Pavel Iosad

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

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

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

I have a (mostly empty) blog. Also, feel free to browse my code repositories. I enjoy programming in Common Lisp, as well as Python and Haskell.


  • I presented An echoing tone: Pitch accent parallels in Scandinavia and Scotland at the Nordic Research Network 2015 conference at the University of Edinburgh. View the presentation or download the handout
  • My paper ‘Pitch accent’ and prosodic structure in Scottish Gaelic: reassessing the role of contact has appeaed in New trends in Nordic and general linguistics, edited by Martin Hilpert, Janet Duke, Christine Mertzlufft, Jan-Ola Östman, and Michael Rießler, to be published with Mouton de Gruyter. Download a copy
  • This semester, I am teaching the section on phonology in LEL2D: Cross-Linguistic Variation: Limits and Theories (LASC08020), sections on Indo-European, Celtic, and phonology in LEL2E: Structure and History of European Language (LASC08021), and portions of Current Issues in Phonology (LASC10089) and Historical Phonology (LASC10046).
  • I received a Royal Society of Edinburgh Small Research Grant in the Arts and Humanities for the project The phonetics and phonology of short vowels in Irish and Scottish Gaelic. The project is a collaboration with Máire Ní Chiosáin (University College Dublin)


Before you ask, anghyflawn is Welsh for ‘incomplete’ — at this point this should be self-explanatory. I also get asked about my name a lot, so here is a brief explanation.