Dr Jonathan Kasstan

Dr Jonathan Kasstan

I was appointed as Lecturer in French and Linguistics at the University of Westminster in January 2019. Before arriving at Westminster, I lectured at Queen Mary University of London (2015-2018), predominantly in quantitative and qualitative sociolinguistics and research methods. From 2014-2015, I held two posts simultaneously: I was Associate Lecturer in the Department of French at the University of Kent, where I taught introductory linguistic theory and sociolinguistics, and I also held the post of Maître de langue in the Département du monde anglophone at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3, where I taught courses in applied phonology and linguistic variation. I hold an MPhil in Linguistics from Cambridge University and a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Kent.

My research interests broadly fall within quantitative and qualitative sociolinguistics, with a particular focus on language variation and change in lesser-studied varieties. I also conduct research on heritage languages. 

I am involved in a number of ongoing research projects in sociolinguistics:

  • Universals of Grammatical Change in Language Obsolescence (funded previously by the Leverhulme Trust)
  • Linguistics in MFL Project (funded by the AHRC Open World Research Initiative - Language Acts and World Making, led by Prof. Michelle Sheehan, Newcastle University)
  • Swiss Islands in North America (led by Prof. Anita Auer, Université de Lausanne)

Recent research activities


  • Maintenance in shift: On nasalisation in transitional Francoprovençal and Occitan areas. Société de Linguistique de Paris (SLP) (avec Michela Russo, 12 juin 2021).
  • Contact in the past: How contact has shaped language in society. Philological Society (avec Tamsin Blaxter, Victoria Beatrix & Robin Meyer, 7 mai 2021). [télécharger].
  • Do endangered-language speakers have styles? University of Banger (3 mai 2021).


  • Meyerhoff, Miriam, Abtahian Ravindranath, Maya, Gafter, Roey J., Horesh, Uri, Kasstan, Jonathan, Keegan, Peter and Jeanette King. (in press). Styles, standards, and meaning: Issues in the globalisation of sociolinguistics’, Language Ecology.
  • Kasstan, Jonathan. (in press). Modeling stylistic variation in threatened and under-documented languages. Language Ecology.
  • Kasstan, Jonathan & Itxaso Rodríguez-Ordóñez. (in press). New speakers of heritage languages. In: Alexandra D’Arcy, Paul Kerswill & Yoshiyuki Ashahi (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Variationist Socioliguistics. London: Routledge.
  • Abtahian Ravindranath, Maya & Jonathan Kasstan. (2020). Language contact and sociolinguistic variation. In: Raymond Hickey (ed.), The Handbook of Language Contact. 2nd Ed. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 221-239.
  • Amos, J., Kasstan, J. R. and W. Johnson 2020. ‘Reconsidering the variable context: A phonological argument for (t) and (d) deletion’, English Today, 36(3): 6-13
  • Kasstan, J. R. 2019. Emergent sociolinguistic variation in severe language endangerment. Language in Society 48(5): pp. 685-720.


  • Rinzin, Wangchuk. 2019. A Sociolinguistic Analysis of Dzongkha: Variation in Final Nasals and Rhotics. PhD Dissertation, University of Essex.
  • Booth, Andrew. 2019. Manx English: A Phonological investigation into levelling and diffusion from across the water. PhD Dissertation. University of Westminster.


  • Homelands
  • English Language and Linguistics

In brief

Research areas

Sociolinguistics, Language variation and change, Language contact, Language endangerment and Phonetics and phonology

Supervision interests

Sociolinguistics, Sociophonetics, Language variation and change, Language contact, Language endangerment, Language policy and planning and Language documentation and description
Early Career Fellowship

Leverhulme Trust