Professor Peter Patrick

Department of Language and Linguistics
Professor Peter Patrick
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872088

  • Location

    4.328, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support 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 2018) 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 employment tribunals, 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 2017 he has submitted expert linguistic reports to the UK immigration and asylum tribunals in over 85 appeals cases, including the Court of Appeals (England & Wales), Court of Sessions (Scotland) and UK Supreme Court. Language and Asylum Research Group (LARG), co-convenor with Prof. Monika Schmidt and Dr. Karin Zwaan Forensic linguistic consulting in asylum, employment and criminal cases in the UK and abroad


  • AB History (mcl), University of Georgia, 1982

  • PhD Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania, 1992

Research and professional activities

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

Current research

Language Analysis for Determination of Origin (LADO) in the UK and EU

Variation in number-marking in Jamaican Creole noun phrases

Conferences and presentations

Language testing of asylum seekers: The role of variation. Keynote address, Languaging Diversity, Naples. (2013)


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. (2015)


Raising standards in the linguistic analysis of asylum seekers. Seminar to School of English Language, Literature and Linguistics series. 8 March, Newcastle University. (2017)


Closing address to Language, Mobility and Belonging conference. 25 March, Somerville College, University of Oxford. (2017)


Language and the asylum process. Language diversity: Research implications for policy and provisions in Greater Manchester. Multilingual Manchester. 23 March 2016, University of Manchester, UK.(2016)


How well does language testing of asylum seekers work? Migrants and Language(s): Issues arising from the Current Crisis. 21 March 2016, Birkbeck, University of London. (2016)


The impact of sociolinguistics on refugee status determination.Sociolinguistic Research: Application and Impact. 13 June, Birmingham UK.(2016)


Community, diversity and mobility: A critical perspective. Sociolinguistic Symposium 21. 17 June, Murcia, Spain.(2016)


Taking an inch: Raising standards of practice in LADO. Plenary address to 6th International Conference on Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice (ALAPP-6). 4 November, Copenhagen.(2016)


Number marking in Jamaican. Seminar to Survey of English U@sage series. 7 December, University College London.(2016)


Language testing of asylum seekers: The role of expertise. Seminar to Danish forensic linguists. 16 December, Roskilde University.(2016)


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. (2015)


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No Borders, No Nations - Refugees Welcome? A Civic Conversation. 3 October 2015, Linen Hall Library, Belfast. (2015)


Linguistic testing of asylum seekers. Multilingual Manchester lecture, 19 Feb 2014, University of Manchester. (2014)


Organizer, ESRC LADO Network Seminar #3: Issues of Expertise & Recognition of Professional Standards. University of Essex, June. (2012)


Language Analysis in the Determination of Origin: A Linguists Perspective. GRAMnet, Translation & Asylum Claims, University of Glasgow. (2012)


Organizer, ESRC LADO Network Seminar #4: Best Practice in LADO: The Way Forward. University of Essex, November. (2012)


Organizer, ESRC LADO Network Seminar #1: Data Elicitation for LADO. University of Essex, June. (2011)


Linguistic Analysis for Determining the Origins of Asylum Seekers - PluS workshop, Vienna (2011)


Key Problems in Language Analysis for Determination of Origin (LADO) - Plenary address, International Association for Forensic Linguistics, Aston (2011)


Effects of Lay Perspectives on Language in the Testing of Asylum Seekers - ALAPP, Cardiff (2011)


Organizer, ESRC LADO Network Seminar #2: The Role of Native Speakers in LADO. University of Essex, November. (2011)


LADO - A view from Linguistics - ESRC Genomics Network, London (2011)


Linguistic Rights in the Asylum Context - CamLing VI 'Linguistics Matters!' workshop, Cambridge (2010)


LADO - Objective Evidence for Refugee Status Determination - CORI: Challenges and Commonalities in Providing Objective Evidence for RSD, London(2010)


Applying the Speech Community: Language Analysis of Asylum Seekers - ASNEL/GNEL, Bayreuth(2010)


Language Variation and LADO - European Science Foundation Workshop on Language & Origin, NIAS, Wassenaar(2010)


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(2010)


Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Contemporary Issues in Human Rights and Cultural Diversity (HU921)

  • Language in Society (LG114)

  • Sociolinguistics (LG218)

  • American Languages (LG448)


Journal articles (11)

Patrick, PL., (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. 23 (1), 133-139

Bristowe, K. and Patrick, PL., (2014). ‘Any questions?’—Clinicians’ usage of invitations to ask questions (IAQs) in outpatient plastic surgery consultations. Patient Education and Counseling. 97 (3), 347-351

Bristowe, K. and Patrick, PL., (2012). Do too many cooks spoil the broth? The effect of observers on doctor-patient interaction. Medical Education. 46 (8), 785-794

Straw, M. and Patrick, PL., (2007). Dialect acquisition of glottal variation in /t/: Barbadians in Ipswich. Language Sciences. 29 (2-3), 385-407

Fumagalli, MC. and Patrick, PL., (2006). Two Healing Narratives: Suffering, Reintegration, and the Struggle of Language. Small Axe. 10 (2), 61-79

Patrick, PL., (2004). Guidelines for the use of language analysis in relation to questions of national origin in refugee cases. International Journal of Speech Language and the Law. 11 (2), 261-266

Kouwenberg, S. and Patrick, PL., (2003). Introduction. Studies in Second Language Acquisition. 25 (02), 175-184

PATRICK, PL., (2002). KISS-TEETH. American Speech. 77 (4), 383-397

Patrick, PL. and Payne-Jackson, A., (1996). Functions of Rasta Talk in a Jamaican Creole Healing Narrative: 'A Bigfoot Dem Gi Mi'. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology. 6 (1), 47-84

Patrick, PL., (1995). Recent Jamaican Words in Sociolinguistic Context. American Speech. 70 (3), 227-264

Patrick, PL., (1991). Creoles at the Intersection of Variable Processes: -t, -d deletion and past-marking in the Jamaican mesolect. Language Variation and Change. 3 (2), 171-189

Books (2)

Holm, J. and Patrick, PL., (2007). Comparative Creole Syntax: Parallel Outlines of 18 Creole Grammars. Battlebridge Publications

Patrick, PL., (1999). Urban Jamaican Creole. John Benjamins Publishing Company. 9781556194481

Book chapters (15)

Patrick, PL., (2016). The Impact of Sociolinguistics on Refugee Status Determination. In: Sociolinguistic Research: Application and Impact. Editors: Lawson, R., Sayers, D. and Rickford, JR., . Taylor & Francis. 9780415748506

(2014). Languages and Dialects in the U.S.. In: Languages and Dialects in the U.S.: Focus on Diversity and Linguistics. Routledge. 126- 136. 9781315851600

Patrick, PL., (2012). Language Analysis for Determination of Origin. In: The Oxford Handbook of Language and Law. Editors: Tiersma, P. and Solan, L., . Oxford University Press. 9780199572120

Patrick, PL., (2010). Language Variation and LADO (Language Analysis for Determination of Origin). In: Language and Origin. The Role of Language in European Asylum Procedures: A Linguistic and Legal Survey. Editors: Zwaan, K., Verrips, M. and Muysken, P., . Wolf Legal Publishers. 73- 87. 9789058505866

Patrick, PL., (2008). Pidgins, Creoles and linguistic variation. In: The Handbook of Pidgins and Creoles. Editors: Singler, JV. and Kouwenberg, S., . Wiley-Blackwell. 461- 487

Holm, J. and Patrick, PL., (2007). Jamaican Patwa (Creole English). In: Comparative Creole Syntax: Parallel Outlines of 18 Creole Grammars. Editors: Holm, J. and Patrick, PL., . Battlebridge Publications. 127- 152

Patrick, PL., (2006). African American Vernacular. In: Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd edition. Editors: Brown, K., . Elsevier. 159- 164. 978-0-08-044854-1

Patrick, PL., (2006). Jamaica: Language Situation. In: Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd edition. Editors: Brown, K., . Elsevier. 88- 90. 978-0-08-044854-1

Patrick, PL., (2004). British Creole: phonology. In: A Handbook of Varieties of English. Phonology. Editors: Kortmann, B. and Schneider, EW., . De Gruyter. 231- 243. 9783110197181

Patrick, PL., (2004). Jamaican Creole: morphology and syntax. In: A Handbook of Varieties of English. Morphology and Syntax. Editors: Kortmann, B. and Schneider, EW., . De Gruyter. 407- 438. 9783110197181

Patrick, PL., (2004). The Speech Community. In: The Handbook of Language Variation and Change. Blackwell. 573- 597. 9781405116923

Holm, J. and Patrick, PL., (2000). The creole verb: a comparative study of stativity and tense reference. In: Language Change and Language Contact in Pidgins and Creoles. Editors: McWhorter, J., . John Benjamins Publishing. 133- 161. 9789027252432

Holm, J. and Patrick, PL., (1999). Copula Patterns in Atlantic and non-Atlantic creoles. In: Creole Genesis, Discourse and Attitudes: Studies celebrating Charlene Sato. Editors: Rickford, JR. and Romaine, S., . John Benjamins Publishing. 97- 119. 9789027299499

Holm, J. and Patrick, PL., (1999). A comparison of serial verb constructions in Cape Verdean and other creoles. In: Lenguas Criollas de Base Lexical EspaZ ola y Portuguesa. Editors: Zimmermann, K., . Vervuert. 297- 319. 9788488906847

Patrick, PL. and McElhinny, B., (1993). Speakin' and Spokin' in Jamaica: Conflict and Consensus in Sociolinguistics. In: Proceedings of the Nineteenth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society February 12-15, 1993: General Session and Parasession on Semantic Typology and Semantic Universals. Berkeley Ling. Soc.. 280- 290

Reports and Papers (5)

Patrick, PL., (2007). Number Variation in Jamaican Patwa

Figueroa, E. and Patrick, PL., (2001). The meaning of kiss-teeth

Patrick, PL., (2001). The speech community

Patrick, PL. and Buell, S., (2000). Competing creole transcripts on trial

Grants and funding


Language Analysis of Asylum Applicants: Foundations, Guidelines and Best Practice

Economic & Social Research Council

+44 (0) 1206 872088


4.328, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours: