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. 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, and a book based on parts of it has just appeared with Edinburgh University Press (read more here). My other particular interest is in Germanic — particularly North Germanic — languages. I have also worked on Slavic and Romance varieties.

News

  • My paper Welsh svarabhakti as stem allomorphy has appeared in Transactions of the Philological Society. Download the draft version here or the official version here.

  • I will present some fledgling work on the history of the tense/lax distinction and quality in Brythonic vowels at the New Approaches to Brittonic Historical Linguistics symposium at the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies. Read more here.

  • I presented Microvariation in laryngeal realism: Preaspiration in North Germanic at the 25th Manchester Phonology Meeting. Get the slides and handout here.

  • My paper The phonologization of redundancy: Length and quality in Welsh vowels has appeared in the latest issue of Phonology. See the published version here or the author manuscript here.

  • My book A substance-free framework for phonology: An analysis of the Breton dialect of Bothoa is now out with Edinburgh University Press. Read more here.

  • My annotated bibliography of works related to Celtic initial consonant mutations has appeared in Oxford Bibliographies Online here. The table of contents is available here

Latest blog posts

An important dimension that’s often missing from the debates about whether it’s worthwhile to support Gaelic or promote Scots in Scotland is why one would do such a thing in the first place. In today’s feverish political environment these things slide all too often into outright constitutional mudslinging or at least a debate that foregrounds the essential Scottishness of the country’s languages, either as a good thing or a bad thing. Read more →
Another day, another stooshie on Scottish Twitter. This time it’s Paul Kavanagh sharing some really lovely maps of Lowland areas with Gaelic placenames that he’s made. I'm drawing Gaelic maps cos Scotland has 2 national languages of its own, yet all our maps are in English. pic.twitter.com/uBN0hXsD9U — Paul Kavanagh (@weegingerdug) September 26, 2016 Cue some really rather unenlightened comments with all the usual accusations and allegations (‘never spoken here’, ‘pushing it down our throats’, ‘dead language’, ‘spend it on hospitals instead’), and equally noisy pushback. Read more →
It seems that the Twitter mocking of the weekly Scots column in The National has assumed the quality of a ritual. There is a lot to be said about this (I said a bit when the whole thing just launched). Today’s post is on a fairly narrow topic: how the debate about whether Scots ‘is a language’ has a nice parallel in the history of the East Slavic languages Ukrainian and Belarusian. Read more →

Curriculum vitae

 

Contact

 

Latest & upcoming presentations

Courses

Latest papers

  • Iosad, Pavel. 2017. Welsh svarabhakti as stem allomorphy. Transactions of the Philological Society 115(2), 141–175. Abstract  pdf
  • Iosad, Pavel. 2017. The phonologization of redundancy: Length and quality in Welsh vowels. Phonology 34(1), 121–162. Abstract  pdf
  • Iosad, Pavel. 2017. Celtic mutations. In Mark Aronoff (ed.), Oxford Bibliographies: Linguistics. New York: Oxford University Press Abstract

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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