Welcome to the PhilSoc website

Detailed content is available by clicking on the links in the tabs above. Current PhilSoc announcements are listed below.

Articles in the forthcoming issue of the Transactions (116.3)

Delia BENTLEY, Monotonicity in word formation: The case of Italo-Romance result state adjectives; Joseph F. ESKA Laryngeal Realism and the prehistory of Celtic; Sam WOLFE, Probing the syntax of a problematic particle: Old French ‘ SI ’ revisited; Aditi LAHIRI and Johanneke SYTSEMA, Metrical grouping and cliticisation in Middle Dutch: Evidence from verse; Tam BLAXTER and Kari KINN, On Ek and Jak in Middle Norwegian: Mixed methods in historical sociolinguistics; Hezekiah Akiva BACOVCIN and David WILSON, A new method for computational cladistics: An Afro-Asiatic case study; Matthias URBAN, The lexical legacy of substrate languages: A test case from the Southern Ecuadorian highlands; Ville LEPPÄNEN and Tommi ALHO, On the mergers of Latin close-mid vowels; Warren MAGUIRE, The origins of Epenthesis in liquid+sonorant clusters in Mid-Ulster English; Jonathan EVANS, Wen-Chi YEH and Rukmini KULKARNI, Acoustics of tone in Indian Punjabi;  Klaas BENTEIN and Metin BA─×RAÇIK, On the third type of headed relative clause in Post-Classical and Early Byzantine Greek; Patrick SIMS-WILLIAMS, Mechanising historical phonology; Jerzy NYKIEL, Onmang Þæt – incipient grammaticalisation in Old and Middle English; Wendy AYRES-BENNETT, † Rebecca POSNER (17 August 1929 – 19 July 2018).

Published 26 September 2018

Articles in the forthcoming issue of the Transactions (116.2)

Holly KENNARD, Non-negative word order in Breton: maintaining verb-second; Adam LEDGEWAY, Norma SCHIFANO & Giuseppina SILVESTRI, The expression of progressive aspect in Grico: mapping morphosyntactic isoglosses in an endangered Italo-Greek variety; Katerina SOMERS & Robert B. HOWELL, Syntactic echoes of pronominal cliticization and grammaticalization: the case of Old High German first-person plural –mes; Patrick STILES, Of lambkins and piglets in Old English and beyond; Carlotta VITI, Syntax and semantics of modal predicates in Indo-European.

Published 12 April 2018

Next meeting

The next meeting of PhilSoc will take place on Friday 18 January 2019 at SOAS University of London. Dr Melanie Green (Sussex) & Dr Gabriel Ozon (Sheffield) will make a presentation on 'A spoken corpus of Cameroon Pidgin English: compilation, applications and next steps'. The meeting will take place at 4.15 in Room T102, 21-22 Russell Square (NOT the main SOAS building). Tea will be served from 3.45. 


Published 13 December 2018

Next meeting

The next meeting of PhilSoc will take place at the University of Sheffield on Friday 16 November. Early career researchers Dr Christine Wallis (University of Sheffield), Dr Claire Childs (University of York) and Mr George Bailey (University of Manchester) will make presentations on Language change in its socio-historical context, followed by a round table discussion chaired by Dr Ranjan Sen (University of Sheffield). The meeting will will take place at 4.15 in the Humanities Research Institute (HRI) Building, Conference Room. Refreshments will be served from 3.45 in the HRI atrium

Published 21 October 2018

Next meeting

The next meeting of PhilSoc will take place on Friday 19 October at the University of London. Prof. Jean-Christophe Verstraete, Leuven, will speak on 'The diachrony of initial consonant loss in Cape York Peninsula (Australia)'. The meeting will take place at 4.15 in Room G3 in Senate House. Tea will be served from 3.45. For an abstract of the talk, please click here.

Published 8 September 2018

Rebecca Posner

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Rebecca Posner (née Reynolds) (born 17th August 1929 in Horden, Durham). She was a retired British philologist who had been a member of our Society for some time, held the office of President from 1996 to 2000 and was Vice-President at the time of her death on July 19th 2018.  Rebecca was appointed Professor of French Studies at the University of Ghana from 1963 until 1965 when she took up a Readership in Linguistics at the University of York, UK. From 1978, Rebecca was Professor of Romance Languages at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St. Hugh’s there, becoming Professor Emeritus and Honorary Fellow at St. Hugh’s upon her retirement in 1996.

Published 28 July 2018

PhilSoc announces new Members of Council

The PhilSoc AGM held on 16 June 2018 saw the election of five new members of Council.

Five Council members stood down, namely, Prof. Peter Austin, Prof. Martin Durrell, Prof. Bjarke Frellesvig, Dr Martin Orwin and Prof. Philomen Probert. The retiring members were thanked for their service, and their replacements were welcomed, namely, Prof. Stephen Colvin, Dr Hannah Gibson, Prof. Lutz Marten, Prof. Frans Plank, and Dr Patrick Stiles.

Published 27 July 2018


The AGM of PhilSoc will be held in Somerville College, Oxford (Woodstock Road, OX2 6HD), on Saturday 16 June at 4.15 (tea from 3.45), followed by a lecture by Prof. Nikolas Gisborne and Dr Robert Truswell (both Edinburgh) on ‘Parallel evolution of relative clauses in Indo-European’.  For an abstract, please click here. All welcome (including guests).

Published 18 May 2018

Next meeting

The next meeting of PhilSoc will take place on Friday 11 May 2018 at SOAS. Dr Agnes Korn, CNRS, Paris, will speak on 'Bashkardi – a language by convergence?'. The meeting will take place at 4.15 in Room 116 in the main SOAS building. Tea will be served from 3.45. For an abstract of the talk, please click here.

Published 28 March 2018

Variation in Scots, 25 April 2018, Edinburgh

We are pleased to announce that PhilSoc is, together with the British Academy and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, hosting a public event on 'Variation in Scots' in Edinburgh on 25 April 2018, 6.30 pm. The event will be chaired by Professor Jeremy Smith FRSE, Professor of English Philology, University of Glasgow.
Speakers are: Bruce Eunson, Scots Language Coordinator, Education Scotland; Michael Hance, Director, Scots Language Centre; Alice Heywood, Learning Officer, National Library of Scotland; Professor Robert McColl Millar, Professor in Linguistics and Scottish Language, University of Aberdeen; Professor Jennifer Smith, Professor of Sociolinguistics, University of Glasgow. For further information and to book a free place, please click here or here.

Published 19 February 2018

Next meeting

The next meeting of PhilSoc will take place on Saturday 10 March 2018 at Cambridge. Prof. Patrick Sims-Williams, Aberystwyth University, will speak on 'Mechanising historical phonology'. The meeting will take place at 4.15 in Selwyn College. Tea will be served from 3.45. For an abstract of the talk, please click here.

Published 14 February 2018

Matti Rissanen memorial note

It is with great sadness that the Society has received news of the death of Matti Rissanen, Professor Emeritus of English Philology at the University of Helsinki, at the age of 80 on 24 January 2018.

To read the full memorial note, please click here.

Published 7 February 2018