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Dr Napoleon Katsos

Semantics and pragmatics; language acquisition; language processing; language disorders; bilingualism
Dr Napoleon Katsos

Reader in Experimental Pragmatics,

Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, University of Cambridge


Mercator Professorial Fellow, XPRag.DE,

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft


Semantics and pragmatics

Multilingualism and neuro-diversity

Language acquisition

Language processing


Office Phone: (+44) (0)1223 767396

Departments and Institutes

Theoretical and Applied Linguistics:

Research Interests

I am interested in how psychological research can inform theoretical linguistic inquiry and vice versa. My particular focus is in the area of semantics and pragmatics, and in language learning by monolingual and bilingual children as well as children with Specific Language Impairment and/or Autistic Disorders.


  • Cognitive development
  • Language impairment
  • Multilingualism
  • Language acquisition
  • Cognition
  • Language testing and assessment
  • English
  • Bilingualism
  • Metaphor and figurative language
  • Greek
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Pragmatics
  • First language acquisition
  • Second language acquisition
  • Autism
  • Semantics

Key Publications

Please visit my personal website for a full and up to date list of publications. The following publications are indicative of the research interests and the research methods we use in our group:

Cummins, C. & Katsos, N. (2019). Oxford Handbook of Experimental Semantics and Pragmatics, (eds) Oxford University Press

Howard, K., Katsos, N., & Gibson, J. (2019). The School Experiences of Bilingual Children on the Autism Spectrum: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Research in Developmental Disabilities. 87, 9-20

Olguin, A., Cekic, M., Bekinschtein, T.A., Katsos, N., & Bozic, M. (2019). Bilingualism and language similarity modify the neural mechanisms of selective attention. Scientific Reports. 9(1): article number 8204

Lorge, I., & Katsos, N. (2018). Listener-adapted speech: Bilinguals adapt in a more sensitive way. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism. DOI: 10.1075/lab.16054.lor

Antoniou, K., & Katsos, N. (2017). The effect of childhood multilingualism and bilectalism on implicature understanding. Applied Psycholinguistics, 38 (4): 787-833

Katsos, N., Cummins, C., Ezeizabarrena, M., Gavarró, A., Kraljević, J. K., et al. (2016). Cross-linguistic patterns in the acquisition of quantifiers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113(33): 9244–9249

Antoniou, K., Grohmann, K., Kambanaros, M., & Katsos, N. (2016). The effect of childhood bilectalism and multilingualism on executive control. Cognition, 149: 18-30

Reetzke, R, Zou, X., Sheng, L., & Katsos, N. (2015). Communicative development in bilingually exposed Chinese children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, 58(3):813-25

Soltys, J., Terkourafi, M. & Katsos, N. (2014). Disentangling Politeness Theory and the Strategic Speaker approach: Theoretical considerations and empirical predictions. Intercultural Pragmatics, 11(1): 31 – 56

Andrés Roqueta, C., Adrian, J.E., Clemente, R.A., & Katsos, N. (2013). Which are the best predictors of theory of mind delay in children with specific language impairment? International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders. 48(6):726-37

Breheny, R. E. T., Ferguson, H. J., & Katsos, N. (2013). Taking the epistemic step: Toward a model of on-line access to conversational implicatures.  Cognition. 126(3), 423-440.

Katsos, N., Andrés Roqueta, C., Estevan, R. A. C., & Cummins, C. (2011). Are children with Specific Language Impairment Competent with the Pragmatics and Logic of Quantification? Cognition, 119: 43-57.

Katsos, N. & Bishop, D. V. M. (2011) Pragmatic Tolerance: Implications for the Acquisition of Informativeness and Implicature. Cognition, 20: 67-81.

Cummins, C., & Katsos, N. (2010). Comparative and Superlative Quantifiers: Pragmatic Effects of Comparison Type. Journal of Semantics, 27: 271-305

Davies, C., & Katsos, N. (2010). Over-informative Children: Production/Comprehension Asymmetry or Tolerance to Pragmatic Violations? Lingua, 120/8: 1956-1972