Dr Petros Karatsareas

Dr Petros Karatsareas

I am Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and Course Leader of the English Language and Linguistics MA and the English Language and Literature MA. I hold a Ptychion (equivalent to BA Hons) in Greek Philology from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (2006), an M.Phil. in Linguistics from the University of Cambridge (2007), and a Ph.D. in Linguistics also from the University of Cambridge (2011).

I am Co-Convenor of the Special Interest Group on Multilingualism within the British Association for Applied Linguistics, Co-Director of the London branch of the Bilingualism Matters network, Co-Director of the Cyprus Centre at Westminster, and Trustee of the National Resource Centre for Supplementary Education.

I specialise in the sociolinguistics of multilingualism. I explore language practices and language ideologies in contexts of migration and transnational mobility with a focus on the UK and primarily London. I am especially interested in ideologies around, and attitudes towards, non-standardised varieties or otherwise minoritised and hierarchised linguistic resources and repertoires. I am also interested in community language education in diasporic settings and the role different educational initiatives play in shaping language practices and ideologies. To this date, I have pursued these avenues of research through ethnographically-oriented investigations of different groups of speakers of Greek in London, primarily speakers originating in Cyprus and Greece who migrated to the UK at different times in recent history.

In the past, I specialised in the study of contact-induced language change. In my Ph.D. dissertation, I looked at diachronic change in the morphosyntax of the Modern Greek dialects of inner Asia Minor (Cappadocian, Pontic, Pharasiot, Silliot). I carried out extensive research on the diachronic development of gender agreement; the restructuring and simplification of noun inflection; the morphological realisation of direct objects; the cyclical development of the adpositional system; and, the synchronic status of determiner spreading in the language. 

My research has received the financial support of the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust through a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (2013), a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award (2017), and a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grant (2017). I have also been awarded flexible funding from the ‘Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community’ AHRC-funded OWRI programme.

In 2008, I won the R. H. Robins Prize of the Philological Society for the best submission to the Transactions of the Philological Society by a graduate student in the UK.

I have published findings of my research in leading journals including the International Journal of the Sociology of Language, the International Journal of Bilingualism, the Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural DevelopmentLanguages, Society & PolicyDiachronicaLanguage Sciences, the Journal of Greek Linguistics, the Journal of Historical Linguistics and STUF – Language Typology and Universals as well as in edited volumes published by John BenjaminsBrill and Multilingual Matters. I have forthcoming articles to appear in the International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism and Cahiers du Centre d’ Études Chypriotes; chapters in edited volumes to be published by Cambridge University Press, Routledge and UCL Press; a special issue on community language education in the UK in the International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism co-edited with Katie Harrison; and, a monograph on Greek complementary schools in the UK co-authored with Alexandra Georgiou, which will be published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Public engagement

I am actively involved in a range of initiatives raising awareness about the value and importance of multilingualism for multilingual individuals, diasporic communities and society as a whole. In 2018, I was awarded a small grant with Athena Mandis (QMUL) to organise a tour of Greek Cypriot London as part of the AHRC/British Academy-funded Being Human festival. The tour traced the contribution of the Greek Cypriot diaspora to London’s multiculturalism following the route of the 29 bus, a path that is emblematic of the diaspora’s historic northward expansion. In 2019, Dr Anna Charalambidou (Middlesex University) and I launched the Grenglish Projecta public engagement initiative that brought together members of the UK’s Greek Cypriot diaspora in a crowdsourcing effort to collect linguistic material that reflects the community’s linguistic history.

  • English Language and Linguistics
  • Homelands

In brief

Research areas

Sociolinguistics, Multilingualism, Bilingualism, Community Languages, Heritage Languages, Diasporas, London, Cyprus and Cypriot Greek

Supervision interests

Multilingualism, Language contact, Historical linguistics, Language variation and change, Sociolinguistics, Heritage linguistics and Greek linguistics