School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Staff Profile

Dr Gary Taylor-Raebel

Teaching Fellow


My main areas of interest are phonological theory (particularly Optimality Theory and Government Phonology), historical linguistics, Germanic, Celtic and minority languages and Constructed Languages (Conlangs).


PhD Linguistics, 2017 (University of Essex)

MA Linguistics, 2000 (University of Reading)

BSc (Hons) Mathematics with German (University of Sussex)


For my PhD I carried out an OT study of vocalisations in the Germanic languages. The study raised questions about underlying vowel features present in consonants and also looked at the moraic structure of Germanic syllables. It also addressed the nature of the Proto-Germanic rhotics and the stress shift to the first syllable.

I am currently working on two papers relating to my thesis, the first looking at the nature of the stress shift from Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic and the impact this had on later Germanic dialects, and the second examining the phonetic realisation of the two rhotics in early Germanic dialects.

Further to this I am researching Cornish initial consonant mutations which I will be describing using Element Theory and Government Phonology.

Being a native Estuary speaker I am also interested in æ-lengthening and its parallel with North American æ-raising.

I am a keen conlanger and would also be interested in seeing the role constructed languages can play in experimental phonology and sound change.


SEL1028: Morphology

SEL3006: Topics in Phonological Theory