Pavel Iosad

Senior Lecturer

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

Contact details



Room 3.08, Dugald Stewart Building

3 Charles Street, Edinburgh
Post code


  • In Semester 2, my office hour is on Tuesdays, 10:00–11:00. You are also welcome to make an appointment via


I graduated from the theoretical and applied linguistics programme at Moscow State University in my native Russia in 2007 and completed doctoral study at the Centre for Advanced Studies in Theoretical Linguistics, University of Tromsø, Norway, with a thesis on the sound patterns of Welsh and Breton. Before coming to Edinburgh I held a lectureship at the University of Ulster. I was Lecturer in Theoretical Phonology from 2013, and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2019.

Responsibilities & affiliations

I am affiliated to the Phonetics and Phonology, Language Variation and Change, and English Language Research Groups; I am also an affiliate of the Angus McIntosh Centre for Historical Linguistics.

In 2023/2024, I am the PPLS Director of Students. If your question relates to this role, please email

Undergraduate teaching

In 2023/2024, I am convening the following courses:

  • Linguistics and English Language 1A (pre-Honours)
    • I teach several topics within the course
    • I am also responsible for the data analysis component
  • Phonological Theory (Honours)
  • Current Issues in Phonology (Honours)
    • I teach several topics within the course

Postgraduate teaching

In 2023/2024, I convene the courses Phonological Theory and Current Issues in Phonology

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I am interested in enquiries from prospective students with interests in the areas of theoretical and historical phonology. My main expertise is in Germanic, Celtic, and Slavic linguistics, but I am more than happy to entertain proposals that go beyond these languages.

Current PhD students supervised

  • Jakub Musil: Vowel insertion in the Gaelic languages
  • Anna Laoide-Kemp: Initial consonant mutations in Irish
  • Brandon Kieffer: Historical phonology of Great Lakes Bantu
  • Iris Kamil: Semitic historical morphology
  • Daithí Knowles (Celtic & Scottish Studies): History of Achill Irish

Past PhD students supervised

  • Jade Jørgen Sandstedt: ‘Feature specifications and contrast in vowel harmony: The orthography and phonology of Old Norwegian height harmony’
  • Christopher Lewin (Celtic & Scottish Studies): ‘Aspects of the historical phonology of Manx’

Research summary

Theoretical phonology, phonological interfaces, historical phonology, phonological typology, Celtic languages, Germanic languages, Slavic languages, scholarship of teaching and learning

Current research interests

My main interests are in phonological theory (particularly theories of phonological representation and phonological interfaces) and in historical linguistics (historical phonology, language variation and change, and language contact). More recently, I have also been exploring topics in synchronic and diachronic phonological typology. Most of my work focuses on Celtic (particularly Welsh, Irish and Scottish Gaelic) and Germanic (particularly North Germanic) languages. I have also worked with Romance, Slavic, and Uralic languages, and have a running interest in Semitic languages and the languages of Sub-Saharan Africa (especially Atlantic, Bantu, and Mande). I am also interested in the scholarship of teaching and learning and pedagogical innovation in linguistics. I have a particular focus on using problem-solving techniques in the linguistics classroom (and in other contexts), building on the Linguistics Olympiad movement. I am currently collaborating on these issues with colleagues in linguistics and mathematics.

Affiliated research centres