Kyushu University Academic Staff Educational and Research Activities Database
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Stephen Laker Last modified date:2023.10.05

Administration Post

 Reseacher Profiling Tool Kyushu University Pure
Academic Degree
M.A. (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany), Ph.D. (Universiteit Leiden, The Netherlands)
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. I am Managing Editor of the journal NOWELE and the NOWELE Supplement Series of books.
Research Interests
  • North Yorkshire English
    keyword : dialectology
  • English place-names
    keyword : place-names
  • The focus is currently on Frisian syntax.
    keyword : Morphosyntax, phonology
Current and Past Project
  • The aim of Taalportaal is to collect existing information about the grammars of Dutch, Frisian and Afrikaans and to make it available through the internet in a way which is both accessible and scientifically viable. Such a language portal is unique in the world. Three core domains traditionally distinguished in linguistics – phonology, morphology and syntax – have been integrated into one portal using extensive cross referencing to ensure optimal linking. This offers interesting opportunities for linguists to discover relations and connections between linguistic phenomena that have remained hidden until now. Taalportaal is, however, equally important to people dealing with language and grammar in a more practical way, such as teachers, language advisors and authors developing teaching materials.
  • 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, & Nielsen, H.F., Early history of the North Sea Germanic languages, Amsterdam,, Y, 2021.04, [URL], This special issue of NOWELE contains revised and, in some cases, extended versions of six of the ten papers read at an international symposium on the Early History of the North Sea Germanic Languages held at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense on 13 March 2018..
2. Laker, S., & de Vaan, M., Frisian through the Ages: Festschrift for Rolf H. Bremmer Jr, Leiden/Boston, 2017.06.
3. Laker, S, & Askedal, J. O., Historical Germanic morphosyntax, Amsterdam, 2021.11, [URL], This special issue of the journal NOWELE contains revised versions of five of the seven papers read at an international symposium on Historical Germanic Syntax organized by Hans Frede Nielsen in collaboration with Alexandra Holsting, Elisabeth Dalby Kristiansen, and John Ole Askedal, held at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense on 26 March 2019..
1. Laker, S., Review of: Hines, J., & IJssennagger-van der Pluijm, N. (eds.). 2021. Frisians of the Early Middle Ages. Woodbridge: Boydell., Journal of English and Germanic Philology 122(3), 422–425, 2023.07.
1. Cole, M., Laker, S., The contact history of English, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics,, 2022.09, [URL].
2. Laker, S., Palatalization and assibilation of /k/ in English and Scottish place-names, NOWELE,, 74, 1, 80-115, 2021.04, [URL].
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.
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.