Prof. Peter L. Patrick
Language & Linguistics
University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park
Essex, UK
+44 (0) 1206 872088

Prof. Monika Schmid Language & Linguistics University of Essex & University of Groningen
+44 (0) 1206 872089  

Dr. Karin Zwaan
Centre for Migration Law Radboud University Nijmegen P.O. Box 9049
6500KK Nijmegen
the Netherlands
+31 24 361.2934


Peter L. Patrick

Peter L. Patrick photoExpertise

  • Sociolinguistics - Creolistics - Forensic Linguistics - LADO practitioner


  • BA m.c.l. History (Georgia)

  • PhD Linguistics (Pennsylvania)

Peter L. Patrick is Professor of Sociolinguistics in the University of Essex's Dept. of Language and Linguistics. He is a Member of the Essex Human Rights Centre, and belongs to the Research Network of L’Observatoire international des droits linguistiques.

Peter Patrick is a sociolinguist and creolist with expertise in Caribbean English Creoles, as well as a forensic linguist who has given expert testimony to UK and US criminal courts, employment tribunals, and asylum tribunals. Since 2003 he has been investigating and contributing to best-practice in LADO.

He was a founding member of the Language & National Origin Group who developed the Guidelines for the Use of Language Analysis in Relation to Questions of National Origin in Refugee Cases (2004). He has participated in or convened a dozen colloquia on LADO in 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 mid-2008 to mid-2011 he has submitted expert linguistic reports to the UK immigration and asylum tribunals in about 50 appeals cases.

In efforts to improve standards of linguistic data collection, analysis and interpretation, and to monitor the role of linguistic expertise in LADO, he has met with LADO agencies and asylum bureaux from a dozen European countries and invited them to share their practices and concerns. He has been instrumental in moving the endorsement of the 2004 Guidelines by linguistic associations, including the LSA, LAGB, BAAL and SPCL. Recently he co-convened LARG with Diana Eades, and secured a UK Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) Research Seminars grant to establish the ESRC LADO Network and fund a series of 4 workshops in 2011-12 (more info at Conferences).

Prof. Patrick's other research has focused on language variation and change, comparative grammar of Creole languages, the sociolinguistics of the Caribbean, and the nature of the speech community. He has published research on Jamaican Creole phonology, morphology, syntax, lexicon, pragmatics and narrative.

Peter L. Patrick's webpage


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Related Publications

2010. Language variation and LADO (Language Analysis for Determination of Origin). In P Muysken, M Verrips & K Zwaan, eds., Language and Origin. The role of language in European asylum procedures: A linguistic and legal survey, pp73-879. Nijmegen: Wolf Legal Publishers.

2007. Comparative Creole Syntax: Parallel Outlines of 18 Creole Grammars. Ed. with John A. Holm. London: Battlebridge Press.

2004. (coauthor) Guidelines for the use of language analysis in relation to questions of national origin in refugee cases. The International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law: Forensic Linguistics, 11(2): 261-266. Available at 

2003. Reconsidering the role of SLA in pidginization and creolization. Ed. with Silvia Kouwenberg. Thematic issue of Studies in Second Language Acquisition, vol 25, no. 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2002. The speech community. In JK Chambers, Peter Trudgill & Natalie Schilling-Estes, eds. The Handbook of Language Variation & Change. 573-597. Oxford: Blackwell. 

1999. Urban Jamaican Creole: Variation in the Mesolect. (Varieties of English Around the World, No. G17.) Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.