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. In particular, I am interested in the interesting phonological commonalities among the languages of north-western Europe, such as preaspiration, ‘pitch accent’ systems, sonorant pre-occlusions etc. Read more about this project here.
At Edinburgh, I am affiliated to the Phonetics and Phonology, Language Variation and Change, and English Language research groups. I am also an affiliate of the Angus McIntosh Centre for Historical Linguistics.
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 (a book based on parts of the thesis will soon 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.
Will Lamb presented the results of our joint work on quantitative approaches to dialect variation in Scottish Gaelic morphology at Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig 2016 at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. Get the slides and handout here
We will present our joint work with Máire Ní Chiosáin on vowel backness and consonant palatalization in Irish at two further conferences: the 9th Celtic Linguistics Conference in Cardiff and Language Documentation and Linguistic Theory 5 in London.
I presented, with Remco Knooihuizen, Vowel length in Shetland Norn: Contact, change, and competing systems, at the First AMC Symposium at the University of Edinburgh
In the autumn semester of 2016⁄2017, I will be on research leave and will not be teaching any courses. See the teaching page for the spring semester plans.