Dr William Lamb is a Lecturer in Celtic and Scottish Studies and the Programme Director for the MSc in Celtic and Scottish Studies. Prior to joining the University of Edinburgh in 2010, he was a lecturer in Gaelic Language and Music at Lews Castle College (University of the Highlands and Islands) and an Honorary Research Fellow of Glasgow University. He is currently on the steering committee of the inter-university project Faclair na Gàidhlig (Historical Dictionary of the Gaelic Language) and is a recent subject specialist reviewer for the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).
BA, MSc, PhD, TQFE
Dr William Lamb's research interests lie within two broad areas: Scottish Gaelic linguistics and Scottish oral tradition. Within Gaelic linguistics, his publishing and grant activity is currently focused on corpus linguistics and natural language processing. He is the primary investigator of a funded research project that is building a part-of-speech tagger and reference corpus for the language. He is also interested in Gaelic dialect attrition and change and developing work in this area.
Bridging linguistics and oral tradition, Dr Lamb is investigating the transmission and function of formulaic language in Gaelic oral narrative. One of the more promising methodologies towards this is deploying plagiarism detection algorithms on a large, on-line corpus of texts. This gives us the potential to uncover otherwise hidden links between tradition bearers and their shared, contextualised lexicon.
Within Scottish oral tradition, his primary focus, at present, is investigating the vocal substratum behind Scottish and Irish instrumental dance traditions. Like many of the world’s instrumental traditions, the traditional dance music of Scotland and Ireland has a precursor in dance song. Scotland’s national tune type, the strathspey, is a good example of this underlying vocal tradition.
Lamb, W. (Ed.). (2012). Keith Norman MacDonald's Puirt-à-Beul. Broadford: Taigh na Teud.
Lamb, W. (2008) Scottish Gaelic Speech and Writing: Register Variation in an Endangered Language, Belfast: Cló Ollscoil na Banríona.
Lamb, W. (2003) Scottish Gaelic (2nd edition), Muenchen: Lincom Europa.
Journal Articles and Book Chapters
Lamb, W. (Submitted) ‘Grafting culture: On the development and diffusion of the strathspey in Scottish music’.
Lamb, W. (Forthcoming: 2013). ‘Recitation or Re-creation? A Reconsideration: Verbal Consistency in the Gaelic Storytelling of Duncan MacDonald’.
Lamb, W. (2013) ‘Reeling in the strathspey: The origins of Scotland’s national music’, Scottish Studies, 36: 66-102.
Lamb, W. (2012). ‘The Storyteller, the Scribe and a Missing Man: Hidden Influences from Print in the Gaelic Tales of Duncan and Neil MacDonald’, Oral Tradition, 27/1: 109-160.
Lamb, W. (2006). ‘The noun phrase in Gaelic speech and writing’, in W. McLeod, J. E. Fraser & A. Gunderloch (Eds.), Cànan & Cultur/ Language & Culture: Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig 3, 153-178. Edinburgh: Dunedin Academic Press.
Lamb, W. (2005). ‘Towards a corpus of spoken Scottish Gaelic’, in J. M. Kirk & D. P. Ó. Baoill (Eds.), Legislation, Literature and Sociolinguistics: Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and Scotland, 126-137. Belfast: Cló Ollscoil na Banríona.
Lamb, W. (1999). ‘A diachronic account of Gaelic News-speak: The development and expansion of a register’, Scottish Gaelic Studies, XIX: 141-171
This article was published on Dec 6, 2013