Dr. Catherine Diederich

Oberassistentin (Postdoctoral Teaching and Research Fellow)

Catherine Diederich is postdoctoral assistant to Prof. Dr. Heike Behrens in Cognitive Linguistics. She started working at the University of Basel in August 2008 after graduating from the University of Zurich in English literature and linguistics in April 2008.

Her master thesis "Figurative Language in Opinion-Oriented Texts from The New York Times and The Washington Post" is concerned with the usage of irony, sarcasm and metaphors in American journalese. In this work, she analyzed material from computer databases, developing a strong interest for discourse analysis, in specific media discourse.

In August 2013, Catherine completed her PhD project entitled "Sensory Adjectives in the Discourse of Food - A frame-semantic approach to sensory language". In this doctoral thesis, she examines linguistic encodings of food perception from a cognitive semantic perspective with the aim to observe the complexity in the meaning and use of taste-related lexemes. The PhD project is interdisciplinary in that it looks at sensory terminology both in the field of sensory science as well as in everyday contexts.

Catherine's habilitation project presents a usage-based approach to the use of discourse markers by native and non-native speakers of English. She is interested in the teaching and acquisition of pragmatic competence in a second/foreign language. She currently investigates the use of discourse markers in the negotiation of taste perception in interaction.

Catherine's research interests include socio-cognitive linguistics, cognitive semantics, the interrelation between language and sensory perception, second language acquisition, pragmatic competence, and corpus linguistics


October 20, 2015

I am co-organizing the conference The Beautiful Game: The Poetics and Aesthetics of Soccer in Transnational Perspective with Ridvan Askin and Aline Bieri, to take place from June 30-July 2, 2016 at the University of Basel.


September 30, 2015

The first review of my book, by Dr. Stefan Diemer, was published in The Translator (here).


April 15, 2015

Diederich, Catherine (2015). Sensory Adjectives in the Discourse of Food. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.








Englisches Seminar
Nadelberg 6
CH-4051 Basel

Office 14

Office phone:
+41 (0)61 207 24 13

Office fax:
+41 (0)61 207 27 80