Dr Marina Terkourafi

Professor of Sociolinguistics, Leiden University
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Marina Terkourafi is a sociolinguist and pragmatician interested in the unspoken meanings people communicate through language and how they help shape our social world. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Illinois, she held post-doctoral positions at the University of Cambridge and at the British School at Athens in Greece and taught at the Universities of Athens and Cyprus. Her research has been funded by the NSF (National Science Foundation), ESF (European Science Foundation), and WUN (Worldwide Universities Network), as well as campus grants. She specializes in post-Gricean pragmatics, including experimental aspects, theories of im/politeness, construction grammar, and the history and use of language in Greece and Cyprus and welcomes applications by students interested in working in any of these areas.

Research Interests

  • Gricean pragmatics, theories of im/politeness, cognitive linguistics, history and use of language in Greece and Cyprus


  • PhD, University of Cambridge


External URLs

Selected Publications

Book Contributions

Toward a unified theory of politeness, impoliteness, and rudeness Impoliteness in language: studies on its interplay with power in theory and practice. LPSP 21 Toward a unified theory of politeness, impoliteness, and rudeness Berlin Mouton de Gruyter 2008, p. 45-74.
On de-limiting context Context and Constructions edited by Alexander Bergs, edited by Gabriele Diewald. On de-limiting context Edited by Alexander Bergs, Edited by Gabriele Diewald, Amsterdam John Benjamins 2009, p. 17-42.
Terkourafi, Marina What use is what is said? Utterance Interpretation and Cognitive Models. CRiSPI 20 edited by Philippe Brabanter, edited by Mikhail Kissine. What use is what is said? Edited by Philippe Brabanter, Edited by Mikhail Kissine, Amsterdam Emerald 2009, p. 27-58. Book URL.
Politeness and Pragmatics The Cambridge Handbook of Pragmatics edited by Kasia Jaszczolt, edited by Keith Allan. Politeness and Pragmatics Edited by Kasia Jaszczolt, Edited by Keith Allan, Cambridge Cambridge University Press 2012, p. 617-637.

Encyclopedia Entries

Terkourafi, Marina Conventionality The Pragmatics Encyclopedia Abingdon; New York Routledge 2010.

Journal Articles

Don’t go V-ing in Cypriot Greek: semantic, pragmatic and prosodic aspects of a prohibitive construction Constructions and Frames 2 2 2010, p. 208-241.
What is said from different points of view. Language and Linguistics Compass 4 8 2010, p. 705-718.
Thank you, Sorry, and Please in Cypriot Greek: What happens to politeness markers when they are borrowed across languages? Journal of Pragmatics 43 2011, p. 218-235. DOI.
The pragmatic variable: Toward a procedural interpretation Language in Society 40 4 2011, p. 343-372.
Terkourafi, Marina Re-­‐assessing the Speech Act Schema: Twenty-­‐first century reflections. International Review of Pragmatics 5 2 2013, p. 197-216.
Soltys, Jessica, Marina Terkourafi, and Napoleon Katsos Disentangling politeness theory and the strategic speaker approach Intercultural Pragmatics 11 1 2014, p. 31-56.
The importance of being indirect: A new nomenclature for indirect speech Belgian Journal of Linguistics 28 1 2014, p. 45–70.
Barros-Garcia, Maria Jesus, and Marina Terkourafi What, when and how? Spanish native and nonnative uses of politeness. Pragmática Sociocultural / Sociocultural Pragmatics 8 2 2014, p. 262–292.
Conventionalization: A new agenda for im/politeness research. Journal of Pragmatics 86 2015, p. 11-18.
Vergis, Nikos, and Marina Terkourafi The role of the speaker’s emotional state in im/politeness assessments. Journal of Language and Social Psychology 34 3 2015, p. 316–342.

Edited Books

Photo of publication
Terkourafi, Marina The Languages of Global Hip Hop London Continuum 2010. Book URL.
Terkourafi, Marina Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Im/politeness Amsterdam John Benjamins 2015.