Dr Teresa Poeta

Senior Research Officer
Department of Language and Linguistics
Dr Teresa Poeta



Teresa is a Postdoctoral Researcher working on the Leverhulme Trust funded project ‘Grammatical variation in Swahili: contact, change and identity’ - a collaboration between University of Essex, Kenyatta University, SOAS and the University of Dar es Salaam. Teresa’s research focuses on Bantu languages with a special interest in Swahili and more generally on issues of language diversity and multilingualism. Before joining the University of Essex, Teresa taught Swahili undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the University of Edinburgh and curated an Africa book collection for the Fondazione Basso library in Rome. For her PhD Teresa worked on the morphosyntax-discourse interface of Swahili and Makhuwa examining the way speakers refer to participants in different types of narratives. Teresa has been studying, researching and working with the Swahili language throughout her academic path focusing on topics such as Swahili proverbs and idioms or the use of applicatives in spoken and written Swahili. During her time at SOAS Teresa co-founded and acted as Outreach Programme Coordinator (until 2017) of; a project that aims at raising awareness of language diversity and promoting the value of multilingualism.


  • PhD Linguistics School of Oriental and African Studies,

  • MA Linguistics School of Oriental and African Studies,

  • BA African Language and Culture School of Oriental and African Studies,


Other academic

  • Teaching Fellow in Swahili, University of Edinburgh (4/9/2017 - 27/8/2021)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Bantu Languages

Key words: Bantu Languages


Key words: morphosyntax


Key words: Swahili


Language Variation

Key words: Language Variation


Key words: dialectology


Key words: sociolinguistics

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Syntax: The Structure of Sentences (LG212)

  • Linguistics in Action (LG119)


Conferences (1)

Poeta, T., (2014). The discourse function of object marking in Swahili and Makhuwa narratives



Colchester Campus