Thesis title: Initial consonant mutation in Irish
I have a diverse academic background, having initially studied theoretical physics and mathematics in university before moving into linguistics for my master's degree. While doing my master's, I became interested in the phenomenon of initial consonant mutation in the Celtic languages. I wrote my MPhil dissertation on this topic, looking at how interactions between grammatical modules could be modelled within the framework of Optimality Theory. I am currently working towards a PhD, continuing my research into the theory of Celtic initial consonant mutation, but this time with a focus on whether it could be compatible with a modular approach to grammar.
MPhil Linguistics (Trinity College Dublin): An Optimality Theory Approach to Initial Consonant Mutation in Modern Irish
MASt Mathematics (University of Cambridge)
BA (Hons) Theoretical Physics (Trinity College Dublin): Nonlinear Electromagnetism in General Relativity
Responsibilities & affiliations
Co-chair of LELPGC22 (6th-8th June 2022)
General Secretary of Language Lunch @ Edinburgh (2021-2022)
In 2022/23 I am tutoring on the following courses:
- LEL2A: Linguistic Theory and the Structure of English (LASC08017)
- PPLS Skills Centre: one-on-one academic writing appointments
In 2021/22 I tutored on the following courses:
- LEL1B: Linguistics and English Language 1B (LASC08023)
- LEL2D: Cross-Linguistic Variation: Limits and Theories (LASC08020)
Linguistic theory, Celtic linguistics, phonology, morphology, modularity, interactions between grammatical modules
Current research interestsI am studying initial consonant mutation (ICM) in Irish and the other Celtic languages. ICM consists of the systematic phonological alternation of word-initial consonants in a range of morphosyntactically defined environments. It is of interest to theoretical linguistics because of its apparent incompatibility with a modular approach to grammar: that is, the view that components such as phonology, morphology and syntax operate without reference to one another. My PhD project begins with the most restrictive hypothesis - namely, that these modules are distinct and independent from one another - and investigates whether the Irish ICM data is consistent with this hypothesis. So far, the results of my analysis suggest that the Irish ICM is not necessarily incompatible with a strictly modular grammatical system, although some additional assumptions may need to be made.
I co-chaired the Linguistics and English Language Postgraduate Conference 2022 (LELPGC22), which was held in the University of Edinburgh, 6th-8th June 2022.
I presented a poster entitled "Irish initial consonant mutations: disentangling phonology from morphosyntax" at ACTL summer school 2022 in York.