About me

I am a Lecturer in Theoretical Phonology in the department of Linguistics and English Language, School of Philosophy, Psychology, and Language Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. I received my PhD from the University of Tromsø, following a specialist degree at the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, Moscow State University. Previously I was Lecturer in Language and Linguistics at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland.

I specialize in theoretical phonology. My main areas of interest concern the nature of phonological features and the division of labour in phonological theory. Recently I have also been working on the interaction between segmental and suprasegmental phonology, particularly on the proper analysis of so-called ‘pitch accent’ systems. My other interests are morphology-phonology interaction (in particular stratal/cyclic models), historical phonology, and historical language contact.

Most of my work is on Celtic languages — particularly Welsh and Irish, and more recently also Scottish Gaelic (chan eil ach beagan Gàidhlig agam an-dràsta). My PhD thesis provides a comparison of selected aspects of the phonology of two Brythonic Celtic varieties (I am currently working on a book manuscript based on parts of the thesis, to appear in the series Edinburgh Studies in Theoretical Linguistics). My other particular interest is in Germanic — particularly North Germanic — languages. I have also worked on Slavic and Romance varieties.


Latest blog posts

There is a very interesting article now up on Slugger O’Toole, based around an interview with Dr Diarmuid Johnson: Do urban Gaeltachts produce a compromised Irish?. Go read it now — it’s well written and very well informed, especially if you compare it to the general level of debate around in the Irish language in Northern Ireland (as some — though by no means all — comments demonstrate). Full disclosure — I’m an admirer of Diarmuid Johnson, and I owe him a debt of gratitude for the kind assistance I received from him in the course of my own research in West Wales. Read more →

As a user of LaTeX, R and Emacs, I naturally write up my research in .Rnw files, using knitr to produce .tex sources. With Emacs, this means I have access to both the awesome AUCTeX for writing LaTeX and the excellent ESS environment for the statistics at the same time. However, being the absent-minded academic that I am, I sometimes end up opening the woven .tex file instead of the .Rnw and make edits to that, which means it gets overwritten and lost the next time I run knitr. This is suboptimal, but of course Emacs allows us to fix it.

Read more →
This question, asked by the STV journalist Stephen Daisley, caused a bit of a stooshie on Twitter a couple of days back: Is there a strong, non-heritage case for spending taxpayers' money promoting Gaelic instead of thriving, globally-spoken languages? — Stephen Daisley (@JournoStephen) March 24, 2015 This is an important debate, and no points for guessing where I stand on this. I’m not going to rehearse why I think minority languages are important – check some of the replies for good ideas. Read more →

Curriculum vitae




Latest & upcoming presentations


Latest papers

  • Iosad, Pavel. 2015. Prosodic structure and suprasegmental features: Short-vowel stød in Danish. MS., The University of Edinburgh. (Under review.) Abstract  pdf
  • Iosad, Pavel. 2015. Welsh svarabhakti as stem allomorphy. MS., The University of Edinburgh. (Under review.) Abstract  pdf
  • Iosad, Pavel. 2015. ‘Pitch accent’ and prosodic structure in Scottish Gaelic: Reassessing the role of contact. In Martin Hilpert, Jan-Ola Östman, Christine Mertzlufft, Michael Rießler, and Janet Duke (ed.), New trends in Nordic and general linguistics, 28–54. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter. Abstract  pdf

Before you ask, anghyflawn is Welsh for ‘incomplete’. I also get asked about my name a lot, so here is a brief explanation.

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About me

I’m Pavel Iosad, and I'm a Lecturer in Theoretical Phonology in the department of Linguistics and English Language at the University of Edinburgh. ¶ You can always go to the start page to learn more.


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