Lisa Gotthard


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

Contact details



Room 1.13, Dugald Stewart Building

3 Charles Street, Edinburgh
Post code


I am Lecturer in English Language, with a research focus on English and Scots in the Early Modern period. I have parsed a corpus of Scots correspondence from 1540-1750 (the 'Parsed Corpus of Scottish Correspondence', to be made available), and have a keen interest in methods involving building and using parsed corpora. My other research interests involve syntactic variation and change, historical sociolinguistics, and language contact.


PDF icon 139038.pdf


2013-16: BA with Honours in Linguistics, University of York

2016-17: MSc (Dist.) in English Language, University of Edinburgh

  • Dissertation title: The diachrony of do-support in Scots

2018-22: PhD in Linguistics and English Language, University of Edinburgh

  • Title: Syntactic change during the anglicisation of Scots: Insights from the Parsed Corpus of Scottish Correspondence 
  • Supervisory team: Bettelou Los, Rob Truswell, Rhona Alcorn (ext.), Beatrice Santorini (ext.)

Undergraduate teaching

Autumn 2022

  • LEL1A – History and Variation
  • Scots & Scottish English – Variation and change in (urban) Scots

Spring 2023

  • LEL2C: English in Time and Space – Current variation in British dialects + Scots and Scottish English
  • Dialects of English in Britain and Ireland (CO)

Research summary

Historical Variation and Change in English and Scots, Syntax, parsed corpora, corpus methods, language contact, cross-germanic comparison


Edited volumes

  • Los, B., C. Cummins, L. Gotthard, A. Honkapohja, and B. Molineaux (Eds.). (2022). English Historical Linguistics: Historical English in Contact. Papers from the XXth ICEHL, vol. 2. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins.


  • Gotthard, L. (Forthcoming). Subject-Verb agreement and the rise of do-support during the period of anglicisation of Scots. To appear in the ICEHL21 proceedings volume.

  • Filgueira, R., C. Grover, V. Karaiskos, B. Alex, S. van Eyndhoven, L. Gotthard, and M. Terras. (2021). Extending defoe for the efficient analysis of historical texts at scale. 2021 IEEE 17th International Conference on eScience (eScience), 21-29, doi: 10.1109/eScience51609.2021.00012. Available at:
  • Gotthard, L. (2021) Variation in Subject-Verb Agreement in the History of Scots, University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics: Vol. 27: Iss. 1, Article 9. Available at:
  • Gotthard, L. (2019). Why do-support in Scots is different, English Studies 100(3). 1–25.

Affiliated research centres

Project activity

Since February 2022, I am working with Prof. George Walkden (PI) and Dr. Sirri Björnsdóttir (Uni Konstanz) on the project 'Modelling lexical diffusion in syntax: non-finite complementation in Modern English' -- project H4 under the research unit 'Structuring the Input in Language Processing, Acquisition and Change' (SILPAC). I spent 4 weeks at Uni Konstanz working on this project, from 17 Oct to 14 Nov 2022.

View all 4 publications on Research Explorer

Invited speaker



  • European Society for the Study of English Conference, Mainz  29 Aug–3 Sep 2022. Part of Round Table: New Approaches to the Study of Scottish Historical Correspondence
  • Undergraduate Linguistics Association of Britain (ULAB) conference, University of Edinburgh, April 2022. Plenary talk: Gotthard, L. Filling gaps: Building a parsed corpus of Older Scots correspondence.  
  • Multimethodological approaches to synchronic and diachronic variation (workshop), University of Potsdam, October 2019. Poster: Gotthard, L. "Variation in subject-verb agreement in the history of Scots". 


2nd Scots@Ed Symposium, Jan 2020. One-day symposium with presentations from academics researching the Scots language, as well as non-academics working with the Scots language.

Papers delivered

  • FRLSU, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Online), October 2021. Gotthard, L. "The Scots Northern Subject Rule in Contact."  
  • ICEHL21, University of Leiden (Online), June 2021. Gotthard, L. "Subject-verb agreement and the rise of do-support in the period of anglicisation of Scots. "  
  • ISLE 6, University of Eastern Finland (Online), June 2021. van Eyndhoven, S., L. Gotthard, and R. Filgueira. "’Scots for the masses’? Exploring the use of Scots in 19th century chapbooks".   
  • 44th Penn Linguistics Conference, University of Pennsylvania, March 2020 (Conference cancelled due to Covid-19). Gotthard, L. "Variation in subject-verb agreement in the history of Scots". (Poster)