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 is forthcoming 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.


Latest blog posts

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 →

Book review: Pam na fu Cymru

What follows is a short(ish) review of an excellently provocative new(ish) book by Simon Brooks, Pam na fu Cymru: Methiant cenedlaetholdeb Cymraeg (‘Why Wales wasn’t: The failure of Welsh nationalism’).1 It is, as the author notes, the second part of what may be deemed a trilogy, following from the no less interesting collection Pa beth yr aethoch chi allan i’w achub? (‘What did you go out to save?’), which also posed some rather less comfortable questions for the Welsh language (re)vitalization movement. Read more →
An excellent piece by Dani Garavelli in Scotland on Sunday on the state of modern foreign languages in Scottish schools includes a familiar litany of failings: a relatively early end of compulsory language study, staffing issues, teaching methods, differences between schools with more opportunities for pupils from more privileged backgrounds, and so on, and on, and on. One of the points strikes a bit closer to home for me: One [factor] is that our children are taught very little English grammar. Read more →

Curriculum vitae




Latest & upcoming presentations


Latest papers

  • Iosad, Pavel. To appear. Tonal stability and tonogenesis in North Germanic. In Laura Chapot, Chris Cooijmans, Ryan Foster, Ian Giles, and Barbara Tesio (eds.), What happens next? British perspectives on the past, present and future of the Nordic region. London: Norvik Press Abstract
  • Iosad, Pavel. 2016. Prosodic structure and suprasegmental features: Short-vowel stød in Danish. Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics 19(3), 221--268 Abstract  pdf
  • Iosad, Pavel. Forthcoming. Welsh svarabhakti as stem allomorphy. To appear in Transactions of the Philological Society 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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