Hello. I work in the department of Linguistics and English Language at the University of Edinburgh. I teach and research a number of things, but they mainly group around these three areas:
- historical phonology
- phonological theory
- phonological variation and dialectology
- dialects of English from the North of England
- English (and Scots) more generally, in all its/their glory
- other West Germanic languages
- South Slavic languages
I've worked on topics like these: obstruent lenition, laryngeal specifications, debuccalisation, the causes of phonological change, contraints on change, Liverpool English, the phonological interpretation of dialect literature, representational phonological theory, the history of phonology, the interpretation of frequency effects in phonological change, the philosophy of historical linguistics, the interpretation of phonological variation, privativity in phonological theory, positional effects in phonology. I admit that the connection between all of these may not be immediately obvious, but I'm also not sure that I can understand any of them without understanding them all (and I think they're all interesting, anyway...). You can click here to see a list of my publications and presentations, many of which are downloadable.
There's a one-minute video about some of the things that interest me in historical phonology here, from the university's one-minute-research-videos site. And I pop up here, talking about accents from the North-West of England on the BBC.
I am always happy to supervise postgraduate research on issues like these, or on any topic which touches on theoretical and/or historical phonology and/or on the linguistics of varieties of Northern English. If you're thinking of doing a PhD or Masters in any of these areas, feel free to email me to discuss possible supervision, projects or funding.
In addition to all this, I'm the main organiser of the UK's annual phonology conference, the Manchester Phonology Meeting (everyone should go the the mfm), and I'm the instigator of the biennial Edinburgh Symposium on Historical Phonology. In fact, I've organised quite a few conferences. Meeting to discuss ideas is crucial, so I think organising conferences with the right atmosphere is quite important. In the past, I was the Meetings Secretary of the Linguistics Association of Great Britain (from 2003 to 2009), and I was also a Member of Council of the Philological Society (from 2007 to 2013). Here at Edinburgh, I convene the Historical Phonology Reading Group, and I co-convene our P-Workshop.
With Joe Salmons, I edited the Handbook
of Historical Phonology for Oxford University Press, and, with Bernd Kortmann and Laurel Brinton, I edit the journal English Language and Linguistics. With Joan Beal
and April McMahon, I was one of the editors of the 'Dialects of English'
from 2003-2010 (recordings of varieties of English are available
on the series' website). I am now leading the project to establish a new publication: Papers in Historical Phonology.
Before coming to Edinburgh, I taught at what is now Edge Hill University, and before that I was at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, where I received a BA, MA and PhD. I have also taught courses on phonology and historical linguistics at linguistics summer schools such as the New York-St Petersburg Institute, the Nordic Language Variation Network PhD Seminar and the Eastern European Generative Grammar School. I'd advise everyone to go to things like this - they're fun. The picture of me above was taken at the 'Lost in Linguistics' PhD seminar at the University of Oslo, and the one below was taken at the Third North West Centre for Linguistics Research Training Workshop, which I co-organised at Edge Hill (I'm presenting the prize for the best poster from a participant at the workshop).
I didn't always have a beard
I teach on the following courses at Edinburgh, although not all of them run every year:
I am also the International
Co-ordinator for the department,
and I am the representative for Edinburgh and for Linguistics on the
Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities doctoral funding panel.
|phone: +44 (0)131 651 1838|
fax: +44 (0)131 650 6883 (please mark for my attention)
|room: 3.06 (3rd floor of Dugald Stewart Building)|