Dr Elyse Ritchey

French Studies, School of Modern Languages

Assistant Professor

Rye Hall Building, Block D


My primary research interests are in language endangerment and revitalisation, with a particular focus on the Occitan language of southern France. I also work in the fields of discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, multilingualism, and critical toponymy. My teaching interests include synchronic and diachronic French linguistics and sociolinguistics and French language pedagogy. I have a particular attachment to southern France and studied in Aix-en-Provence as an undergraduate. In 2016, I received a Chateaubriand HSS Fellowship from the Embassy of France in the U.S., which enabled me to do fieldwork for my thesis as a visiting scholar at the Université de Toulouse-Jean Jaurès. I completed my Bachelor of Arts degree (Magna cum laude) in Photography and French at the University of Arizona in 2004. After graduating with a Master of Arts in French from California State University, Los Angeles in 2008, I earned my PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures from the University of California, Berkeley in 2019. My thesis, ‘Lenga nòstra? Local discourses on Occitan in southwestern France’ explores portrayals and perceptions of Occitan in public discourse in two rural towns. Before coming to Maynooth, I worked as a Lecturer of French Linguistics at Queen’s University, Belfast for one year.

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2017 Ritchey, Elyse (2017) 'Multiculturalism from the inside out: Occitan and Toulouse'. Critical Multilingualism Studies, 5 (2):39-63. [Link]

Conference Contribution

Year Publication
2018 Ritchey, Elyse (2018) 8n Obrador Lingüistica Occitana 'Il y a 800 ans en Occitanie’ : La nation occitane historique imaginée dans la presse Pau, France, .
2018 Ritchey, Elyse (2018) Eighth Cambridge Conference on Language Endangerment The promise and limits of civil society organisations in language revitalisation: The case of Occitan Cambridge, UK, .
2017 Ritchey, Elyse (2017) Romance outside Europe Regional Romance outside Europe Berkeley, California, USA, .
2017 Ritchey, Elyse (2017) Berkeley Language Center Fellows Forum Teaching French Listening Comprehension and Cultural Awareness through Regional Variation Berkeley, California, USA, .
2017 Ritchey, Elyse (2017) UC Davis Symposium on Language Research French and Occitan: didactic and ideological functions of code-switching with a regional language in a press corpus Davis, California, USA, .
2015 Ritchey, Elyse (2015) Linguistic Landscape 7 The history of street names in southern France Berkeley, California, USA, .
2015 Ritchey, Elyse (2015) Linguistic Landscape 7 Caught between heritage and utility: Bilingual French-Occitan street names Berkeley, California, USA, .

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2023 Ritchey, E. (2023) 'Building the Politeness Repertoire Through the Linguistic Landscape' In: Spatializing Language Studies. Cham : Springer. [DOI]
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2023) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

Professional Associations

Description Function From / To
Modern Language Association Member -

Honors and Awards

Date Title Awarding Body
01/01/2017 Professional Development Fellowship Berkeley Language Center, University of California, Berkeley
01/01/2016 Chateaubriand HSS Fellowship Embassy of France in the U.S.


Employer Position From / To
University of California, Berkeley Graduate Student Instructor 13/08/2012 - 16/08/2019
California State University, Los Angeles Part-time Lecturer of French 07/01/2008 - 12/06/2009
Queen's University Belfast Temporary Lecturer of French Linguistics 17/09/2019 - 31/08/2020
California State University, East Bay Part-time Lecturer of French 02/01/2012 - 15/06/2012

Teaching Interests

Variation in French, French Language and Linguistics, History of the French Language, Sociolinguistics, Endangered Languages, Language Revitalisation, Discourse analysis, Romance Linguistics, History of the Romance Languages