Academic Staff

Professor Peter L Patrick

Position in departmentHuman Rights Link
Staff positionProfessor of Sociolinguistics [PLP]
Telephone01206 872088
Office hours

He studied History as an undergraduate, Chinese and Linguistics at graduate level. Before coming to Essex, he taught in the Sociolinguistics programme at Georgetown University. He conducted a sociolinguistic survey of Kingston, Jamaica for his doctoral thesis (1992) and has published Urban Jamaican Creole: Variation in the Mesolect (Benjamins 1999) and Comparative Creole Syntax: Parallel Outlines of 18 Creole Grammars (Battlebridge Publications, 2007), coedited with John Holm, which systematically compares 18 Creole languages across 97 grammatical features. He is also co-editor of forthcoming volumes on Language Rights (DeGruyter Mouton, fc), with John Packer, and on Language Analysis for Determination of Origin (Springer, fc 2017) with Monika S Schmid and Karin Zwaan.

He has also published a number of articles in his major areas of interest - language variation and change, pidgin and creole studies, linguistic human rights, sociolinguistic methods, urban dialectology, and languages of the African diaspora. He has applied sociolinguistics to non-academic problems through studies of clinical communication, testimony in criminal cases, and expert reports on the asylum process, in England, Scotland, Jamaica, and the USA.

He was a founding member of the Language & National Origin Group who co-authored the Guidelines for the Use of Language Analysis in Relation to Questions of National Origin in Refugee Cases (2004), now widely cited in asylum cases around the world. He co-convenes the Language and Asylum Research Group (LARG) with Prof. Monika Schmid and Dr. Karin Zwaan to stimulate research and promote best-practice in Language Analysis for Determination of Origin (LADO). He has participated in or convened a dozen colloquia on LADO in Austria, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the US, and the UK, and given LADO seminars to linguists, lawyers, doctors, geneticists, immigration judges, and human rights practitioners. From 2008 to 2016 he has submitted expert linguistic reports to the UK immigration and asylum tribunals in over 75 appeals cases, including the Court of Appeals (England & Wales), Court of Sessions (Scotland) and UK Supreme Court.

  • AB History (mcl), University of Georgia, 1982
  • PhD Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania, 1992
Current research
  • Language Analysis for Determination of Origin (LADO) in the UK and EU 
  • Variation in number-marking in Jamaican Creole noun phrases
Research interests
  • Language Variation & Change
  • Language and Human Rights
  • Language Testing of Asylum Seekers
  • African (American) Diaspora Languages
  • Pidgin & Creole Linguistics, (esp. on Caribbean English-related creoles)
  • Language/Dialect Maintenance, Shift & Death
  • Sound Change in Sociolinguistic Context
Teaching responsibilities

As a member of the Human Rights Centre, and the Centre for Trauma, Asylum and Refugees, he also lectures on

as well as

  • CS101 The Enlightenment.

  • Patrick, Peter L. & Packer, John, eds. Fc. Language Rights. To appear in the series Contributions to the Sociology of Language. Berlin: DeGruyter Mouton.
  • Patrick, Peter L., Schmid, Monika S. & Zwaan, Karin, eds. Fc. Language analysis for determination of origin.Berlin: Springer.
  • Patrick, Peter L. 2016. “What is the role of expertise in Language Analysis for Determination of Origin (LADO)? A rejoinder to Cambier-Langeveld. International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law.
  • Patrick, Peter L. 2016. "The Impact of Sociolinguistics on Refugee Status Determination." In Robert Lawson & Dave Sayers (eds.), Sociolinguistic Research: Application and Impact, 235-256. Oxford: Routledge.
  • Patrick, Peter L. 2014. “Jamaican Creole.” In Marianna Di Paolo & Arthur K. Spears (eds.), Languages and Dialects in the U.S.: Focus on Diverse Speech Communities, 126-136. New York: Routledge.
  • Bristowe, Katherine & Patrick, Peter L. 2014. “ ‘Any questions?’ Clinicians’ usage of Invitations to Ask Questions (IAQs) in outpatient plastic surgery consultations.” Patient Education and Counseling (2014).
  • Patrick, Peter L. 2013. “Jamaican Creole.” In Bernd Kortmann & Kerstin Lunkenheimer (eds.), The Mouton World Atlas of Variation in English, 222-236. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Patrick, Peter L. 2013. “Asylum and language analysis.” In Susan K Brown & Frank D Bean (eds.), Encyclopedia of Migration. Heidelberg: Springer Verlag.
  • Bristowe, Katherine and Patrick, Peter L.. 2012. Do too many cooks spoil the broth? The effect of observers on doctor-patient interaction. Medical Education 46(8): 785-794.
  • Patrick, Peter L. 2012. "Language analysis for determination of origin: Objective evidence for refugee status determination.” In Peter M Tiersma & Lawrence M Solan, eds., Handbook of Language and Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp533-546.
  • Patrick, Peter L. 2010. “Language Variation and LADO (Language Analysis for Determination of Origin).” In Karin Zwaan, Pieter Muysken & Maaike Verrips, eds., Language and Origin. The Role of Language in European Asylum Procedures: A Linguistic and Legal Survey, pp73-87. Nijmegen: Wolf Legal Publishers.
  • Patrick, Peter L. 2008. “Pidgins, Creoles and linguistic variation.” In John V. Singler and Silvia Kouwenberg, eds., The Handbook of Pidgins and Creoles. Oxford: Blackwell, 461-487.
  • Patrick, Peter L. and Michelle Straw. 2007. “Dialect acquisition of glottal variation in /t/: Barbadians in Ipswich.” Language Sciences 29(2-3): 385-407. March/May 2007.
  • Patrick, Peter L. 2007. Co-editor with John Holm. Comparative Creole Syntax: Parallel Outlines of 18 Creole Grammars. London: Battlebridge Press. (Westminster Creolistics Series 7.)
  • Patrick, Peter L. 2007. "Jamaican Patwa (Creole English)." In John A. Holm and Peter L. Patrick, eds., Comparative Creole Syntax: Parallel Outlines of 18 Creole Grammars. London: Battlebridge Press, 127-152.



  • "The transformation of experience in asylum narratives", with Carlie FitzGerald. International Colloquium on Multilingualism and Interpreting in Settings of Globalisation: Asylum and Migration. 19 Feb 2015, Ghent.
  • "Cart or horse? Sociolinguistics, impact and refugee status determination." iMEAN, 9 April 2015, Warwick.
  • "Impact case study on LADO - Language Analysis for Determination of Origin." University Council of General and Apoplied Linguistics. 29 June 2015, Institute of Education, London.
  • "No Borders, No Nations - Refugees Welcome? A Civic Conversation." 3 October 2015, Linen Hall Library, Belfast.
  • "Testing the Native-speaker Status of Asylum Seekers." Advanced Research Residency in Language & Law. 18 November 2015, Cardiff University, Cardiff.


  • "Linguistic testing of asylum seekers." Multilingual Manchester lecture, 19 Feb 2014, University of Manchester.


  • "Language testing of asylum seekers: The role of variation." Keynote address, Languaging Diversity, Naples.



  • Organizer, ESRC LADO Network Seminar #1: "Data Elicitation for LADO". University of Essex, June.
  • "Linguistic Analysis for Determining the Origins of Asylum Seekers" - PluS workshop, Vienna
  • "Key Problems in Language Analysis for Determination of Origin (LADO)" - Plenary address, International Association for Forensic Linguistics, Aston
  • "Effects of Lay Perspectives on Language in the Testing of Asylum Seekers" - ALAPP, Cardiff
  • Organizer, ESRC LADO Network Seminar #2: "The Role of Native Speakers in LADO". University of Essex, November.
  • "LADO - A view from Linguistics" - ESRC Genomics Network, London


  • "Linguistic Rights in the Asylum Context" - CamLing VI 'Linguistics Matters!' workshop, Cambridge
  • "LADO - Objective Evidence for Refugee Status Determination" - CORI: Challenges and Commonalities in Providing Objective Evidence for RSD, London
  • "Applying the Speech Community: Language Analysis of  Asylum Seekers" - ASNEL/GNEL, Bayreuth
  • "Language Variation and LADO" - European Science Foundation Workshop on Language & Origin, NIAS, Wassenaar
  • with Katherine Bristowe: "Linguistic Issues and Pitfalls in working with Asylum Seekers & Refugees" - Medical Foundation for Care of Victims of Torture, Doctors' Study Day, London

See for some recent papers and presentations.

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