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Research Projects and Grants

Celtic Linguistics Group at the University of Arizona

My entire career I have worked on the linguistics of the Modern Celtic language, particularly Modern Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Old Irish. I am lucky enough to have worked with colleagues and students who are interested in Manx, Welsh and Breton. At the University of Arizona we have a Celtic Language group which has hosted a number of grants and research opportunities.  The Celtic Group here has a website (which really out of date) here:

Much of the research of this group ground to a halt during COVID because we were unable to field work or run experiments.  During the Pandemic we pivoted temporarily to run an online speaker series called "Foundational Approaches to Celtic Linguistics" or FACL2. You can see all these talks here:

The Celtic Group has had a number of research grants:

  • September 15, 2015 - February 28, 2019. National Science Foundation (BCS1453724) Experimental and Descriptive Investigations of Welsh (cym) Consonant Mutations. Michael Hammond (PI), Diana Archangeli, Andrew Carnie, Diane Ohala, Adam Ussishkin, Andy Wedel, Peredur Webb-Davies, and Heddwen Brooks (CoPIs)

  • April 2015 -  April 2017. National Science Foundation (BCS1500220) Collaborative Research: An Audio-visual corpus of Scottish Gaidhlig (GLA). Co PIs: Hammond, Fisher. Collaborative proposal with Ian Clayton at the University of Nevado Reno.

  • April 2012 -  Sept 2015. National Science Foundation (BCS11443818) Experimental and descriptive investigations of Gàidhlig Initial Consonant Mutation. Co PIs: Archangeli, Hammond, Ussishkin, Warner.

  • August 2011 – December 2011. National Science Foundation (BCS1136921) Instrumental and Experimental Analysis of Scottish Gaelic Phonology and Phonetics (Welsh Supplement) Co PI: Michael Hammond 

  • July 15, 2009-July 14, 2012. National Science Foundation (BCS0921685). Instrumental and Experimental Analysis of Scottish Gaelic (Gaidhlig; gla) Sound Structures Co-PIs: Michael Hammond, Natasha Warner, Diana Archangeli, Muriel Fisher (University of Arizona).

  • September 2008 – February 2010. National Science Foundation (BCS0819117). Workshop and Mini-Course on Formal Approaches to Celtic Linguistics Tucson, Arizona, March 1-8th, 2009. 

  • June 2007 – May 2009. National Science Foundation (BCS0639059). A Description and Database of Scottish Gaelic (Gaidhlig; gla) Morphosyntax.

My own personal research interests.


See my publications and presentations for more details on all of my work. I work primarily in the Minimalist Principles and Parameter's framework. Some of the major themes my work are the following

Syntactic Theory and Semantics
  • Verb Initial Word order correlates

  • Copular Constructions

  • Case and agreement

  • Constituent Structure

  • Merge and dependencies

  • Aspect

Phonology, Morphology and Phonetics
  • Nominal declensions and inflectional morphology

  • Sonority constraints on syllabification

  • Initial consonant mutation

  • Diphthongization

  • Nasalized Fricatives

  • Palatalization

Documentary Linguistics
  • Traditional Field work and Elicitation

  • Building a corpus of transcribed audiovisual material (collaborative with Ian Clayton and Mike Hammond)

Documentary Ethnochoreology

Graduate Student Professional Development

As Dean of the Graduate College, in addition to generally working to improve the lives of our graduate students, two of my particular interests have been in diversifying the Graduate Student body and working on legitimizing and supporting doctoral students who are interested in pursuing careers outside of academia. In 2014 I founded the University of Arizona Graduate Center, which provides professional development training of all types for Graduate Students. In collaboration with the center's director, Associate Dean Meg Lota Brown, we have collaborated with other institutions in the Council of Graduate Schools to investigate best practices and outcomes for helping students succeed no matter what their ultimate career goals are. The two primary projects we have participated in are:

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