Department of Linguistics University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Header Navigation

Dr Marina Terkourafi

Professor of Linguistics
Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
European Union Center

User Photo
CV: Download my C.V.


  • 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.


  • PhD, University of Cambridge


Books Edited

  • Terkourafi, Marina. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Im/politeness. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2015.
  • Terkourafi, Marina. The Languages of Global Hip Hop. London: Continuum, 2010.

Journal Articles

  • "Conventionalization: A new agenda for im/politeness research.." Journal of Pragmatics 86 (2015): 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): 316–342.
  • Soltys, Jessica, Marina Terkourafi, and Napoleon Katsos. "Disentangling politeness theory and the strategic speaker approach." Intercultural Pragmatics 11.1 (2014): 31-56.
  • "The importance of being indirect: A new nomenclature for indirect speech." Belgian Journal of Linguistics 28.1 (2014): 45–70.
  • Barros-Garcia, Maria J., and Marina Terkourafi. "What, when and how? Spanish native and nonnative uses of politeness.." Pragmática Sociocultural / Sociocultural Pragmatics 8.2 (2014): 262–292.
  • Terkourafi, Marina. "Re-­‐assessing the Speech Act Schema: Twenty-­‐first century reflections.." International Review of Pragmatics 5.2 (2013): 197-216.
  • "Thank you, Sorry, and Please in Cypriot Greek: What happens to politeness markers when they are borrowed across languages?." Journal of Pragmatics 43 (2011): 218-235.
  • "The pragmatic variable: Toward a procedural interpretation." Language in Society 40.4 (2011): 343-372.
  • "Don’t go V-ing in Cypriot Greek: semantic, pragmatic and prosodic aspects of a prohibitive construction." Constructions and Frames 2.2 (2010): 208-241.
  • "What is said from different points of view.." Language and Linguistics Compass 4.8 (2010): 705-718.

Book Contributions

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

Encyclopedia Entries

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