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Beth Cole

Postdoctoral Research Associate



Beth joined the department in 2021 as a Post Doctoral Research Associate. Her main research interests lie in morphological and morphosyntactic variation and change in English and Scottish Gaelic; language contact; language shift; morphology; and sociolinguistic variation in minority language contexts.



  • Postdoctoral Research Associate (Interactions in Grammatical Systems: North-South Dialect Variation in England), University of York (2021-2022)
  • Associate Lecturer
    Newcastle University (2020-2021)
  • Teaching Assistant
    University of Aberdeen (2011)
  • PhD in Linguistics (Gaelic Sociolinguistics)
    University of Aberdeen (2010-2015)
  • MA (Hons) in Gaelic Studies and Language & Linguistics
    University of Aberdeen (2005-2010)



My research interests are in language variation and change, with a particular focus on the relationship between language contact, language shift, and sociolinguistic variation in minority language contexts, in particular Scottish Gaelic, in terms of the interlacing effects of these factors on morphosyntactic variation and change. These were key themes in my PhD thesis: ‘Morphosyntactic Variation in Uist Gaelic: A Case of Language Shift?’ I am especially interested in morphological and case system variation and change, and consonant mutation as a marker of case in the Celtic Languages. My undergraduate dissertation, which I later presented at an international conference, considered historical word order change in the Celtic Languages in the form of the development of postposed adjectives in early Celtic, and historical morphosyntactic change in English and Celtic remains a keen interest of mine. 


  • 2010-2014. ‘Morphosyntactic Variation in Uist Gaelic: A Case of Language Shift?’ PhD Scholarship


  • Claire Childs
  • Robert McColl Millar

External Activity

External Activity

Conference Presentations:

  • UK Language Variation and Change (UKLVC13), Glasgow ‘Layers of Variation in Scottish Gaelic Genitive Mutation: Is the system changing? (2021)
  • Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig 8, Edinburgh ‘Grammatical Variation in a Minority Language: does variation always mean shift?’ (2014)
  • Sociolinguistics Symposium 19, Berlin ‘“They don’t speak proper Gaelic”: A comparison of native speaker and learner varieties of Scottish Gaelic’ (2012, with Nicola Carty)
  • Forum for Research on the Languages of Scotland and Ulster, Aberdeen ‘Grammatical Change in a Not So Dying Dialect’ (2012)
  • Poznan Linguistics Meeting 41, Poznan ‘Development of Postposed Adjectives in Celtic’ (2010)

Contact details

Beth Cole
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Department of Language and Linguistic Science
Vanbrugh College C Block