourse-pragmatic functions. 


Daniel Ortlepp. I have seen xem: Queerness and online pronominal innovation in English, 2016.

Sana Bharadwaj. Ethnic orientation and language use: Expressing opinions in Australian and Indian English, 2013

Rachael Howard. 'Story gets better’: Performed narratives and quotatives across social classes in Australian English speech, 2012

Chelsea Hayes. American girls and Aussie guys? Attitudes to BE LIKE and GO in Australian English, 2012

Harry Midalia. The social evaluation of epistemic RECKON: Speaker attitudes and social constraints, 2011

Caroline Dixon. I was like: “definitely Aussie”. BE LIKE and other quotatives across generations in Australian English, 2011


Title of MA Thesis TBC. Supervised by Miriam Meyerhoff. Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 2019.

Susanne Hüber. Acquiring a variable system: The English quotative system and be like in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) context. University of Graz and UWA, 2016.


I have a list of prospective topics that strongly relate to my current research and that can draw on existing corpora (e.g. Rodríguez Louro, 2011-2018). As such, they offer many possibilities for joint publications once the thesis is completed. I am happy to meet up and discuss these further or to explore other topics of interest. My supervisory experience (six Honours students, an MA student, and a PhD student completed in the years 2011-2013 and 2015-2017; interruptions due to two periods of maternity leave) has taught me that the best way is to work on something your supervisor is knowledgeable about so you can get the right mentoring and learn by watching and emulating. Writing an Honours thesis – or any thesis for that matter – presenting at conferences and publishing your work is the best way to cement public speaking, writing and analytical skills, whether you choose to stay in academia or not.

With me, you will learn the theoretical underpinnings of the field of (historical) sociolinguistics, dialectology and language variation and change. You will learn how to design a participant sample that is representative of the community you’re interested in. You will learn how to manage, extract, code, analyse, interpret and statistically model data to offer empirical validation for your claims. You will receive ample feedback on your writing and I will expect you to re-write quite a lot, until your drafts are high quality. 

I have received numerous nominations for my supervision. Students have praised the efficiency with which I work (fast turnaround on drafts and emails), my knowledge of the field, my encouragement to attend workshops and conferences where work might be presented to others, my support, enthusiasm and inspiration. I have co-authored conference papers and chapters/journal articles with my students (e.g. Richard & Rodríguez Louro, 2016; Rodríguez Louro & Harris, 2013; Rodríguez Louro, Richard, & Bharadwaj, 2016) and have motivated them to continue their education at UWA and beyond. I have won two Faculty Teaching Awards (2014 and 2017) and a 2016 Vice-Chancellor’s Early Career Investigators Award. In addition to various generous, internally funded grants (2012, 2013 and 2015), I currently hold an Australian Research Council DECRA fellowship for the period 2018-2021 (11% success rate in 2016 when the grant was awarded). This project examines language variation and change in Australian Aboriginal English and the data collection process is about to begin (with opportunities for students to do research on Aboriginal English later in the year). I am Vice-president of the Australian Linguistic Society. I review regularly for the Australian Research Council as well as flagship conferences, including New Ways of Analizing Variation, and top-tier publishers such as Cambridge University Press.

Please get in touch to discuss further. My email is celeste.rodriguezlouro@uwa.edu.au


Grammaticalisation; morpho-syntactic and discourse-pragmatic variation and change; quotation; epistemic verbs; preterit/present perfect; temporal reference; tense variation; narrative; variationist sociolinguistics; historical sociolinguistics; Australian Englishes; Aboriginal English; Argentinian Spanish; Latin American Spanish


Argentinian Spanish (native speaker)
English (near-native)
Polish (good)
Portuguese (fair)


  • Children and Young People
  • Social and Welfare Issues
  • Health
  • Education
  • Communications
  • Ageing
  • Language And Society
  • Language Change
  • First Language Acquisition
  • Bilingualism
  • Language Contact
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Australian Englishes
  • Argentinian Spanish
  • Latin American Spanish
  • Australian Aboriginal English
  • Tense and aspect
  • Quotative verbs
  • Grammaticalisation
  • Language attitudes
  • First and second language acquisition
  • Epistemics
  • Narrative
  • Discourse-pragmatic variation and change

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

rationalization Social Sciences
linguistics Social Sciences
language change Social Sciences
event Social Sciences
language Social Sciences
regularity Social Sciences
contact Social Sciences
innovation Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2012 2021

Research Output 2006 2016

Book Review - Quotatives: New Trends and Sociolinguistic Implications

Rodriguez Louro, C., 2016, In : English World-Wide: a journal of varieties of English. 37, 1, p. 103-108 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Indefinite past reference and the Present Perfect in Argentinian Spanish

Rodriguez Louro, C., 2016, In : Studies in Language. 40, 3, p. 622-647 26 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Narrative-embedded variation and change: The sociolinguistics of the Australian English narrative present perfect

Richard, S. L. R. & Rodriguez Louro, C., 2016, Re-assessing the Present Perfect. V. W. E. S. C. S-G. (ed.). Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, p. 119-145 27 p. (Topics in English Linguistics; vol. 91).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapter

5 Citations

Outliers, impact, and rationalization in linguistic change

Tagliamonte, S. A., D’Arcy, A. & Louro, C. R., 1 Dec 2016, In : Language. 92, 4, p. 824-849 26 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

language change

Quotatives across time: West Australian English then and now

Rodriguez Louro, C., 2016, Discourse-Pragmatic Variation and Change in English: New Methods and Insights. H. P. (ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 139-159 21 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapter