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 written about 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.
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 convenor and main organiser of the UK's annual phonology conference, the Manchester Phonology Meeting (everyone should go the the mfm), and I convene the Historical Phonology Reading Group here at Edinburgh. I'm a Member of Council of the Philological Society and I was the Meetings Secretary of the Linguistics Association of Great Britain for six years, up until 2009. I've organised quite a few conferences. Meeting to discuss ideas is crucial, so I think organising conferences is quite important. Also, with Joan Beal and April McMahon, I was one of the editors of the 'Dialects of English' book series from 2003-2010 (recordings of varieties of English are available on the series' website). And also, with Joe Salmons, I'm editing a Handbook of Historical Phonology for Oxford University Press.
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 convene the second-year course LEL2D: Cross-linguistic Variation: Limits and Theories.
|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)|