Anna Laoide-Kemp

PhD Linguistics & English Language

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

Contact details


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.


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)

Undergraduate teaching

In 2020/21 I am tutoring on the following courses:

LEL1B: Linguistics and English Language 1B (LASC08023)

LEL2D: Cross-Linguistic Variation: Limits and Theories (LASC08020)

Research summary

Linguistic theory, Celtic linguistics, phonology, morphology, interactions between grammatical modules

Current research interests

I am studying the phenomenon of initial consonant mutation (ICM) in Irish and the other Celtic languages. ICM is a well-known feature of the Celtic languages, but its place in the grammar is still not fully understood. It consists of the systematic phonological alternation of word-initial consonants in a range of morphosyntactically defined environments. It poses a problem 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.