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Professor Penelope Gardner-Chloros

MA (Oxon), MA (Birkbeck), PhD (Strasbourg), GDHA (Courtauld)
Admissions Tutor (MPhil/PhD Applied Linguistics)

Contact details

Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication
Birkbeck, University of London
26 Russell Square,

Research and Teaching

Research interests

  • Code-switching is considered by many to be the most common form of multilingual communication, and is of interest from the grammatical, sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic perspective. Research on CS is the subject of a large and growing literature. My interest in this subject goes back to 1981-88, when I carried out a study of code-switching between French and the Alsatian dialect (Language Selection and Switching in Strasbourg, OUP 1991). My 2009 book Code-switching (CUP) discusses CS from all these different perspectives; it shows how they are inter-related and argues that work in this field should be more inter-disciplinary.
  • I have a particular interest in methodological issues and in finding the right types of question to approach different problems. In respect of code-switching for example, I have questioned the appropriacy of some grammatical approaches (Gardner-Chloros and Edwards 2004). I have also argued that CS should be analysed in a comparative context (Gardner-Chloros 2007b), and should be seen in a wider context than the purely linguistic, as a more general semiotic device (Gardner-Chloros 2010b).
  • Another of my interests is in pronouns of address (tu/vous systems), also in a comparative framework, drawing for example on the historical development of address terms in England and France. I have argued that nowadays the choices involved are less a matter of externally imposed social rules than an expression of the speaker's own identity.
  • I have published papers on several aspects of bilingual communities, including indigenous and immigrant minorities (see book chapters, 2007a and 2007c), and have a long-standing interest in minority languages in Europe, notably Alsace. I have recently written an updated description of the linguistic situation in Strasbourg and the fate of the dialect (see the forthcoming IJSL paper on .Language in Strasbourg 30 years on.).
  • I am developing an interdisciplinary line of research on bilingualism, code-switching, hybridity and cultural change as applied to other areas such as literature and art. A paper entitled: 'On the Impact of Sociolinguistic Change in Literature: the last trilingual writers in Alsace' is forthcoming in the Modern Languages Review (Autumn 2013). A conference on 'Code-switching in Literature' was organised at Birkbeck in July 2013. I have also written on the notion of CS in material culture (see Art and Code-switching, in Sociolinguistic Studies, 2010b). A Special Issue of the International Journal of Bilingualism on Multilingualism and the Arts also discusses such themes (forthcoming, but already published online).

Areas of research supervision

  • Bilingualism; sociolinguistics; sociolinguistics of French and modern Greek; code-switching in language and in material culture; language contact; tu/vous terms of address; comparisons between linguistics and history of art.
  • If you are considering applying for MPhil/PhD research in any of these areas, you are advised to contact Professor Gardner-Chloros about your research plan before making an application.
  • PhD Supervision: Completed
  • - Dr. R. Sneddon: Language and Literacy in the Multilingual Family (2000)
  • - Dr. K. Fujimura-Wilson: A Sociolinguistic Study of Japanese Conversation; Analysis of three Conversational Features (2005)
  • - Dr. K. Finnis: Language Use and Socio-Pragmatic Meaning: Code-switching amongst British-born Greek-Cypriots in London (2009)
  • - Dr. M. Paraskeva: Code-switching among London Greek Cypriots: a Study of Question-Response Pairs (2012)
  • PhD Supervision: Current
  • - Heera Das: Language among Young Bengalis in London
  • - Dorota Gaskins: Bilingual Language Acquisition by a Polish-English Child
  • - Brian Ramadiro: Code-Switching in a South African rural school and community
  • - Priscilla Pereira: The use of code-switching among Luso-Americans in the Ironbound
  • - Virginia Grover: Code-Switching, Categorization and Identity in Gujarat . a Systemic Perspective

Teaching responsibilities

  • BA Linguistics and Languages/ BA Linguistics and Culture
  • - Language and Societry
  • - Language and Mind
  • - Language and Communication
  • - Introduction to Linguistics
  • - Introduction to Meaning
  • - Approaches to Language
  • - Multilingualism and Multiculturalism
  • BA French Studies
  • - Langue et communication
  • MA in Gender, Race and Culture
  • - Language and Gender
  • MA in European Cultures
  • - Linguistic Issues in Europe
  • MA in Applied Linguistics/Intercultural Communication for Business and Professions
  • - Sociolinguistics
  • - Bilingualism
  • - MA Research Seminars
  • - Research Methods in Applied Linguistics
  • - Introduction to Applied Linguistics
  • MA Social Sciences
  • - Masterclass on 'Analysing Language'

Inaugural Lecture

  • You can watch Professor Penelope Gardner-Chloros' inaugural lecture on Speaking in Stereo: New Research in Bilingualism here.

Tutorial and supervisory work

  • Supervision of BA Final Year Projects
  • Supervision of MA Dissertations
  • MA Research Seminars in Sociolinguistics and Bilingualism.

Current research projects

Multicultural London English and Multicultural Paris French

  • This sociolinguistic project results from an ESRC/ANR bilateral scheme and runs from 2010-2014. Professor Jenny Cheshire of QMUL is my co-investigator, Professor F.Gadet is the French partner, and Dr Maria Secova is the Research Assistant. Its purpose is to compare developments in contemporary London English with those occurring in Paris French. It pays particular attention to the influence on the main languages, English and French, of varieties spoken by major communities of immigrant origin, including Afro-Caribbeans in the UK and French Caribbeans and Maghrebans in France.
  • Data obtained in two previous ESRC funded projects in London are being used as a basis for a similar data-collecting exercise in Paris, having regard for the very different distribution of ethnic communities in the two cities. Recordings of speakers in Paris, in areas with a heavy concentration of migrant populations, have been collected, and are now being analysed. New linguistic features are being analysed at a variety of levels to determine their relationship with ethnic-derived varieties and with more traditional sites of linguistic change, such as non-standard - but widely diffused or .levelled. - varieties of English on the one hand, and .français populaire. on the other. These linguistic features are being correlated with a number of sociolinguistic variables including age, gender, ethnicity, network pattern and discourse type.
  • This analysis will enable a comparison of language change in the two settings. We will draw out more general conclusions about processes of language change in large metropolises, based on the contrasting factors pertaining in London and Paris. We will also pay particular attention to the educational and policy-related implications in each country. This project constitutes the first large-scale comparison of two significant Western European settings from a sociolinguistic perspective, and will contribute to our understanding not only of sociolinguistic processes of language change but also to social questions to do with migration, integration and their educational consequences.
  • The ESRC.s contribution to the British part of the project is £ 348,495.
  • See also the project web site at Multicultural London English / Multicultural Paris French



    • (1991) Language Selection and Switching in Strasbourg. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
    • (2009) Code-switching. Cambridge: CUP.

Edited Volumes

    • (1997) Vernacular Literacy: a Re-evaluation. Co-edited with A.Tabouret-Keller, R.B.Le Page, and G.Varro. Oxford: OUP.
    • (2000) Special Issue, International Journal of Bilingualism, 278 pp. The LIDES Coding Manual: a Document for Preparing and Analysing Language Interaction Data. Co-edited with Melissa Moyer and Mark Sebba.
    • (2010) Special Issue, Sociolinguistic Studies, Second strings & linguistic connections: bilingual and bilinguistic explorations, vol. 4/3, December.
    • (forthcoming, 2013) Special Issue, International Journal of Bilingualism, Multilingualism and the Arts. 1367006912458390, first published on September 12, 2012 as doi:10.1177/1367006912458390

Publications Since 2000 in Peer-Reviewed Journals

    • (2000) Parallel Patterns? A comparison of monolingual speech and bilingual codeswitching discourse (with R.Charles and J.Cheshire) Journal of Pragmatics. Special Issue on Code-switching, edited by Marlene Dolitsky, no. 32, 1305-1341.
    • (2000) The LIDES Coding Manual: a Document for Preparing and Analysing Language Interaction Data. Prepared jointly with the LIPPS Group (+11 contributors). Special issue, International Journal of Bilingualism, 278 pp.
    • (2000) The tortoise and the hare: distinguishing processes and end-products in language contact. Bilingualism, Language and Cognition. Vol.3 (2), 112-114.
    • (2004) When the blueprint is a red herring: assumptions behind grammatical approaches to code-switching (with M. Edwards). Transactions of the Philological Society. vol. 102, 1, 103-29. Reprinted in Li Wei (ed.) (2010) Bilingualism and Multilingualism. Abingdon, UK & New York: Routledge, vol.1, 130-150..
    • (2004) How code-switching mediates politeness: gender-related speech among London Greek-Cypriots (with K.Finnis). Estudios de Sociolinguistica, vol. 4 (2) .Language and Gender:an Interdisciplinary Perspective.. University of Vigo, Spain.. Eds: Acu.a-Ferreira, V. & Álvarez-Lógpez, S. University of Vigo, Spain, 505-533.
    • (2004) Le développement historique de T/V en français et en anglais: parallélisme et divergence. Franco-British Studies 33-34 (Autumn 2003-Spring 2004), Special Issue: Second Person Pronouns and Forms of Address in the Languages of Contemporary Europe, 90-99.
    • (2004) Language attitudes and use in a transplanted setting: Greek Cypriots in London (with L.MacEntee-Atalianis and K.Finnis). Journal of Multilingualism, 2,1, 52-80.
    • (2007) (with Malcolm Edwards) Compound verbs in Code-switching: Bilinguals Making Do? International Journal of Bilingualism, vol.11 no.1, 73-91.
    • (2007) (with Reeva Charles) Subiko Welcome (Welcome to Everyone): Hindi/English Code-Switching in the British-Asian Media. Birkbeck Studies in Applied Linguistics 2, 64-97.
    • (2010a) Introduction. P. Gardner-Chloros (ed.), Special Issue, Sociolinguistic Studies, vol. 4/3, December. Second strings & linguistic connections: bilingual and bilinguistic explorations, 505-508.
    • (2010b) Art and Code-switching. In P. Gardner-Chloros (ed.), Special Issue, Sociolinguistic Studies, vol. 4/3, December. Second strings & linguistic connections: bilingual and bilinguistic explorations, 635-664.
    • (2011) Multicultural London English (MLE) / Multicultural Paris French (MPF): Research report. CAHIERS AFLS, Volume 17(1), ISSN 1756-4476.
    • (Published online 2012 and in press) Bilinguality and bimodality: code-switching in artists. letters. In P.Gardner-Chloros (ed.), Special Issue, International Journal of Bilingualism, Multilingualism and the Arts. 1367006912458390, first published on September 12, 2012 as doi:10.1177/1367006912458390
    • (2013) Code-switching and Pausing: An Interdisciplinary Study (with L.McEntee-Atalianis and M.Paraskeva). Journal of Multilingualism, Vol.10, 1, 1-26. Code-switching and pausing: an interdisciplinary study.
    • (in press) Language in Alsace, 30 Years On. International Journal of the Sociology of Language. Single Issue, Autumn 2013.
    • (in press) On the Impact of Sociolinguistic Change in Literature: the last trilingual writers in Alsace. Modern Languages Review, Autumn Issue.

Book Chapters since 2000

    • (2001) Code-switching and Language Shift. In Sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic perspectives on maintenance, shift and loss of minority languages. Eds: Ammerlaan, T., Hulsen, M. Strating, H. and Yagmur, K.Munster, New York, Munich, Berlin: Waxmann, pp.127-139.
    • (2003) Code-switching. International Encylopedia of Linguistics, Ed. W.J.Frawley, 2nd Edition, vol.1, Oxford: OUP, 331-33.
    • (2004) Ellinokipri sto Londino. Mia embiriki meleti gia ti glossiki chrisi, tis glossikes stasis kai tin taftotita (Greek Cypriots in London. An empirical study of language use, language attittudes and identity). In R.Tsokalidou and M.Paparousi (eds.), Themata taftotitas stin elliniki diaspora: glossa kai logotechnia (Issues of identity in the Greek Diaspora: Language and Literature). Athens: Metaixmio, 69-93. (with K.Finnis and L.MacEntee-Atalianis).
    • (2007a) European Immigrant Languages in the British Isles. In Language in the British Isles, fully revised second edition, ed. D.Britain. Cambridge: CUP, 325-340.
    • (2007b) (with Mark Sebba and Melissa Moyer) The LIDES Corpus. In Models and Methods in the Handling of Unconventional Digital Corpora. Vol. 1:Synchronic Corpora; vol.2: Diachronic Corpora. J.C.Beal, K.P.Corrigan and H.Moisl (eds.). Palgrave, 91-121.
    • (2007c) Multilingualism of Autochtonous Minorities. In Handbook of Applied Linguistics, Vol. 5: Multilingualism and Multilingual Communication. Eds. P.Auer and Li Wei. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 469-493.
    • (2007d) Tu/vous choices: an .Act of Identity.? In The French Language and Questions of Identity. Eds. M. Jones and W.Ayres-Bennett. Legenda, 106-116.
    • (2008) Bilingual Data: Criteria for its Classification. In The Blackwell Guide to Research Methods in Bilingualism. Eds. Li Wei and M. Moyer. Oxford: Blackwell, 53-73.
    • (2009) Sociolinguistic Factors in Code-switching. In The Handbook of Code-switching, eds. B.E.Bullock and A.J.Toribio. Cambridge: CUP, 97-114.
    • (2010) Contact and Code-switching. In R.Hickey (ed.) The Handbook of Language Contact. Malden, MA & Oxford: Blackwell Riley, 188-208.
    • (2011) Mullticultural London English/Multicultural Paris French. In (Eds) Maurice Fraser and Philippe Lane, Franco-British Academic Partnerships - Mullticultural London English/Multicultural Paris French. In (Eds) Maurice Fraser and Philippe Lane, Franco-British Academic Partnerships - The next chapter. Liverpool University Press (with J. Cheshire and F. Gadet).
    • (in press, publication October 2013) Language Diversity and Contact. Chapter in Li Wei (ed.) Introduction to Applied Linguistics (Wiley-Blackwell).