Honorary Professor: Roger Lass
Roger Lass has been made an Honorary Professor in the College of Humanities & Social Science.
He received his PhD in Medieval English Language and Literature from Yale in 1964, and went on to teach at Indiana University and Edinburgh, where he became reader in Linguistics.
He then became Professor of Linguistics at the University of Cape Town in 1983. Professor Lass has published extensively in historical linguistics, especially the history of English, as well as phonological theory.
The works of which he is most proud include 'On Explaining Language Change' (CUP 1980), 'Historical Linguistics and Language Change' (CUP 1997) and his contributions to the 'Cambridge History of the English Language' (CUP 1992 & 1999). Since 2003, Professor Lass has together with the Department of Linguistics and English Language's Dr Margaret Laing published a series of collaborative papers on Middle English phonology and scribal practice.
His most recent major work is acting as Principal Investigator of the collaborative online 'Corpus of Narrative Etymologies' (CoNE), which was produced in Edinburgh’s former Institute for Historical Dialectology.
His main interests include Germanic linguistics, theory and philosophy of linguistics, evolutionary theory and neuroscience (particularly psychiatry), and cats.
In the 1970s, Professor Lass and his wife, together with friends, founded Lothian Cat Rescue, which still homes hundreds of cats a year from its shelter in Bonnyrigg.