School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences Linguistics and English Language



Cognitive Ageing Journal Club

The Cognitive Ageing Journal Club meets weekly during term time to discuss recent findings within the fields of cognitive ageing and cognitive epidemiology. Each week, one of the group chooses a recent paper for discussion, although they can also choose to present a dataset, or a paper in preparation. For further information or to join the distribution list please email Stuart Ritchie.

The meetings are every Monday (12.30pm - 1.30pm) in Room S38, Psychology Building, 7 George Square (unless otherwise advertised).

Archive of past events

2011-12 (DOC)

2010-11 (PDF)

2009-10 (PDF)

2008-09 (PDF)

2007-08 (PDF)

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Psycholinguistics Coffee

Psycholinguistics Coffee is an informal meeting of psycholinguists at the University of Edinburgh. We meet each week for coffee, biscuits, and an informal talk.

Frequency: Every Wednesday
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Room S38, Psychology Building, 7 George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9JZ
Organiser: Elli Drake

Archive of past events

2009-10 (PDF)

2008-09 (PDF)

2007-08 (PDF)

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PsychStats is an informal and multidisciplinary group of psychology researchers (broadly interpreted) who are interested in statistics. Areas of research represented include education, emotion, intelligence, linguistics, personality, reasoning. Members have experience with a range of methods requiring overlapping knowledge (e.g., ANOVA, multiple regression, multilevel/mixed effects modelling, factor analysis, structural equation modelling), using a range of different software packages (e.g., SPSS, R, MPlus, SAS, Mx).

"I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it the right way, did not become still more complicated." (Paul Anderson, New Scientist, 25–Sept–1969)

Aims: We...

  • Meet to discuss research from the applied statistics literature;
  • Help each other using and learning statistical methods and...
  • merrily ignore discipline boundaries.

Mailing List

If you would like to be added to the list, please mail Tom Booth. This is a low-volume list on which people discuss statistics, and on which PsychStatsBanter gatherings (see below) are organised and advertised.

Helpful resources

PsychStatsBanter Gatherings

We meet on an occasional basis, usually in S38, Psychology Building, 7 George Square, with meetings lasting around an hour. Each meeting is focussed on issues in statistics that people find particularly troubling, socially and morally.

A list of things that trouble people...

... and which we may discuss soon! Email Mark (m.j.adams-2 [at] if you have more.

  • More on mixed effects models... e.g. reporting models, analogues of Tukey's HSD, etc
  • Simplifying terms in models, e.g. by merging levels
  • Assumptions made when using covariates to "control" for something
  • Signal detection theory
  • Relationship between SEM, e.g. using them for latent growth models, and multilevel models
  • Loglinear models and other models for categorical data
  • Survival Analysis (and complex variants)
  • Running simulations
  • Causal inference

Contact PsychStats administrator

Koestler Parapsychology Unit

Established in 1985, it consists of academic staff and postgraduate students who teach and research various aspects of parapsychology, including:

  • the possible existence of psychic ability
  • belief in the paranormal
  • the psychology of anomalous experiences
  • pseudo-psychic deception and self- deception
  • the social and historical relevance of parapsychology.

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Individual Differences Journal Club

Meets each Friday: 5pm in room S38.

Edinburgh's Individual differences Journal Club web page is here

All the material comes from suggestions... so send me your papers!

Events for this Journal club will appear in the Psychology events feed, but details and an archive are maintained at the Group wiki.

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Epistemology Reading Group

This epistemology reading group meets regularly on Mondays at 4.10pm in room S38 in 7 George Square. All inquiries about this group should be directed to Kegan Shaw. All are welcome. This group forms part of the Epistemology research cluster at Edinburgh.

Reading for 2014-15

The group is currently very pleased to be reading the manuscript for Mikkel Gerken's forthcoming book 'On Folk Epistemology' and discussing it with Mikkel himself.

Previous readings

During the 2013-2014 academic year in semester 1 we read stand-alone papers suggested by members of the group. In semester 2 we have read the manuscript of Epistemic Angst by Duncan Pritchard, and we're reading John Gibbon's book 'The Norm of Belief' (OUP, 2013).

During the 2012-2013 academic year we read the manuscript of A Luxury of the Understanding by Allan Hazlett (OUP, 2013), and then Knowledge and its Limits by Timothy Williamson (OUP, 2000).

During the 2011-2012 academic year we read Social Epistemology, edited by Adrian Haddock, Alan Millar and Duncan Pritchard (OUP, 2010), and a selection of papers on "the aim of inquiry," in advance of the conference on The Aims of Inquiry and Cognition.

During the 2010-2011 academic year we read Contemporary Debates in Epistemology, (eds.) M. Steup & E. Sosa (Blackwell, 2005), Disagreement, edited by R. Feldman and T. Warfield (Oxford University Press, 2010) and The Philosophy of Philosophy by Timothy Williamson (Blackwell, 2008).

During the 2009-2010 academic year we read Jennifer Lackey's Learning from Words (Oxford University Press, 2008), and then Edward Craig's Knowledge and the State of Nature (Oxford University Press, 1991).

During the 2007-2008 academic year we read Ernest Sosa's new book, A Virtue Epistemology: Reflective Knowledge and Apt Belief (Oxford University Press, 2007) and, in conjunction with the Ethics research cluster, Ralph Wedgwood's new book, The Nature of Normativity (Oxford University Press, 2007).

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Epistemology Research Group

Sponsored by:Leverhulm Trust

Epistemology is one of the main research clusters in Philosophy at Edinburgh, and as such hosts a number of research activities including this regular research group, which meets (roughly) fortnightly on Wednesday at 3:30pm in the Dugald Stewart Building. All are welcome, including all students (MA, MSc, PhD) and faculty in philosophy.

All inquiries about this group and about the Epistemology @ Edinburgh research cluster in general should be directed to Prof Duncan Pritchard.

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Ethics Reading Group

Ethics @ Edinburgh is one of the main research clusters in Philosophy and as such hosts a number of research activities including this regular research reading group, which meets fortnightly on Thursdays at 2.00pm. For further information contact Rick Sendelbeck or Claire Hamlett.

Reading for 2014/15

In the first term of this year we read 'Character and Moral Psychology' by Christian Miller. Following this, in term 2 we read stand-alone papers suggested by postgraduates and staff in the department.

Reading for 2013/14

In the first term of this year we focused on Martha Nussbaum's 'Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach'. Following this, in term 2 we read stand-alone papers recommended by postgraduates and staff in the department.

Reading for 2012/13

We focussed on volume one of Derek Parfit's On What Matters. In May and June we read a selection of papers suggested by Philosophy postgraduates.

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Logic and Language Seminar

The Logic and Language Seminar is currently inactive. The Edinburgh Philosophy of Language Group (EPLG) has replaced the Logic and Language Seminar. For further information on Philosophy research and reading groups please visit the Philosophy Events Programme.

Previous Readings (Logic and Language Seminar)

In 2012-13 we carried out a survey of overview articles and seminal papers on possible worlds semantics.

In 2011-12 we read papers from Brown and Cappelen (eds.), Assertion (Oxford University Press) and (in conjunction with the meta-group) John MacFarlane's Assessment Sensitivity.

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Philosophy of Technology Reading Group

The Philosophy of Technology Reading Group is currently inactive. For information on other seminars and reading groups in Philosophy at Edinburgh, please visit the Philosophy Events Programme.

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EPiPHENy: Edinburgh Philosophy/Phenomenology Reading Group

EPiPHENy (Edinburgh Philosophy & Phenomenology reading group) is a graduate-oriented reading group based in Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. It aims to increase awareness in the philosophical canon of phenomenology by applying it to contemporary issues in the philosophy of mind and the cognitive sciences. In this effort, EPiPHENy seeks to attract both those working in the philosophical and research oriented spheres to analyze and construct clear conceptual connections based on traditional and modern writings on thinkers such as Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty.

If you have any questions about EPiPHENy and/or would like to be added to the mailing list, please contact Caitlin Hamblin.

Contact EPiPHENy: Edinburgh Philosophy/Phenomenology Reading Group administrator

Postgraduate Professional Development & Research Training Seminars

The PG Professional Development and Research Training Seminar provides research and professional support for postgraduate students (MSc, PhD) and early-career members of faculty. Topics include:

  • Balancing teaching and research
  • Getting published
  • Developing a research project
  • Applying to PhD programmes
  • How to write a postgraduate research proposal
  • Writing an MSc dissertation
  • Academic and family life
  • Bias and stereotype threat
  • Dealing with sexism in philosophy
  • How to give a good conference presentation
  • How to give a good philosophy lecture
  • The job market
  • Research pitches
  • CVs and cover letters

These will normally be held on the last Wednesday of the month from 12:00-13:00. For more information, and to suggest topics for future seminars, contact Prof Michael Ridge.

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Work In Progress Seminars

The WiP is an opportunity for postgraduates to present current work and receive feedback from fellow PGs and staff. In 2015/16 these meetings will take place every second Friday, 4pm-5pm. If you would like to present work at the seminar, or for more information, contact the seminar organiser, Rosa Hardt.

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Visiting Speaker Philosophy Seminar

The Visiting Speaker Seminar meets during semesters on Fridays, 3.30pm – 5.30pm, in room 1.20 of the Dugald Stewart Building (except where noted), and features talks on all areas of philosophy. For information, or to join the email list for these events, please contact Patrick Todd. All are welcome, including all students (MA, MSc, PhD) and faculty in philosophy.

Recent archive of seminars

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Aesthetics Reading Group

Welcome to the Aesthetics Reading Group webpage. The Aesthetics Reading Group is dedicated to reading philosophical texts related to aesthetics.  For further information, contact Nicole Hall-Elfick.

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Scepticism Reading Group

The scepticism reading group is currently inactive. For information on other seminars and reading groups on epistemology at Edinburgh, check out Epistemology @ Edinburgh.

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Psychobabble the Journal

Welcome to Psychobabble the Journal

Psychobabble is a student run psychology journal, providing a forum for students to showcase experiments they have carried out, review books they have read or discuss contested issues within psychology, e.g. Is the multicomponent model the definitive model of working memory? Are women better at multitasking then men? Is psychology politically neutral?

The aim of Psychobabble is to encourage enthusiasm, discussion and debate within in the student community, which we believe is the best way to learn. Psychobabble was first thought up by Kasper Sylvest Munk and John Howard in the first semester of the 2010/11 academic year and with the help of friends and the backing of the Psychology department was made a reality.

Articles are welcome from all undergraduates and postgraduates, if you are interested in contributing an article (800 words or less) or becoming more involved in the running of psychobabble send an email to If you are interested in editing and getting involved in the realization of the future issues of Psychobabble, do not hesitate to get in contact.


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English Language Research Group Seminars

The ELRG seminar series features a range of activities on a wide range of aspects of the synchronic and diachronic linguistics of English, such as talks by members of the department, discussions of recent articles, informal discussion of work in progress and invited speakers from elsewhere. The Research Group events are normally held every two weeks or so (during semester time, and perhaps on into the early summer) on Wednesday afternoons at 2.10pm in the Angus McIntosh room (1.17) in the Dugald Stewart Building. Anyone interested is welcome to attend.

The ELRG is organised by Heinz Giegerich and Rhona Alcorn. If you would like to be added to the ELRG mailing list, which distributes messages about meetings and other matters of interest to members of the Group, email Rhona Alcorn.

Further Information

Here's what has been on offer

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Edinburgh Women in Philosophy Group

Welcome to the webpage of the Edinburgh Women in Philosophy Group, an assortment of philosophers (aspiring and established), friends, and academics. Our collective goal is to raise awareness of the many disputes and debacles that currently surround the status of women and minorities in academic philosophy, and to provide support for female faculty and postgraduates. Through a variety of events and initiatives, we hope to contribute to creating an academic culture of intellectual openness and fairness in which all philosophical talent, irrespective of gender, can thrive and flourish at Edinburgh and beyond.

Lady Philosophy
Lady Philosophy
From Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy (524 AD)

We support the following wider goals:

  • increase visibility of female faculty at the organisation and management level
  • ensure broader equality in numbers of female speakers at workshops, seminars and conferences
  • encourage recognition of, and student exposure to, internationally acclaimed female philosophers through invitation to named lectures
  • ensure fair representation of women philosophers on syllabi
  • raise awareness of implicit gender bias
  • provide tutors with skills for ensuring intellectual fairness in tutorials
  • provide a series of events and initiatives that promote gender equality, creating an academic culture in which philosophical talent thrives

If you wish to be kept in the loop about informal meetings, and other relevant notices of interest, or if you wish to raise an issue for discussion or consideration by the group, please subscribe to our mailing list by contacting one of our members (details listed below).

We warmly welcome new members and friends from postgraduate programmes and faculty. If you wish to be kept informed about our events, or if you wish to raise an issue for discussion by the group, please contact Giada Fratantonio, Michela Massimi, or Anna Ortín Nadal.

"Three cheers for the Edinburgh Women in Philosophy Group! What a splendid idea, and beautifully timed to catch the rising current of awareness about women in philosophy. I warmly applaud this initiative. Edinburgh is a marvellous place to do philosophy, and you are going to help make it even better for women. I wish I could be there to join your efforts."

Professor Rae Langton, Professor of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh from 1999-2004 (a position for which David Hume was turned down in 1755) and the first woman to be appointed Professor of Philosophy in Edinburgh.

BPA/SWIP Good Practice Scheme logo

Philosophy at Edinburgh subscribes to the Good Practice Scheme of the British Philosophical Association (BPA). A Philosophy Gender Committee (currently led by Prof Massimi, and consisting of Dr Cohen, Dr Gerken, Dr Kupreeva, Dr Lavelle, Dr McGlynn, Dr Mason and Dr Pheminster) is looking at specific ways and recommendations for implementing the BPA Guidelines on Gender Bias. The BPA/SWIP Good Practice Scheme.

New Enlightenment Lecture

This new annual series started in December 2012 with the idea of providing our graduate community with women role models in philosophy. Every year the lecture features a high-profile woman philosopher, leading a roundtable with postgraduate students and faculty on gender issues in the profession, followed by a keynote lecture on a topic of choice. The event takes place just before Christmas and is followed by the EWIPG Christmas party open to all faculty and postgraduate students. The event has been every year subsidised by Philosophy@Edinburgh, PPLS, and Scots Philosophical Association.

Upcoming Events

Forthcoming EWiP events are displayed in the dynamic Upcoming Events section below when available on the Philosophy events feed.

Past events:

17 May 2013, Room G.06, Dugald Stewart Building, 3 Charles Street.

  • The Edinburgh Women in Philosophy Group hosted the Implicit Bias Workshop with Helen Beebee (Manchester), Jules Holroyd (Nottingham), and Mario Weick (Kent).

06 Dec 2011, 16:30 - 18:30, Hotel du Vin & Bistro Edinburgh, 11 Bristo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 1EZ.

30 May 2011, 10:30 - 17:00, Dugald Stewart Building (Room 1.17).

21 January 2011 12:30 - 18:30 Conference Room (Room G.04), David Hume Tower.

  • The Edinburgh Women in Philosophy Group hosted the EWPG Workshop 2010/11 to explore some of the philosophical issues surrounding the underrepresentation of women in professional philosophy.

19 January 2011 13.00 - 14.00 Professional Development Seminar, Dugald Stewart Building (Room 3.01)

  • Roundtable Discussion on "Academia and the Family" to explore and begin to address difficulties for combining philosophical research with having a family.

25 November 2010, 14:30 - 16:00, Room 1.17 DSB. Organisers Liz Ellis and Nicole Hall-Elfick.

  • Women in Philosophy "Afternoon Tea" - Andy Clark shared, as an in memoriam to Susan Hurley, Professor Hurley's reflections on issues facing women in philosophy. Holly Branigan offered a picture of how women are doing psychology, which we were able to compare with philosophy and we were offered anecdotes and reflections from Emily Brady and Natalie Gold, as well as reflections on pedagogical approaches from Alasdair Richmond.

3 November 2009, 14:00 - 15:30, Middle Reading Room, Teviot Row House.

News and Useful Links:


Discussion blogs

Dedicated websites

Contact Edinburgh Women in Philosophy Group administrator

Historical Phonology Reading Group

The Historical Phonology Reading Group brings together a number of researchers from several areas of the university who all have interests in trying to understand phonological change. We meet every few weeks to discuss recent and/or important work in historical phonology (which we define as broadly as we like...). The group is convened by Patrick Honeybone. Feel free to get in touch if you would like to come.

This is the list of meetings and readings:

  • 12th November 2015, 1.10-2pm, room 1.17: Blevins, Juliette & Grawunder, Sven (2009) '*KL > TL sound change in Germanic and elsewhere: descriptions, explanations, and implications.' Linguistic Typology 13, 267–303.
  • 22nd October 2015, 1.10-2pm, room 6.01: Jacques, Guillaume (2011) 'A panchronic study of aspirated fricatives, with new evidence from Pumi.' Lingua 121, 1518-1538.
  • 8th October 2015, 1.10-2pm, room 4.01: White, David L. (2004) 'Why we should not believe in short diphthongs'. In Curzan, A. & Emmons, K. (eds.) Studies in the History of the English Language II: Unfolding Conversations. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 57-84.
  • 21st May 2015, 1.10-2pm, room 4.01: Hay, Jennifer, Pierrehumbert, Janet, Walker, Abby & LaShell, Patrick (2015) 'Tracking word frequency effects through 130 years of sound change.' Cognition 139, 83-91.
  • 16th April 2015, 1.10-2pm, room 4.01: Vennemann, Theo (2000) 'From quality to syllable cuts: on so-called lengthening in the Germanic languages.' Rivista di Linguistica 12, 251-282.
  • 19th March 2015, 1.10-2pm, room 1.20: Anderson, John (2014) 'Graphophonology and anachronic phonology.' Folia Linguistica Historica 35, 1-53. [A joint meeting with the English Language Research Group.]
  • 19th February 2015, 1.10-2pm, room 4.01: Buckley, Eugene (2009) 'Phonetics and phonology in Gallo-Romance palatalisation.' Transactions of the Philological Society 107, 31-65.
  • 26th January 2015, 1.10-2pm, room 4.01: Oxford, Will (2015 - to appear) 'Patterns of contrast in phonological change: Evidence from Algonquian vowel systems.' Language 91.
  • 4th December 2014, 2.10-3pm, room 4.01: Wedel, Andrew, Jackson, Scott & Kaplan, Abby (2013) 'Functional Load and the Lexicon: Evidence that Syntactic Category and Frequency Relationships in Minimal Lemma Pairs Predict the Loss of Phoneme contrasts in Language Change.' Language and Speech 56, 395-417.
  • 20th November 2014, 2.10-3pm, room 4.01: Hinskens, Frans, Hermans, Ben & van Oostendorp, Marc (2014) 'Grammar or lexicon. Or: Grammar and lexicon? Rule-based and usage-based approaches to phonological variation.' Lingua 142, 1-26.
  • 6th November 2014, 2.10-3pm, room 4.01: Round, Erich (2011) 'Function word erosion which is not a frequency effect: On exemplars and prosodic paradigm levelling.' Lingua 121, 287–301.
  • 23rd October 2014, 2.10-3pm, room 4.01: Hill, Nathan (2014) 'Grammatically Conditioned Sound Change.' Language and Linguistics Compass 8, 211–229.
  • 2nd October 2014, 2.10-3pm, room 4.01: Stevens, Mary & Harrington, Jonathan (2014) 'The individual and the actuation of sound change.' Loquens 1.
  • 5th May 2014, 1.10-2pm, room 1.17: Steblin-Kamenskij, Mikail Ivanovits (1974) 'The Scandinavian Consonant Shift.' Arkiv för nordisk filologi 89, 1-29.
  • 31st March 2014, 1.10-2pm, room 1.17: Joseph, Brian (2012) 'Lexical Diffusion and the Regular Transmission of Language Change in its Sociohistorical Context.' In Hernandez-Campoy, J.M. & Conde-Silvestre, J.C. (eds.) The Handbook of Historical Sociolinguistics. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell, 408-426.
  • 17th March 2014, 1.10-2pm, room 1.17: Hickey, Raymond (2012) 'Internally- and Externally-Motivated Language Change.' In Hernandez-Campoy, J.M. & Conde-Silvestre, J.C. (eds.) The Handbook of Historical Sociolinguistics. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell, 387-407.
  • 3rd February 2014, 1.10-2pm, room 1.17: Kiparsky, Paul (to appear) 'New perspectives in historical linguistics.' In Bowern, C. & Evans, B. (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Historical Linguistics. London: Routledge.
  • 9th December 2013, 1.10-2pm, room 1.17: Stiles, Patrick (2012) 'Older Runic evidence for North‐West Germanic a‐umlaut of u (and ‘the converse of Polivanov's Law’).' In Probert, P. & Willi, A. (eds.) Laws and Rules in Indo‐European. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • 25th November 2013, 1.10-2pm, room 1.17: Bermúdez-Otero, Ricardo (2011) Expanded version of section 2 of: Bermúdez-Otero, Ricardo & Graeme Trousdale (2012). 'Cycles and continua: on unidirectionality and gradualness in language change'. In Nevalainen, T. & Traugott, E. (eds), The Oxford Handbook of the History of English. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • 4th November 2013, 1.10-2pm, room 1.17: Kiparsky, Paul (to appear) 'Phonologization.' In Honeybone, P. & Salmons, J. (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Historical Phonology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • 21st October 2013, 1.10-2pm, room 1.17: Schrijver, P.C.H. (2011) 'The High German consonant shift and language contact.' In Hasselblatt, C. Houtzagers, P. & van Pareren, R. (eds.) Language Contact in Times of Globalization. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
  • 7th October 2013, 1.10-2pm, room 1.17: Hualde, Jose (2013) 'Intervocalic lenition and word-boundary effects: Evidence from Judeo-Spanish.' Diachronica 30, 232–266.
  • 23rd September 2013, 1.10-2pm, room 1.17: Blust, Robert (2012) 'Primary split revisited.' Diachronica 29, 129–138.
  • 3rd June 2013, 12.10-1pm, room 1.17: Mortensen, David (2012) 'The emergence of obstruents after high vowels.' Diachronica 29, 434-470.
  • 13th May 2013, 12.10-1.00pm, room 1.17, DSB: Nycz, Jennifer (to appear) 'Changing words or changing rules? Second dialect acquisition and phonological representation'. To appear in The Journal of Pragmatics.
  • 15th April, 2.10-3.00pm, room 1.01, DSB: Bermúdez-Otero, Ricardo (to appear) 'Amphichronic explanation and the life cycle of phonological processes.' In Honeybone, P. & Salmons, J. (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Historical Phonology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • 25th March, 12.10-1.00pm, room 4.01, DSB: Hyman, Larry (2011) 'Enlarging the scope of phonologization.' In Yu, A. (ed.) Origins of Sound Change: Approaches to Phonologization. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • 11th March 2013, 12.10-1.00pm, room 4.01, DSB: Iverson, Gregory & Salmons, Joseph (2012) 'Paradigm Resolution in the Life Cycle of Norse Umlaut.' Journal of Germanic Linguistics 24, 101-131.
  • 25th February 2013, 12.10-1.00pm, room 4.01, DSB: Brunelle, Marc & Pittayaporn, Pittayawat (2012) 'Phonologically-constrained change: the role of the foot in monosyllabization and rhythmic shifts in Mainland Southeast Asia.' Diachronica 29, 411-433.
  • 11th February 2013, 12noon, room 4.01, DSB: Stausland Johnsen, Sverre (2012) 'A diachronic account of phonological unnaturalness.' Phonology 29, 505 - 531.
  • 3rd December 2012, 12noon, room 1.17, DSB: Ramsammy, Michael (to appear) 'The life cycle of phonological processes: accounting for dialectal microtypologies.' Language and Linguistics Compass.
  • 15th October 2012, 1pm, room 1.17, DSB: Güldemann, Tom & Stoneking, Mark (2008) 'A Historical Appraisal of Clicks: A Linguistic and Genetic Population Perspective.' Annual Review of Anthropology 37, 93-109.
  • 1st October 2012, 1pm, room 1.17, DSB: Simon, Ellen (2011) 'Laryngeal stop systems in contact: connecting present-day acquisition findings and historical contact hypotheses'. Diachronica 28, 225–254.
  • 23rd April 2012, 12 noon, room 1.17, DSB: Garrett, Andrew & Johnson, Keith (to appear) 'Phonetic bias in sound change.' In Yu, A. (ed.) Origins of Sound Change: Approaches to Phonologization. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • 12th March 2012, 1pm, room 1.17, DSB: Recasens, Daniel (2011) 'Velar and dental stop consonant softening in Romance.' Diachronica 28, 186–224.
  • 20th February 2012, 1pm, room 1.17, DSB: Boersma, Paul & Hamann, Silke (2008) 'The evolution of auditory dispersion in bidirectional constraint grammars.' Phonology 25, 217–270.
  • 30th January 2012, 1pm, room 1.17, DSB: Labov, William (2007) 'Transmission and diffusion'. Language 83, 344-387. [A second read-through, jointly with the Sociolinguistics Reading Group and LEC]
  • 12th December 2011, 1pm, room 1.17, DSB: Kingston, John (2008) 'Lenition'. In Colantoni, L. & Steele, J. (eds.) Selected Proceedings of the 3rd Conference on Laboratory Approaches to Spanish Phonology. Somerville: Cascadilla Proceedings Project, 1-31.
  • 28th November 2011, 1pm, room 1.17, DSB: Steriade, Donca (2001/2009) 'The phonology of perceptibility effects: the P-map and its consequences for constraint organization'. In Hanson, K. & Inkelas, S. (eds.) The nature of the word: Studies in honor of Paul Kiparsky. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • 14th November 2011, 1pm, room 1.17, DSB: Gess, Randall (2009) 'Reductive sound change and the perception/production interface'. Canadian Journal of Linguistics 54, 229-253.
  • 3rd October 2011, 1pm, room 1.17, DSB: Minkova, Donka (2011) 'Phonemically contrastive fricatives in Old English?'. English Language and Linguistics 15, 31–59.
  • 4th May 2011, 2pm, room 1.01, DSB: Hualde, Jose (submitted) 'Sound change'. Manuscript, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • 21st Mar 2011, 1pm, room 1.01, DSB: Marton Soskuthy will present a discussion of simulations, frequency and word-specific effects, after which we'll carry on discussing Pierrehumbert (2002).
  • 28th Feb 2011, 1pm, room 1.01, DSB: Pierrehumbert, Janet (2002) 'Word-specific phonetics'. Laboratory Phonology VII. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • 7th Feb 2011, 1pm, room 1.01, DSB: Wedel, Andrew (2006) 'Exemplar models, evolution and language change'. The Linguistic Review 23, 247-274.
  • 24th Jan 2011, 1pm, room 1.01, DSB: Blevins, Juliette & Wedel, Andrew (2009) 'Inhibited sound change: An evolutionary approach to lexical competition'. Diachronica 26, 143-183.
  • 6th Dec 2010, 1pm, room 1.01, DSB: Boberg, Charles (2009) 'The emergence of a new phoneme: Foreign (a) in Canadian English'. Language Variation and Change 21, 355–380.
  • 8th Nov 2010, 1pm, room 1.01, DSB: Hamann, Silke (2009) 'The learner of a perception grammar as a source of sound change'. In Boersma, P. & Hamann, S. (eds.) Phonology in Perception. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • 11th Oct 2010, 1pm, room 1.01, DSB: Albright, Adam (2008) 'Explaining Universal Tendencies and Language Particulars in Analogical Change'. In Good, J. (ed.) Linguistic Universals and Language Change. Oxford: OUP.
  • 6th Jul 2010, 1pm, room 1.17, DSB: Andersen, Henning (1973) 'Abductive and Deductive Change'. Language 49, 765-793.
    ...AND - if you're really keen - a much later reply to some of its claims...
    Deutscher, Guy (2002) 'On the Misuse of the Notion of 'Abduction' in Linguistics'. Journal of Linguistics 38, 469-485.
  • 19th Apr 2010, 1pm, room 1.17, DSB: De Schryver, Johan, Neijt, Anneke, Ghesquiere, Pol & Ernestus, Mirjam (2008) 'Analogy, Frequency, and Sound Change: the Case of Dutch Devoicing'. Journal of Germanic Linguistics 20, 159–195.
  • 15th Mar 2010, 1pm, room 1.17, DSB: Joseph, Brian (2006) 'On Projecting Variation Back into a Proto-Language, with Particular Attention to Germanic Evidence'. In Cravens, T. (ed.) Variation and Reconstruction. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 103-118.
  • 1st Mar 2010, 1pm, room 1.17, DSB: Smith, Bridget (2007) 'Dental fricatives and stops in Germanic: deriving diachronic processes from synchronic variation'. To appear in the proceedings of the 2007 ICHL.
  • 11th Dec 2009, 1pm, room 1.17, DSB: Maddieson, Ian (2009) 'Phonology, naturalness and universals'. Poznan Studies in Contemporary Linguistics 45, 131–140.
  • 30th Nov 2009, 1pm, room 1.17, DSB: Buckley, Eugene (2000) 'On the naturalness of unnatural rules'. UCSB Working Papers in Linguistics 9.
    ...AND - if you're really keen...
    Buckley, Eugene (2003) 'Children's unnatural phonology'. Proceedings of the Berkeley Linguistics Society 29, 523-534.
  • 16th Nov 2009, 1pm, room 1.01, DSB: Scheer, Tobias (2009) 'Crazy rules, Regularity and naturalness in diachronic and synchronic segmental and syllabic phonology'. Ms: University of Nice Sophia Antipolis and CNRS.
  • 2nd Nov 2009, 1pm, room 1.01, DSB: de Lacy, Paul & Kingston, John (2006) 'Synchronic explanation'. Ms: Rutgers University and University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  • 24th Sep 2009, 4pm, room 1.17, DSB: Hansson, Gunnar Ólafur (2008) 'Diachronic Explanations of Sound Patterns'. Language and Linguistics Compass 2/5: 859–893.
  • 1st May 2009, 1pm, room 1.17, DSB: Kerswill, Paul (1996) 'Children, adolescents and language change'. Language Variation and Change 8: 177-202.
  • 6th Mar 2009, 1pm, room 1.17, DSB: Hall, Nancy (2007) 'R-Dissimilation in English'. Ms, California State University, Long Beach.
  • 20th Feb 2009, 1pm, room 1.17, DSB: Moreton, Elliott (2008) 'Analytic bias and phonological typology'. Phonology 25, 83-127.
  • 30th Jan 2009, 1pm, room 1.17, DSB: Blust, Robert (2005) 'Must sound change be linguistically motivated?' Diachronica 22, 219-69.
  • 12th Dec 2008, 1pm, room 1.17, DSB: Boersma, Paul (2003) 'The odds of eternal optimization in Optimality Theory'. In Holt, D. Eric (ed.) Optimality Theory and Language Change. Dordrecht: Kluwer. 31-65.
  • 14th Nov 2008, 1pm, room 1.17, DSB: Bauer, Laurie (2008) 'Lenition revisited'. Journal of Linguistics 44, 605-624.
  • 24th Oct 2008, 1pm, room 1.17, DSB: Moreton, Elliott & Thomas, Erik R. (2007) 'Origins of Canadian Raising in voiceless-coda effects: a case study in phonologization'. In Cole, J. & Hualde, J. (eds.) Laboratory Phonology 9. Berlin: Mouton. 37-64.
  • 10th Oct 2008, 1pm, room 1.17, DSB: Janda, Richard D. & Joseph, Brian D. (2003) 'Reconsidering the canons of sound change: towards a Big Bang Theory'. In Blake, B. and Burridge, K. (eds.) Historical Linguistics 2001. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 205-219.
  • 7th Mar 2008, 1pm, room 1.01, 14 BP: Chambers, Jack (1992) 'Dialect Acquisition'. Language 68: 673-705
  • 22nd Feb 2008, 1pm, room 1.01, 14 BP: Labov, William (2007) 'Transmission and diffusion'. Language 83, 344-387.
  • 18th Jan 2008, 1pm, room 1.01, 14 BP: Sankoff, G. & Blondeau, H. (2007) 'Language change across the lifespan: /r/ in Montreal French'. Language 83, 560-588.
  • 7th Dec 2007, 2.30pm, room 1.01, 14 BP: Ohala, J. J. (1992) 'What's cognitive, what's not, in sound change'. In Kellermann, G. & Morrissey, M. (eds.) Diachrony within Synchrony: Language History and Cognition. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. 309-355.
  • 23rd Nov 2007, 1pm, room 1.01, 14 BP: Lehmann, Winfred (1999) 'The structural approach of Jacob Grimm and his contemporaries'. Journal of Indo-European Studies 27, 1-13.
    Stankiewicz, Edward (1987) 'Baudouin de Courtenay: pioneer in diachronic linguistics'. In Aarsleff, H., Kelly, L. & Niederehe, H.-J. (eds) Papers in the History of Linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 539-549.
  • 19th Oct 2007, 1pm, room 1.01, 14 BP: Blevins, Juliette (2006) 'New perspectives on English sound patterns: "unnatural" and "natural" in Evolutionary Phonology'. Journal of English Linguistics 34, 6-25.
  • 5th Oct 2007, 1pm, room 1.01, 14BP: Minkova, Donka & Stockwell, Robert (2003) 'English vowel shifts and "optimal" diphthongs: is there a logical link?' In: Holt, D. Eric (ed) Optimality Theory and Language Change. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
  • 18th May 2007, 1pm, room 1.01, 14BP: Phillips, Betty (1998) 'Lexical diffusion is not lexical analogy'. Word 49, 369-380.
    Krishnamurti, Bh. (1998) 'Regularity of sound change through lexical diffusion. A study of s > h > Ø in Gondi Dialects.' Language Variation and Change 10, 193-220.
  • 2nd Mar 2007, 1pm, room 1.01, 14BP: Page, B. Richard (2006) 'The diachrony and synchrony of vowel quantity in English and Dutch.' Diachronica 23, 61-104.
  • 9th Feb 2007, 1pm, room 1.01, 14BP: Foulkes, Paul & Docherty, Gerard (2006) 'The social life of phonetics and phonology'. Journal of Phonetics 34, 409-438.
    Labov, William (2006) 'A sociolinguistic perspective on sociophonetic research'. Journal of Phonetics 34, 500-515.
    ...AND (if you can make it through all three)...
    Pierrehumbert, Janet (2006) 'The next toolkit'. Journal of Phonetics 34, 516-530.
  • 1st Dec 2006, 1pm, room 1.01, 14BP: Iverson, Gregory & Salmons, Joseph (2003) 'The ingenerate motivation of sound change'. In Hickey, R. (ed.) Motives for Language Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 199-212.
    Iverson, Gregory & Salmons, Joseph (2005) 'Filling the gap: English tense vowel plus final /S/'. Journal of English Linguistics 33, 1-15.
  • 10th Nov 2006, 1pm, room 1.01, 14BP: Anttila, Arto (2002) 'Variation and Phonological Theory'. In Chambers, J., Trudgill, P. & Schilling-Estes, N. (eds.), Handbook of Language Variation and Change. Oxford & Malden, MA: Blackwell.
    Anttila, Arto & Cho, Young-mee Yu (1998) 'Variation and Change in Optimality Theory'. Lingua 104, 31-56.
  • 20th Oct 2006, 1pm, room 1.01, 14BP: Scheer, Tobias (2004) 'How minimal is phonological change?' Folia Linguistica Historica 25, 69-114.
  • 6th Oct 2006, 1pm, room 1.01, 14BP: Bybee, Joan (2002) 'Word frequency and context of use in the lexical diffusion of phonetically conditioned sound change'. Language Variation and Change 14, 261-290.
    sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 of...
    Bybee, Joan (2003) 'Mechanisms of change as universals of language'. In Mairal, R. & Gil, J. (eds.) En Torno a Los Universales Linguisticos. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 245-263.
  • 23rd Jun 2006, 3pm, room 1.01, 14BP: Haspelmath, Martin (2006) 'Against markedness (and what to replace it with)'. Journal of Linguistics 42, 25-70.
  • 5th May 2006, 1pm, room 1.24, 14BP: Kiparsky, Paul (2004) Universals constrain change, change results in typological generalizations. Ms, Stanford University.
  • 17 Mar 2006, 3pm, room 1.24, 14BP: Bermudez-Otero, Ricardo (forthcoming 2006) 'Diachronic phonology'. In de Lacy, P. (ed.) The Cambridge Handbook of Phonology. Cambridge: CUP.
    Bermudez-Otero, Ricardo (2006) 'Phonological change in Optimality Theory'. In Brown, K. (ed.), Encyclopedia of language and linguistics, 2nd edn, vol. 9, 497-505. Oxford: Elsevier.
  • 3 Mar 2006, 1pm, room 1.01, 14BP: Blevins, Juliette (2004) Evolutionary Phonology. CUP. Chapters 9 and 10.
  • 16 Feb 2006, 2pm, room 1.24, 14BP: Blevins, Juliette (2004) Evolutionary Phonology. CUP. Chapters 4 and 8.
  • 25 Jan 2006, 4pm, room 1.02, 14BP: Blevins, Juliette (2004) Evolutionary Phonology. CUP. Chapters 1 and 3.
  • 7 Dec 2005, 4pm, room 1.02, 14BP: Hale, Mark (2003) 'Neogrammarian Sound Change' In Joseph, B. & Janda, R. (eds) 'The Handbook of Historical Linguistics'. Oxford & Malden, MA: Blackwell.
  • 23 Nov 2005, 4pm, room 1.02, 14BP: Kiparsky, Paul (1995/2003) 'The Phonological Basis of Sound Change' In Joseph, B. & Janda, R. (eds) 'The Handbook of Historical Linguistics'. Oxford & Malden, MA: Blackwell.
  • 19 Oct 2005, 4pm, room 1.02, 14BP: Janda, Richard (2003) '"Phonologization" as the Start of Dephoneticization - Or, On Sound Change and its Aftermath: Of Extension, Generalization, Lexicalization, and Morphologization.' In Joseph, B. & Janda, R. (eds) 'The Handbook of Historical Linguistics'. Oxford & Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Contact Historical Phonology Reading Group administrator

Human Cognitive Neuroscience Seminars

These seminars take place in room S1 in the Psychology Building, 7 George Square. Unless otherwise stated, they are all on Fridays, at 4pm.

For further information, or if you would like to join the e-mail list for these seminars, please e-mail Elena Gherri or Alexa Morcom.

Other relevant seminars:

Edinburgh Neuroscience Seminars

Centre for Cognitive Ageing & Cognitive Epidemiology

Contact Human Cognitive Neuroscience Seminars administrator

Hume Reading Group

David Hume, Treatise of Human Nature, ed. David Fate Norton and Mary J. Norton, student edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

Meetings will be held in the Dugald Stewart Building - room G.06 for the first meeting, room 3.10 all other meetings - from 11.00am – 12.30pm on the dates listed below. All welcome.

Reading Schedule (number of pages in brackets):

  • 24 May (Room G.06): Introduction and 1.1 (19)
  • 7 June (Room 3.10): 1.2 (26)
  • 8 June: 1.3.1-6 (15)
  • 9 June: 1.3.7-13 (39)
  • 14 June: 1.3.14-16 (15)
  • 15 June: 1.4.1-4 (31)
  • 16 June: 1.4.5-7 (26)
  • 28 June: 2.1 (32)
  • 29 June: 2.2 (42)
  • 30 June: 2.3 (33)
  • 12 July: 3.1 (13)
  • 13 July: 3.2 (59)
  • 14 July: 3.3 (28)

On hand to help us in reading Hume’s Treatise will be Hume experts:

  • Dr Peter Millican (Illumni David Hume Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh)
  • Professor Don Garrett (Carnegie Centenary Professor, University of Edinburgh)

For more information, email Ashley Taylor.

Contact Hume Reading Group administrator

Linguistic Circle

linguistic circleUnless otherwise specified, talks will take place at 16:10 in rooms 3.10/3.11 of the Dugald Stewart Building.

Students and staff in Linguistics and English Language are automatically included on the email list. For non-members of the department, to subscribe to the Linguistic Circle email list, and receive notices and abstracts of talks, send an email to: Majordomo with the following two-line message (blank subject header): subscribe lingcirc (on line 1) QUIT (on line 2). (To remove yourself from the list send unsubscribe lingcirc to the same address.) You can also subscribe to the Google Calendar. For further questions, please contact the committee.

Further Information

Previous Meetings

Contact Linguistic Circle administrator

The P-Workshop (The Phonetics/Phonology Workshop)

The Phonetics/Phonology Workshop is the meeting series of the Phonetics and Phonology Research Group. We normally meet on Thursdays (but not every Thursday) at 1:10, in the Dugald Stewart Building, and we sometimes co-organise events with other research groups. The P-Workshop programme consists of talks, seminars and discussions on subjects relating to phonetics, phonology and speech technology. It is organised jointly by Patrick Honeybone, James Kirby and Bert Remijsen. If you would like to give a talk, suggest a reading, or lead a session we would love to hear from you: send us an email.

Recent and upcoming events

Here is a record of this semester's events, including those to come:

  • 1st October 2015 (13:10-14:00), room B21 in 7 George Square: Joe Fruehwald 'Using Functional Data Analysis to study changes if vowel trajectories'. 
  • 29th October 2015 (13:10-14:00), room 1.17, DSB: George Starling. 'Perceptual learning of American English vowels from infant-directed speech' [Infants identify the phonetic categories present in the linguistic input that they receive within their first year of life. Current approaches to perceptual learning favour statistical learning as the mechanism behind this learning task. In this talk, I will review previous theoretical approaches to categorisation and discuss the current findings of my own acoustic analysis and statistical models. The vowel system of American English presents an ideal case study since it consists of a large set of phonetic categories that overlap in acoustic space. Previous statistical approaches to this task have failed to recover an appropriate category structure through bottom-up statistics alone. By analysing a large corpus of infant- and adult-directed speech, I aim to describe the acoustic properties of the vowels in caregivers' speech and assess the extent to which model learners can recover its underlying category structure.] A joint event with the Developmental Linguistics Research Group.
  • 5th November 2015 (13:10-14:00), room 1.17, DSB: Ida Toivonen (Carleton University) 'The production and perception of intrinsic vowel duration' [Vowels differ in their intrinsic duration. For example, the vowel in 'bat' is typically longer than the vowel in 'bit'. One relevant factor is vowel height: low vowels are longer than high vowels in English and cross-linguistically (e.g., Heffner 1937, House & Fairbanks 1953, Peterson & Lehiste 1960, Fischer-Jørgensen 1940, Abramson 1962). This talk revisits the correlation between vowel height and duration and tries to understand the reasons behind it. The traditional explanation for the positive correlation between height and duration appeals to physiology: low vowels take longer to produce because of the extra time it takes for the jaw to open (e.g., Lehiste 1970), or because the jaw position of high vowels is close to the jaw position held during the production of most consonants (Catford 1977). An alternative explanation is that each vowel has a phonologized duration target (e.g., Solé & Ohala 2010). If the duration of vowels depends directly on how much the jaw moves, we would expect a positive correlation within categories as well as between categories: multiple tokens of the same vowel would be expected to display a correlation similar to the correlation between vowels; i.e., a slightly lower pronunciation of a given vowel should be slightly longer. We investigate the vowel duration and height between and within categories in English and Swedish, using F1 as a measure of vowel height. The between-category investigation confirms previous studies: high vowels are shorter than low vowels. However, we did not find the same correlation within categories: a higher instance of the vowel in 'bit' is not shorter than a lower instance of 'bit'. If the positive correlation between height and duration cannot be directly explained by an appeal to physiology, we are left with the following question: Why is the generalization so robust cross-linguistically? In fact, it seems to be universal. We present a series of perception studies where participants were presented with minimal pairs differing in the height of the vowel (Stone 2015). The results indicate that speakers perceive low vowels as shorter than high vowels even when the vowels have been manipulated to have the same duration.]
  • 18th November 2015 (note unusual day - this is a Wednesday)(14:10-15:00 - note unusual time), room 1.17, DSB: Joanna Kopaczyk, Benjamin Molineaux and Vasilis Karaiskos 'How to capture medieval sound-to-spelling correspondences? Database design and technical solutions for FITS'. A joint event with the English Language Research Group.
  • 3rd December 2015 - no meeting because of the Second Edinburgh Symposium on Historical Phonology (and note also the 'fringe' satellite meeting on 2nd December, on the History of Historical Phonology.)

Past events


  • 3rd August 2015 (note unusual day - this is a Monday) (13:10-15:00), room 1.17, DSB: ICPhS 2015 practice presentations (Zac Boyd, Daniel Lawrence, James Kirby, Misnadin)
  • 8th June 2015 note unusual day - this is a Monday (13:10-14:00), room 1.20, DSB: Adam Ussishkin (University of Arizona) Maltese root priming is morphological, not phonological. [abstract avalable here]
  • 14th May 2015 (13:10-14:00), room 1.20, DSB: Laura Arnold 'Lexical tone in Ambel'. [Ambel is an Austronesian language spoken by around 1000 people on the island of Waigeo, in West Papua province, Indonesia. In this presentation I will use unpublished primary data to demonstrate that Ambel can be analysed as having tone. Lexical tone in Austronesian languages is very uncommon: of some 1200 Austronesian languages, Ambel is only the nineteenth to have been analysed as a tone language. I will use data from mono- and polysyllabic words in various contexts to show that there are two contrastive, non-predictable pitch patterns in Ambel - [H] and [LH]. I shall then use these phonetic data to explore possible analyses of the phonological system. Issues covered will include whether the domain of tonal specification is the syllable or the word, and whether the two-way surface contrast arises from a system which is underlyingly equipollent (/H/ vs /L/, or /H/ vs /LH/) or privative (/H/ vs /Ø/). Finally, I will locate the Ambel tonal system in a wider typological context.]
  • 30th April 2015 (13:10-15:00), room 3.11, DSB: Post-Graduate SessionMerel Maslowski 'Differentiating between production-driven and perception-driven frequency effects in nonce homophones' and Udita Sawhney 'The tone system in Dogri, an Indo-Aryan language'.
  • 2nd April 2015 (13:10-14:00), room 1.20, DSB: Joe Pater (UMass Amherst) 'Violable constraints in classical universalist phonology and beyond'. [Since the advent of OT in the mid nineties, the empirical scope and theoretical goals of the field of phonology have changed quite dramatically. In what we might call “Classical Universalist Phonology” (CUP) which started with the principles and parameters work of the early eighties, phonologists construct analyses of individual languages, and aim for theories of phonological grammar that generate all and only the possible systems that are inferred from this analytic work. OT as it was originally proposed is firmly in this tradition. CUP continues to be fruitfully practised in much of the current work in OT and its violable constraint relatives, Harmonic Grammar and Harmonic Serialism, as well as in other phonological frameworks. Increasingly, however, phonologists are working with data from corpora and experiments, which often provide information about the structure of phonological systems that cannot be obtained through traditional elicitation and judgment work. The explicit modeling of learning has also taken a much more central place in phonological theory, and typological generalizations are increasingly seen as emerging from the interaction of phonetics, learning and the properties of phonological grammar, rather than being derivable directly from the grammar itself. I’ll point out some ways in which violable constraints are useful in research that goes beyond CUP, which suggest to me that the shelf-life of OT, broadly construed, will be quite long for phonology, also broadly construed. I’ll also include some reminders of ways that violable constraints are useful in CUP.]
  • 5th March 2015 (13:10-14:00), room 1.20, DSB: David Lorenz (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg) and David Tizón-Couto (Universidade de Vigo) 'Speech rate and phonological environment as determinants of reduction: 'havda' and 'uzda' in spoken American English'. [Usage-based approaches to language generally assume that frequent sequences are 'chunked' and accessed non-compositionally (i.a. Bybee 2010, Langacker 2000). In spoken language, this may show in realizations that disregard the morphological components of a composite structure. We investigate this in the case of V-to-Vinf constructions in American English. Using data from the SBC (DuBois et al. 2000-2005), we examine the effects of speech rate and phonological environment on the realization of two types of the structure V to Vinf in American English: 'have to' and 'used to'. These items may undergo to-contraction (Aoun & Lightfoot 1984, Pullum 1997, Krug 2000), but the contractions are not conventionalized (unlike e.g. 'gonna'). Contraction, here defined as a reduction of the /t/-sound (flap or elision), is assumed to require non-compositionality. Speech rate is measured in syllables per second on the intonation unit; item frequencies are extracted from COCA (Davies 2008-). Across types, to-contraction is shown to be contingent on rapid speech; phonological context (specifically the following sound) affects only the final vowel (often realized as schwa). Moreover, contracted realizations of have to and used to are far less frequent than conventionalized contractions ('wanna', 'gonna'). These results suggest that 'havda' and 'uzda' are on-line reductions of non-compositional chunks, and that rapid speech potentially fosters the propagation of contracted variants.] 
  • 5th February 2015 (12:10-14:00 - note unusual time), room B21 in 7 George Square (note unusual place): Bert Remijsen 'Combining qualitative and quantitative approaches in the study of tone'. [This is a dry run for a masterclass at the 4th International Conference on Language Documentation & Conservation (University of Hawai'i at Manoa, February 26-March 1, 2015). Ear-based methods and quantitative analysis are both very useful in the study of tone. In order to combine them, one needs to understand how the auditory perception of pitch relates to the fundamental frequency pattern that gives rise to it. Crucial to this relation is the notion of tonal alignment. In this master class, I will explore this notion from phonetic and phonological angles, point out key findings in the experimental and typological literature, and illustrate the issues with many sound examples.]
  • 22nd January 2015 (13:10-14:00), room 1.20, DSB: Benjamin Molineaux 'Prosodic structure and the fate of early English prefixes'. [English is unique among its nearest relatives in having lost most – but not all – of its native prefixes. This change took place in the transition between the language’s old and middle periods, and is traditionally chalked up to 'wholesale borrowing' from Norman French, 'which meant an enormous cut-down on the traditional patterns of word-formation' (Marchand, 1969:131). Closer inspection shows the causality and chronology of this argument to be untenable. Other accounts of the change come from semantics (Samuels 1972; Brinton 1989; Kastovsky 1992), syntax (Hiltunen 1983; Elenbaas 2007) and phonology (Lutz 1997), as well as from grammaticalisation-inspired theories (Hopper & Traugott 2003; Los et al. 2012). Thus far, however, such work has been restricted to explaining loss of either separable or inseparable verbal prefixes, while ignoring the simultaneous decay of nominal and adjectival ones. In this talk I will attempt a principled explanation of the conditions leading to early English prefix loss and preservation across word categories. I will use corpus data to assess the extent of the decline between the two periods, going on to propose syllable weight, foot structure, and the ability to constitute independent prosodic words as factors determining prefix preservation and loss. Finally, the growth of a constraint banning heavy monosyllabic prefixes in Early Middle English will be argued for. Constituting canonical feet and prosodic words, such prefixes would have borne a degree of stress, which clashed with adjacent root-initial stress. As a result, heavy monosyllabic prefixes (tō-, and-, up-, wið-) were either lost or lexicalized.] 


  • 28th August 2014 (13:10-14:00), room 1.17, DSB: Misnadin 'Temporal and spectral properties of the three-way laryngeal contrast of Madurese'.
  • 9th October 2014 (13:10-14:00), room 1.17, DSB: Mits Ota in collaboration with Barbora Skarabela 'The phonology of baby-talk words'. [In most speech communities, there is a set of register-specific words used in addressing infants and young children (Ferguson, 1964, 1977, 1978). These typically take the form of lexical replacement such as 'choo-choo' (for train), and modification such as 'doggie' (for dog). It has long been recognized that these lexical items (?baby-talk words?) exhibit common form characteristics including the prevalence of reduplication, recurrent endings (e.g., -/i/ in English), lack of consonant clusters (cf. stomach vs. tummy), and favored prosodic structures (e.g., 'CVCV in English, CVG.GV in Arabic). However, little is understood about why baby-talk words exist at all or why they tend to have similar phonological patterns across languages. While traditional accounts focus on the resemblance between the observed common phonological structures and children's early vocalization or word production, recent findings in developmental research suggest another possibility; that is, the form characteristics in baby-talk words reflect perceptual or learning biases in infants' speech and language processing. For example, word forms containing adjacent repetition of syllables (e.g., mubaba) tend to attract the attention in young infants (Gervain et al., 2008; Gervain, Berent, & Werker, 2012) and word forms with uniform endings are easier to detect/learn (Kempe, Brooks, & Gillis, 2005; Kempe et al., 2007). In this talk, we present some preliminary outcomes of a series of experiments and analyses we have been conducting to test the hypothesis that phonological structures typical of baby-talk words facilitate word segmentation and word learning.]
  • 23rd October 2014 (13:10-14:00), room 1.17, DSB: Alice Turk in collaboration with Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel (MIT) 'A sketch of an extrinsic timing model of speech production'. Abstract available here.
  • 27th November 2014 (13:10-14:00), room 1.17, DSB: Pavel Iosad 'Bottom-up phonologization of redundant features: vowel quality in south-west Welsh'. A joint event with the Celtic Linguistics Reading Group. [I present the results of a study of the phonologization of vowel quality in south-western dialects of Welsh as an example of bottom-up creation of phonological categories on the basis of predictable categorical distributions. Across Welsh dialects, the quality of (non-low) vowels in stressed syllables is closely intertwined with their length: generally, long stressed vowels are 'tense' while short stressed vowels are 'lax'. In contrastivist frameworks, the mutual predictability of length and quality forces analysts to choose one 'distinctive' feature. South-West Welsh varieties are described as deviating from this picture in allowing 'lax' long mid vowels before high vowels in a following syllable. This is a potential problem for a quantity-based contrastivist approach to Welsh vowels, such as the one in Iosad (2012). It is, however, conceivable that the pattern is not categorical but is instead a continuous trade-off in inherent vowel length. I present the results of a study of vowel quality in South Welsh. The study shows the existence of several types of quantity-quality interactions, including the one described for south-western dialects. I propose a bottom-up phonologization scenario based on learners picking up predictable distributions in the data. This analysis is supported by the patterning of exceptions and by the existence of a 'rule scattering' phenomenon.]
  • 11th December 2014 (13:10-14:00), room 1.17, DSB: Amanda Cardoso and Patrick Honeybone 'Palatalisation can be quantity-sensitive: Dorsal Fricative Assimilation in Liverpool English'. A joint event with the English Language Research Group.


  • 19th September 2013 (13:10-14:00), room 1.17, DSB: Martin Corley 'Analysing ultrasound articulation data in multiple-participant experiments'.
  • 10th October 2013 (13:10-14:00), room 1.17, DSB: P-group business meeting.
  • Wednesday 16th October 2013 (13:10-14:00), room 1.17, DSB: Nigel Fabb (Strathclyde) 'Prosodic phrasing and the delivery of poetry' [note the unusual day: Wednesday, not Thursday].
  • 24th October 2013 (13:10-14:00), room 1.17, DSB: Andras Cser (PPKE, Hungary) 'The split place node hypothesis: evidence from Latin'. [This talk discusses the hypothesis, going back to the early 1990’s and couched in different models in different ways since then, that in feature geometry the place features of consonants and the place features of vowels occupy different slots and/or are dominated by different higher-level nodes. Analyses of a number of phenomena from Latin are adduced in support of such a model, e.g. assimilations between consonants and vowels, the behaviour and diachronic development of gn-initial stems and the allomorphy displayed by the prefix con-.]
  • NB: Andras Cser will also be giving two special seminars open to students and staff - details below. 
  • 14th November 2013 (13:10-14:00), room 1.17, DSB: Rosey Billington (University of Melbourne) 'The sound system of Lopit'. [Ths talk will provide an overview of the sound system of Lopit, an un(der)described Eastern Nilotic language traditionally spoken in South Sudan. Following a description of the segmental and tonal phonology, I turn to the phonological and phonetic evidence for an 'advanced tongue root' type contrast among Lopit vowels, presenting experimental results of investigations into some of their acoustic and durational properties. Results show good evidence for such a contrast, but also indicate that a number of different cues are involved, and speakers may use these to different extents.]
  • 5th December 2013 (13:10-14:00), room 1.17, DSB: Natalia Zharkova (QMU) 'Articulatory constraints in child speech: ultrasound tongue imaging and acoustic evidence'.
  • 13th February 2014 (13:10-14:00), room 1.17, DSB: Bert Remijsen 'Evidence for contrastive tonal alignment in Shilluk'. [Many studies hypothesize or assume that tonal alignment is not contrastive in contour tones (e.g. Hyman 1988, Odden 1995, Silverman 1997, Yip 2002). However, in a recent study on Dinka, a Western Nilotic language of South Sudan, I have presented evidence of precisely this type of configuration for falling contours, i.e., of an Early-aligned Fall being in contrast with a Late-aligned Fall (Remijsen 2013). In Dinka, the Low and the Early-aligned Fall are contextually conditioned allophones of the same phonological category. On the hypothesis that tonal alignment is contrastive in contour tones, it should be equally possible for a human language to present a contrast of Low vs. Early-aligned Fall vs. Late-aligned Fall vs. High. The realisation of such a contrast would involve the same configuration of fundamental frequency, time-shifted relative to the syllable to produce four patterns. In this talk I will present evidence of this configuration in Shilluk, another Western Nilotic language.]
  • 20th February 2014 (12:10-13:00), room 1.20, DSB: Martin Kraemer (Tromso) 'An amphichronic look at palatalization and gliding in Italian'. NOTE UNUSUAL TIME AND PLACE.
  • 20th March 2014 (13:10-14:00), room 1.17, DSB: James Kirby 'Gestural coordination in Khmer word-initial clusters'.
  • 17th April 2014 (13:10-14:30), room 1.17, DSB: Postgraduate session: Daniel Lawrence 'How much do listeners know about phonetic variation? Investigating socio-indexical knowledge through web-based experiments'; Misnadin 'Temporal and spectral characteristics of the three-way laryngeal contrast in Madurese'; and George Starling 'Perceptual learning of vowel length categories in Japanese'.
  • 1st May 2014 (13.10-14.00), room 1.17, DSB: Bob Ladd 'Quasi-contrastive phonetic categories'. Dry run of a talk to be presented at ISSP 10 (10th International Seminar of Speech Production) in Cologne the following week - feedback needed!
  • 26th May 2014 (13.10-14.00): Rory Turnbull (Ohio State) 'Individual differences in phonetic reduction and audience design'.

Special seminars

  • 23rd October 2013 (14:10-16:00), room 3.10 then 3.11, DSB: Andras Cser (PPKE, Hungary) Issues in the phonological description of dead languages: case studies from Latin. [This talk discusses some preliminary methodological issues of the phonological and phonetic description of dead languages. Then case studies are presented from Latin that exemplify some interesting points either in terms of data or in terms of phonological interpretation. Depending on time, the case studies will include lateral dissimilation, variable assimilation at morpheme boundaries, contour segments vs. clusters and sequences (labiovelars, diphthongs), extrasyllabicity and resyllabification.]
  • 25th October 2013 (15:10-17:00), room 1.17, DSB: Andras Cser (PPKE, Hungary) Phonology and morphology in the nineteenth century: the issue of abstractness vs. empiricism [This talk discusses the changing roles of phonology and morphology throughout the nineteenth century and the way the focus shifted from the latter to the former beginning with the 1870’s, one of the most remarkable periods in the development of modern linguistics. This shift was a very important aspect of the Paleogrammarian-Neogrammarian transition, an aspect that has not so far got the attention it deserves. It is also closely connected to the role abstraction played in the work of the different generations of linguists. The open conflict between the Paleogrammarians and the Neogrammarians as well as the latent conflict between the Neogrammarians and de Saussure was partly grounded in different perceptions of what constituted unwarranted abstraction, an issue that is still very much with us in linguistics.]
  • Martin Kraemer will be giving a short special course on Underlying Representations in Phonology open to all students and staff. There are two sessions on this: Monday 17th February (13.10-15.00) and Wednesday 19th February (13.10-15.00), both in room 1.17. All are welcome to turn up to these sessions - no booking necessary. Details are here and here.

P-Workshop Mailing List

Information about P-Workshop events is sent to the P-Workshop mailing list. To subscribe, send an email to any one of the pworkshop organisers listed above.

Contact The P-Workshop (The Phonetics/Phonology Workshop) administrator

PPIG: Philosophy, Psychology, and Informatics Reading Group

What is PPIG?

PPIG stands for the Philosophy, Psychology, and Informatics Reading Group. We are a group of researchers from diverse backgrounds in the above-mentioned groups (and beyond) who aim to gain an interdisciplinary yet deep understanding of the threads that bind the human mind and the world. Please come along!

Where do we meet?

Unless stopped by natural disasters or scheduling difficulties, our meetings in 2015/16 will be in room 1.17, Dugald Stewart Building at 4.30 pm every other Wednesday.

Can I be on the mailing list and send mails to the list?

Yes, you can. Just go to mailing list.


Further information

PPIG Meetings Archive

PPIG Mailing list

Contact PPIG: Philosophy, Psychology, and Informatics Reading Group administrator

Ancient Epistemology Reading Group

The Ancient Epistemology Reading Group provides the opportunity for multi-disciplinary discussion across Epistemology, virtue ethics, Ancient Philosophy and History of Philosophy. The group brings together Ancient Philosophers and Epistemologists in Philosophy@Edinburgh which excels in both areas.

Contact Ancient Epistemology Reading Group administrator

Sociolinguistics Reading Group

The Sociolinguistics Reading Group is open to anyone at the university who is interested in variationist sociolinguistics. We meet for an hour every fortnight to discuss advanced research articles in sociolinguistics. Undergraduates, postgraduates, and staff members are all welcome. Please note that the reading group is not a substitute for a course in sociolinguistics, and it is expected that all group members will have already completed introductory-level readings in sociolinguistics. Meetings are held on Tuesdays from 16:10-17:00 in room F29/30, 7 George Square (unless otherwise noted; see event descriptions). Please contact the convenor to find out specific dates for this semester, or see the schedule below.

Feel free to get in touch if you would like to come.

Further Information

Previous Readings

Contact Sociolinguistics Reading Group administrator

PPLS Interdisciplinary Seminar Series

The PPLS Interdisciplinary Seminar is dedicated to speakers of international calibre who are of interest to at least two of the three subject areas that constitute the school. It meets irregularly between 3-6 times a year. It is common practice at the seminar that the talks are followed by short commentaries by members of PPLS faculty (and sometimes guest commentaries from other schools).

Further Information

Previous Seminars

Contact PPLS Interdisciplinary Seminar Series administrator

Meta Reading Group

The Meta Reading Group focuses on meta-philosophical topics such as the philosophy of philosophy, meta-epistemology, meta-philosophy of language, meta-ethics, meta-metaphysics, and so on. The group reads both recent work (including sometimes work in progress) and "classical" texts. Everyone is welcome—nay, encouraged—to attend.

The group meets every second Thursday from 2 to 4 pm in the Psychology Building, 7 George Square, room S38. Please direct all Meta Reading Group inquiries to Silvan Wittwer (email).

Current reading

This year, the Group shall collectively read and discuss classical as well as recent, yet highly influential, papers on meta-ethics, broadly construed. Dates and reminders will be sent out via the general mailing lists.

Suggestions for other readings are always welcome!

Previous readings


  • Berit Brogaard (2012) Transient Truth Oxford: Oxford University Press





Contact Meta Reading Group administrator

Philosophy and Neuroscience Reading Group

Recent developments in neuroscience has had a relevant impact on philosophy. A case in point was the book Neurophilosophy by Patricia Churchland. This work mainly deals with what neuroscience can offer to philosophers; however, the opposite direction (what philosophy can say about neuroscience or can offer to neuroscientists) is also important. In this reading group we may consider this general level about the relationship between philosophy and neuroscience; for example, questions such as whether a philosophical problem can be solved or settled (neuro)scientifically and how philosophy can use empirical research. On the other hand, we might consider particular problems, such as 'qualia'. Finally, there is also an interesting philosophical insight into the role of neuroscience in contemporary culture and society.

All inquiries about this group should be directed to Alfredo Martinez.

Readings for 2011-12

In the first meeting we discussed The philosophical foundation of neuroscience by Bennet and Hacker (2003). There is a shorter version with replies from Searle and Dennett: Neuroscience and Philosophy: Brain, Mind and Language (2007). We focused on the review by Paul Churchland.

The second meeting was devoted to the paper Are neural correlates of consciousness? by A. Noë.

Contact Philosophy and Neuroscience Reading Group administrator

Developmental Phonology Reading Group

The Developmenal Phonology Reading Group meets for an hour every other week or so to discuss recent or important articles in the study of phonetic/phonological learning in children and adults. Everyone is welcome.

The group is convened by Mits Ota.

Further Information

Previous Readings

Contact Developmental Phonology Reading Group administrator

Edinburgh Aphasia Interest Group (EAIG)

We are a group of interested researchers, students, Speech & Language Therapists and any other individuals working/researching aphasia.

Why: The purpose of these meetings is toshare aphasia research & knowledge, in order to enhance evidence-based practice in speech and therapy language as well as to promote collaborative and inter-disciplinary work within and between researchers and healthcare professionals.

What: Each meeting will focus on a specific area related to aphasia. The meetings will consist of, but are not limited to: presentations by members of the group and/or external speakers; case studies; journal article consideration; followed by a general discussion of the topic.

When: We meet 4 times a year (once a season) - the timings of the meetings will be varied to allow as many people as possible to attend. Meetings will be advertised on the Psychology eventsfeed as well as the main group website.

Where: We vary the location of our meetings around central Edinburgh, to accommodate as many people as possible. Meetings will be held in the following locations: Edinburgh University (Bristo Square); Western General Hospital; Queen Margaret University and Astley Ainslie Hospital. Web-conferencing may also be available at some of these sites for those unable to attend.

Contact: The EAIG is led and organised by Dr Thomas Bak, Anna Jones and Mariana Vega-Mendoza. Please visit the Edinburgh Aphasia Interest Group website for further information, or contact the group organisers on: edinburghaig[at]

British Aphasiology Society: 2015 Research Update Meeting
Progressive aphasia and other non-vascular aphasias
Friday, 17th April 2015, University of Edinburgh, 7 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9JZ.
Abstract submission and registration information

Contact Edinburgh Aphasia Interest Group (EAIG) administrator


Founded in 2012, Eidyn: The Edinburgh Centre for Epistemology, Normativity and Mind is a new advanced research centre at the University of Edinburgh, based in the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences. The centre draws on Edinburgh’s long-standing international reputation for cutting-edge research in epistemology, ethics (especially meta-ethics), and philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Eidyn will be hosting major collaborative research projects across all these areas, alongside smaller pilot projects and other research activity. Its mission is to make a profound and long-lasting contribution to philosophical scholarship in these areas, and in the process to provide a dedicated training environment for postgraduate students and early career academics.

Inquiries about Eidyn should be directed to the Centre Director, Professor Duncan Pritchard.

Contact Eidyn administrator

Psychology Seminar Series

The Psychology Seminar Series hosts speakers from a wide range of research areas – experts within various disciplines of psychology and the humanities, highlighting developments within psychology and stimulating further interest in research. The guest speakers focus on their current research, explaining the reasons for the directions they have taken and provide an opportunity to discuss their research informally.

The seminars run for approximately an hour including question and answer sessions. There is usually a wine reception afterwards when you may have an opportunity to meet the speaker. If you wish to join the speaker's dinner please contact the host for each seminar.

Time: Tuesdays, 17:15 (unless otherwise stated)
Location: Lecture Theatre F21, Psychology Building, 7 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9JZ.

Contact Psychology Seminar Series administrator

Buildings and Facilities

For general information or to obtain assistance in directing your query please contact:

Other contacts:

School Office
School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
The University of Edinburgh
Dugald Stewart Building
3 Charles Street
t: +44 (0)131 651 3083
f: +44 (0)131 651 3190

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Computing, Technical & Audio Visual Support

General contact

The Information Services (IS) Helpline is available for all help enquiries regarding Information Technology (IT).

Other contacts:

IS Helpline

t: +44 (0)131 651 5151
Availability: Opening hours

Mobile Device Clinics

Do you have a laptop running Windows or Mac OS/X? Or a phone that needs email setup?

There are free mobile device clinics open to all students, visitors and staff at the University to provide help with diagnosing and fixing a wide range of software faults as well as general system clean-up and maintenance.

Equipment Loans

The School has a variety of portable audiovisual and computing equipment available to allow staff and students conduct experiments and gather data in the field. If you need to borrow some equipment contact a member of support staff to discuss your requirements.

Local contact

If your enquiry relates to a field of expertise covered by one of the PPLS computing, technical and AV support staff below you are requested to contact them directly. Otherwise, for subject area-specific enquiries send an email to

PPLS members of staff

Jamie Bathgate - Computing and Studio Support

  • PPLS general computing and sound studio support
  • General printing support
  • Laptop loan management
  • Audio-visual equipment loan and support
  • IT equipment inventory

Stephen Boyd - Computing Support

  • Computing lab assistance with standard software
  • Maintenance of LINUX user accounts
  • Lab classroom co-ordinator for booking Appleton Tower and Dugald Stewart labs
  • PPLS general computing support
  • Technical and computing suport for the EMA project
  • Provides cover for the recording studio staff

Morag Brown - Systems Manager

  • Unix system administration
  • Installation and maintenance of system software and application packages
  • Hardware fault reporting
  • User account administration
  • File system backups
  • Integration of print services
  • Inventories and insurance of computer equipment

Alistair Kirkhope - Computing Support

  • Computing lab assistance with standard software
  • PPLS general computing support
  • Provides cover for the recording studio staff

Cedric MacMartin - IT Services Manager

  • Co-ordinates the School computing facilities
  • Systems administration support for the operating systems employed in the School
  • Program and script development

Alisdair Tullo - Programmer

  • Custom software code
  • Assistance for those writing their own program code
  • Co-ordinator of the PPLS Software Development special interest group

Roy Welensky - Webmaster & Graphics Officer

  • Webmaster for PPLS and subject areas
  • Graphics lab manager: self-service text and image scanning
  • Volunteer Panel officer
  • LimeSurvey accounts
  • Psychology mailing lists manager
  • Assistance with large format and colour printing requirements
  • Desktop publishing and layout help

Ronny Wiegand - Cognitive Neuroscience Lab Manager

  • Laboratory day-to-day management
  • Manage bookings and supervise lab use by external and student users
  • Training of staff and external in laboratory use and safety procedures
  • Assistance with preparation and running of participants, and data processing and archiving
  • Development and maintenance of experimental participant database; aid with participant recruitment, and scheduling of participants testing
  • Development and maintenance of Cognitive Neuroscience website

Contact Computing, Technical & Audio Visual Support administrator

School Management Committee Contacts

For general information or to obtain assistance in directing your query please contact:

Other contacts:

School Office
School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
The University of Edinburgh
Dugald Stewart Building
3 Charles Street
t: +44 (0)131 651 3083
f: +44 (0)131 651 3190

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PPLS Representatives

For general information or to obtain assistance in directing your query please contact:

Other contacts:

School Office
School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
The University of Edinburgh
Dugald Stewart Building
3 Charles Street
t: +44 (0)131 651 3083
f: +44 (0)131 651 3190

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Postgraduate Office

For general information or to obtain assistance in directing your query please contact:

Other contacts:

Postgraduate Office (room 1.06)
School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
The University of Edinburgh
Dugald Stewart Building
3 Charles Street
t: +44 (0)131 651 5002
f: +44 (0)131 650 6883
w: Postgraduate Home

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Research Contacts

For general information or to obtain assistance in directing your query please contact:

Other contacts:

Research Office (room 1.04)
School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
The University of Edinburgh
Dugald Stewart Building
3 Charles Street
t: +44 (0)131 650 9967
f: +44 (0)131 651 3190
e: Mel McLaughlin
w: Research Office Homepage

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Undergraduate Teaching Office Contacts

For general information or to obtain assistance in directing your query please contact:

Other contacts:

Undergraduate Teaching Office (room G.06)
School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
The University of Edinburgh
Dugald Stewart Building
3 Charles Street
t: +44 (0)131 650 3961/3602 for general enquiries or email -
e: (for Linguistics and English Language enquiries)
e: (for Philosophy enquiries)
e: (for Psychology enquiries)
e: (PPLS Undergraduate Director)
w: Undergraduate Home

Office hours during semesters:

  • 09:30 - 16:30 Monday to Friday

Student Support Office team

Mhari Davidson (Student Support Officer)
Sarah Nicol (Student Support Officer)
Tamsin Taylor-Welch (Student Support Officer)

Room G.03, Dugald Stewart Building, 3 Charles Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AD
Drop-in times Monday-Friday: 09:30 to 13:00 and 14:00 to 16:30

All students will be able to access the Student Support Office, either in person or via phone or email, without the need for an appointment.

Contact Undergraduate Teaching Office Contacts administrator

Computational Mind Reading Group

Welcome to the Computational Mind Reading Group. The group is not meeting in semester 1 of 2014-2015. Further information will be circulated when the group reconvenes. Normally we meet on Wednesdays, 1 - 2 p.m., in room 1.01 Dugald Stewart Building.

Everyone is welcome (including MSc students, PhD students, and staff).

Previous reading

S. Russell and P. Norvig. Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach. Pearson, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 3rd edition, 2010.

The book is the leading textbook on artificial intelligence. It is the twenty-fifth most-cited publication on Citeseer, and second most-cited publication of this century. Peter Norvig is currently Director of Research at Google. If you would like a snapshot of current approaches in artificial intelligence, you could hardly do better.


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Evaluating Intellectual Virtue

Sponsored by:Arts & Humanities RC logo

This seminar is organized about the question of the value of intellectual virtue: what's good about being intellectually virtuous? Central to this inquiry are conceptual questions about the definition of intellectual virtue (e.g. is the value of intellectual virtue built into its definition?) and empirical questions about the benefits and costs of paradigm intellectual virtues (curiosity, openmindedness, intellectual integrity). All are welcome; for more information, contact Dr Allan Hazlett. This seminar is sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Contact Evaluating Intellectual Virtue administrator

Celtic Linguistics Reading Group

The Celtic Linguistics Reading Group provides a forum for anybody in the University and the wider community who is interested in the Celtic languages from a variety of perspectives. We welcome discussion of papers (or presentation of own work) in any area of theoretical linguistics, applied linguistics, sociolinguistics and language policy, language technology, and any other relevant area.

The group is convened by Dr Pavel Iosad and Dr William Lamb. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with either of the convenors if you would like to join the group.

The group has a mailing list; to be updated about future events and readings, send an email to with the text 'subscribe celtling YOUR NAME' or contact Pavel Iosad.


Tha Buidheann Leughaidh Cànanachais Cheiltich a' tabhann fòram ioma-thaobhach do gach neach anns an Oilthigh agus anns a' choimhearsnachd mun cuairt aig a bheil ùidh anns na cànanan Ceilteach. Cuiridh sinn fàilte air leughaidhean de gach seòrsa (obair nam ball fhèin nam measg) a tha co-ceangailte ri cànanachas teòiridheil, cànanachas gnìomhach, sòisio-chànanachas, poileasaidh cànain, teicneòlas cànain, no raon freagarrach eile.

Tha a' bhuidheann ga stiùireadh leis an Oll. Pavel Iosad agus an Oll. Uilleam Lamb. Leig fhaicinn do Phavel no do dh'Uilleam ma tha ùidh agad sa bhuidhinn.

Tha liosta post-dealain againn; airson fios fhaighinn air tachartasan agus leughaidhean san àm ri teachd, cuir brath thugainn aig leis an teacsa 'subscribe celtling D'AINM', air neo dìreach gu Pavel Iosad fhèin.

Contact Celtic Linguistics Reading Group administrator

Angus McIntosh Centre for Historical Linguistics

Angus McIntosh

The Angus McIntosh Centre for Historical Linguistics (AMC) continues a long tradition in the empirical study of earlier stages of language. Its website is now located at Please update your bookmarks accordingly.

Contact Angus McIntosh Centre for Historical Linguistics administrator

Models in Science and Cognition Reading Group

Models in Science and Cognition [MiSC] probes the role and nature of modelling in scientific theory and practice, involving researchers from various fields to bring multiple perspectives to bear on models and modelling, particularly in human cognition. Many among us are interested in models, and many of us are modellers: MiSC exists to sharpen our understanding of what models are and how models could be used (or not used).

Topics will include:

  • What is a model, and what do we do with one? How do models relate to data, and what are the best rules for creating them?
  • How do you compare models of a system across different levels of explanation, and when is a computational model successful?

Examples of successful or interesting models may also feature, with an emphasis on cognitive/perceptual/linguistic modelling.

If you are interested in the greater topic of modelling, the core issues outlined above, or indeed just who is a modeller, please email Eugene Philalithis. We'll be delighted to have you!

The MiSC group meets fortnightly on Wednesdays 4.30pm - 5.30pm.

Contact Models in Science and Cognition Reading Group administrator

Edinburgh Philosophy of Language Group

The purpose of the Edinburgh Philosophy of Language Group (EPLG) is to provide a discussion forum for people in Edinburgh working on issues in natural language semantics or philosophy of language. Meetings will take the form of informal discussions of work in progress where the members are supposed to have read papers in advance. However, on occasion we’ll have guest speakers and guest talks. The EPLG meets roughly once a month and meetings are set to last for four hours.

If you have any questions about the EPLG and/or would like to be added to the mailing list, please contact Anders J. Schoubye.

Contact Edinburgh Philosophy of Language Group administrator

Scottish Aesthetics Forum

The Scottish Aesthetics Forum (SAF) aims to support and promote study and research in aesthetics across Scotland. SAF invites prominent speakers to deliver a lecture open to the public in a Scottish university (presently the University of Edinburgh) on an aesthetics-related topic of their choice. This is in the hopes that anyone interested in aesthetics and the philosophy of art will have the opportunity to attend first-rate talks on cutting-edge research in aesthetics, thereby engaging with the subject. SAF aims to address a wide array of interests in the field of aesthetics, including analytic and continental philosophical approaches, as well as interdisciplinary approaches spanning across the arts, humanities and sciences. We welcome suggestions for future projects and collaborations.

Inquiries and feedback to:

Scots Philosophical Association logoBritish Society of AestheticsBPA Good Practice logo

The SAF is possible through the generous support of the British Society of Aesthetics and the Scots Philosophical Association.

Contact Scottish Aesthetics Forum administrator

Bilingualism Reading Group

The Bilingualism reading Group is open to anyone at the university who is interested in theoretical and experimental issues in bilingualism and/or second language acquisition. We meet for an hour every fortnight to discuss our work and/or papers on typical and atypical bilingual language development, acquisition and processing.

Meetings are held on Mondays from 13:00-14:00 in room S37, Psychology Building, 7 George Square (unless otherwise noted; see event descriptions). Please contact Dr Vicky Chondrogianni to find out specific dates for this semester and/or to be added on the mailing list, or see the schedule below.

Contact Bilingualism Reading Group administrator