Dr Kate Scott


I completed my PhD in 2010 at UCL under the supervision of Professor Deirdre Wilson. I then taught at UCL and at Middlesex University before joining Kingston in 2012. Although my research focuses primarily on language and linguistics, my interests are board and intersect with literary and media studies. I have published on the language of social media and have used ideas from linguistics in the analysis of literary texts.

Since May 2019 I have been the Head of Department for Humanities, overseeing courses in English, Creative Writing and Philosophy. I am the research director for the Writing Cultures Group.

Academic responsibilities

School Head of Department


  • PhD in Linguistics
  • MA in Linguistics
  • BA in English Literature with Drama
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education
  • Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults

Teaching and learning

As the head of department for Humanities, I have responsibility for overseeing the learning and teaching across a suite of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. I have designed, taught and assessed modules across all university levels (3-7), and I have supervised a range of undergraduate and taught MA dissertations.

I have a particular interest in developing effective employability-focused modules, and am currently redeveloping materials across two core modules to incorporate live briefs and scenario-based assessments. 

As course leader for English Language and Linguistics (2017-2020), I oversaw the introduction of criteria-based marking, and I have disseminated this work at a School Learning and Teaching event. The good practice developed in this area is now being rolled out across the department.

I am currently writing a textbook on pragmatics for Cambridge University Press which is schedule to be published as part of the Cambridge Introductions to the English Language series in 2021.

Qualifications and expertise

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education
  • Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Authority (FHEA)

Undergraduate courses taught


My research focuses primarily on the pragmatics of language, and I have applied ideas from the relevance theory pragmatic framework to a range of data and texts. My PhD thesis focused on the pragmatics of reference, and this work has since been published as a monograph by Cambridge University Press. 

A second key strand of my research focuses on the pragmatics of digitally-mediated communication. I am currently preparing a monograph for Routledge on the Pragmatics of Online Language and my journal article on the pragmatics of hashtags has been cited over 100 times. I'm currently preparing papers on the pragmatics of sharing, memes and clickbait.

I am currently developing a funding bid to use insights from the psychology of music to explore the use and interpretation of intonation in language. This draws on work I have published both on intonation in English and on procedural meaning in pragmatics and relevance theory. In 2019 co-edited a volume published by Cambridge University Press which brought together the most influential and cutting edge scholars working in relevance theory. This was launched with a research workshop which I organised and at which I presented my work.

In a final strand of my research, I have applied ideas from relevance theory to the analysis of literary texts, including a paper on the typography of written texts. 

I have supervised a PhD on the pragmatics of second language acquisition (Brighton University) and an MA by Research on tagging practises on the social media site Tumblr. I welcome proposals from prospective students working in pragmatics, reference, relevance theory, intonation or digitally-mediated communication. 

Qualifications and expertise

  • Research Director of Writing Cultures Research Group, Kingston University

Areas of specialism

  • Pragmatics
  • Digitally-Mediated Communication
  • Prosody and Intonation
  • Reference
  • Relevance Theory

Scholarly affiliations

  • UCL Summer Course in English Phonetics


Number of items: 17.


Scott, Kate (2018) "Hashtags work everywhere" : the pragmatic functions of spoken hashtags. Discourse, Context & Media, 22, pp. 57-64. ISSN (print) 2211-6958

Scott, Kate [Reviewer] (2018) Book Review of: 'Relevance theory : recent developments, current challenges and future directions' by M. Padilla Cruz (ed.). Journal of Pragmatics, 123, pp. 113-115. ISSN (print) 0378-2166

Scott, Kate (2016) Pronouns and procedures : reference and beyond. Lingua, 175-6, pp. 69-82. ISSN (print) 0024-3841

Scott, Kate (2015) The pragmatics of hashtags : inference and conversational style on Twitter. Journal of Pragmatics, 81, pp. 8-20. ISSN (print) 0378-2166

Scott, Kate (2013) Pragmatically motivated null subjects in English: A relevance theory perspective. Journal of Pragmatics, 53, pp. 68-83. ISSN (print) 0378-2166

Scott, Kate (2013) This and that: a procedural analysis. Lingua, 131, pp. 49-65. ISSN (print) 0024-3841

Scott, Kate (2009) A procedural analysis of 'This' and 'That'. UCL Working Papers in Linguistics, 21, pp. 151-181. ISSN (print) 0956-7194


Scott, Kate (2020) Referring expressions, pragmatics, and style : reference and beyond. Cambridge, UK : Cambridge University Press. 198p. ISSN (print) 9781107177574

Scott, Kate , Clark, Billy and Carston, Robyn, eds. (2019) Relevance, pragmatics and interpretation. Cambridge, UK : Cambridge University Press. 326p. ISBN 9781108418638

Book Section

Scott, Kate and Jackson, Rebecca (2020) When EVERYTHING STANDS OUT, nothing does : typography, expectations and procedures. In: Piskorska, Agnieszka, (ed.) Relevance theory, figuration and continuity in pragmatics. John Benjamins Publishing. (Figurative Thought and Language) (In Press)

Scott, Kate (2019) Misleading and relevance in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. In: Chapman, Siobhan and Clark, Billy, (eds.) Pragmatics and Literature. Amsterdam, The Netherlands : John Benjamins. pp. 94-114. (Linguistic Approaches to Literature, (35)) ISSN (print) 1569-3112 ISBN 9789027204448 (In Press)

Carston, Robyn, Clark, Billy and Scott, Kate (2019) Introduction. In: Scott, Kate , Clark, Billy and Carston, Robyn, (eds.) Relevance, Pragmatics and Interpretation. Cambridge, UK : Cambridge University Press. pp. 1-10. ISBN 9781108418638

Scott, Kate (2017) Prosody, procedures and pragmatics. In: Depraetere, Ilse and Salkie, Raphael, (eds.) Semantics and pragmatics : drawing a line. Berlin, Germany : Springer International Publishing. pp. 323-341. (Logic, Argumentation & Reasoning, (11)) ISBN 9783319322452

Scott, Kate (2011) Beyond Reference: Concepts, Procedures and Referring Expressions. In: Escandell-Vidal, Victoria , Leonetti, Manuel and Ahern, Aoife, (eds.) Procedural Meaning: Problems and Perspectives. Bingley, U.K. : Emerald Group Publishing Limited. pp. 183-203. (Current Research in the Semantics/Pragmatics Interface, 25(25)) ISSN (print) 1472-7870 ISBN 9780857240934

Conference or Workshop Item

Scott, Kate (2019) Relevance theory and layering in dramatic works. In: Pragmatics and literature : a study day at the University of Sussex; 22 Feb 2019, Brighton, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Scott, Kate (2018) "The popular orange vegetables" : culture, context and definite descriptions. In: 8th International Symposium on Intercultural, Cognitive and Social Pragmatics (EPICS VIII) : "Communication, Culture and Cognition"; 02 - 04 May 2018, Seville, Spain. (Unpublished)


Scott, Kate (2010) The relevance of referring expressions: the case of diary drop in English. (PhD thesis), University College London, .

This list was generated on Fri Oct 30 07:00:37 2020 GMT.

Leadership and management

Since May 2019 I have been the head of department for Humanities. I oversee the day-to-day running of the Foundation, Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes in  humanities subjects, and I also have overall responsibility for the Kingston Language Scheme (KLS) and the English for Academic and Professional Development Programme (EAPD) provision.

University responsibilities

  • Head of Department of Humanities

Videos of my work

Social media