Kyushu University Academic Staff Educational and Research Activities Database
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Stephen Laker Last modified date:2021.10.28

Administration Post

 Reseacher Profiling Tool Kyushu University Pure
Academic Degree
M.A. (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), Ph.D. (Universiteit Leiden)
Country of degree conferring institution (Overseas)
Yes Master Doctor
Field of Specialization
Linguistics, English Linguistics, German Linguistics
ORCID(Open Researcher and Contributor ID)
Total Priod of education and research career in the foreign country
Outline Activities
My research is mainly about language variation and change. I focus on phonetics, phonology and morphology in English, German, Dutch, Frisian and other languages. I increasingly use electronic corpora and data visualisation techniques in my work. I teach English for Academic Purposes and Linguistics.
Research Interests
  • English place-names
    keyword : place-names
  • The focus is currently on Frisian syntax.
    keyword : Morphosyntax, phonology
Current and Past Project
  • The purpose of the project is to investigate core patterns of linguistic change in the early history of English, setting new standards in the organization, integration and analysis of data using GIS (Geographical Information Systems; Japanese: 地理情報システム).
Academic Activities
1. Laker, S., & de Vaan, M., Frisian through the Ages: Festschrift for Rolf H. Bremmer Jr (= special issue of Amsterdamer Beiträge zur älteren Germanistik 77), Leiden/Boston, 2017.06.
2. Laker, S., & Russell, P., Languages of Early Britain (special Issue of Transactions of the Philological Society), Chichester, Malden, 2011.07, [URL], This thematic issue arose from a one-day symposium carrying the same title held at Manchester University on 21 May 2009..
3. Laker, S., & Mailhammer, R., Problems in English Historical Phonology (= thematic issue of Anglia - Zeitschrift für engliache Philologie), Berlin, New York, Volume 127, Issue 2, 2010.04, [URL].
1. Laker, S., Review of: Hines, J., & IJssennagger, N. (eds.). 2017. Frisians and Their North Sea Neighbours: From the Fifth Century to the Viking Age. Woodbridge: Boydell., Speculum, doi:10.1086/703892, 2019.06.
2. Laker, S., Review of: Stenroos, M, Mäkinen, M., & Særheim, I. (eds.). 2012. Language Contact and Development around the North Sea. Amsterdam: Benjamins., Journal of English and Germanic Philology 112(3), 368–371., 2013.01, [URL].
3. Laker, S., Review of: Miller, D. G. 2012. External Influences on English: From its Beginnings to the Renaissance. Oxford: OUP., Lingua, 2013.09.
1. Laker, S., Palatalization and assibilation of /k/ in English and Scottish place-names, NOWELE,, 74, 1, 80-115, 2021.04, [URL].
2. Laker, S., Celtic influence on Old English vowels: A review of the phonological and phonetic evidence, English Language and Linguistics, 10.1017/S1360674317000545, 23, 3, 591-620, 2019.08.
3. Laker, S., Early changes of dental fricatives: English and Frisian compared, Amsterdamer Beiträge zur älteren Germanistik, 10.1163/18756719-12340074, 77, 1-2, 243-267, 2017.06.
4. Laker, S., The downfall of dental fricatives: Frisian perspectives on a wider Germanic trend, Amsterdamer Beiträge zur älteren Germanistik, 10.1163/9789401211918_011, 73, 261-300, 2014.01, [URL].
1. Laker, S., New urban and rural British English varieties in the Northeast, English in Contact, 2019.03, [URL], This paper investigates the development of British English dialects in northeast England in the 19th and 20th centuries, especially those in North Yorkshire. Traditional rural dialects, which are well documented since the 17th century, have undergone major changes in different directions through changing circumstances, such as the introduction of mining and the steel working industry with major population changes and movements. Key developments in phonology, morphology and lexis are charted, and the differences between urban Teesside accents, as centred around Middlesborough, and more rural East Cleveland dialects are juxtaposed. Special attention is given to dialect geography on the basis of maps..
2. Laker, S., Early English phonology as revealed through place-names, International Conference on English Historical Linguistics 20, 2018.08, This paper provides a synoptic view of surviving pre-Anglo Saxon place-names in England (excluding Cornwall) and southern Scotland. After presenting details on the numbers and distribution of the names judged to be either etymologically probable or possible, I show how consonants and long vowels in the place-name elements have different phonological forms in different areas of England and southern Scotland. Particular attention is paid to whether velar consonants in British names are palatalised before and/or after palatal vowels, and on how British long vowels have different reflexes in different regions of Britain. These differences usual stem from: 1) dialectal variation in British; 2) variation in Old English dialects; or 3) the effects of later contacts (e.g. with Norse). In some instances, however, the reasons are not entirely clear. Given that hundreds of place-names survive, it is surprising that handbooks on English historical phonology usually afford them little or no consideration at all..
3. Laker, S., British place-names and Early English phonology, An International Symposium on the Early History of the North-Sea Germanic Languages: Dutch, English, Frisian and Low German, 2018.03.
Membership in Academic Society
  • International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE)
  • Linguistic Society of America
  • The Philological Society
  • International Society of Historical Linguists
  • Language Variation and Change Network
  • Japan Society for Historical Linguistics
Educational Activities
Language and Communication in Society
Academic Writing
Professional and Outreach Activities
Managing Editor of the journal NOWELE
Affiliate member of Angus McIntosh Centre for Historical Dialectology, Edinburgh University.