Research

TwitterLinkGitHub

At the ISLE summer school in Glasgow, 2019
Photo credit: Elisa Ramírez

My work is mainly situated within historical linguistics, with a 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), and have a keen interest in methods involving building and using parsed corpora. My wider research interests involve syntactic variation and change, historical sociolinguistics, and language contact. 

The specific topics I've investigated can be found below.

I do research on Scots which is the name of a minority language traditionally spoken in Lowland Scotland and the Northern Isles. Follow the link from this heading to learn more! 

Despite that I study the history of Scots, I often take part in events to do with the use of Scots in Scotland today, as I think it's crucial that researchers interact with the Scots-speaking community to learn where our research can have impact.


Recent engagement

Topics investigated, with related outputs/projects:

The development of do-support in English and Scots

Publications

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 here.

Conference presentations

Current/Upcoming

Variation in Subject-Verb agreement in Early Modern Scots (the Northern Subject Rule and beyond)

Publications

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 here.

Conference presentations

Current/Upcoming

Non-finite complementation in the history of English

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

Conference presentations

Current/Upcoming

Scots lexis in 18th-19th century print

In 2020, my colleague Dr Sarah van Eyndhoven and I succesfully submitted a project for the Centre for Data, Culture & Society (CDCS) Text Mining Lab. This led to a collaborative project with the CDCS and National Library of Scotland (NLS), to study the use of Scots and English lexis in print by using the text-mining facility defoe on the NLS chapbooks collection

This project has the following outputs:

The rise of verbal -ing in Scots

Case study in Chapter 6 of my PhD thesis (see below), which I hope to prepare for further outputs in the future!

Outputs related to working with the PCSC data

PhD research

My PhD thesis, available in full here, describes the construction of the Parsed Corpus of Scottish Correspondence (PCSC; ch3), presents three case studies on the PCSC data (ch 4-6), and assesses the likelihood of syntactic changes in Early Modern Scots being outcomes of influence from English (ch2, ch7). 

My supervisors were Prof. Bettelou Los and Prof. Rob Truswell, and I received external supervision from Dr. Rhona Alcorn (Dictionaries of the Scots Language) and Dr. Beatrice Santorini (University of Pennsylvania).

Part of my PhD studies were carried out while on a research visit to the University of Pennsylvania, from February to July 2020.


I successfully defended my thesis in October 2022, and received my award in December 2022.
The examination panel consisted of: