Edinburgh Research Explorer

Prof Nikolas Gisborne

Chair of Linguistics

Phone: 0131 650 3600

Willingness to take Ph.D. students: Yes

Research Interests

I have worked on several topics in lexical semantics (especially problems particularly posed by perception verbs), predication, and verb argument structure, as well as noun phrase structure, and relative clauses. Currently, I mostly work on syntax and language change, and my current main research project is on the diachrony of relative clauses.


I was educated at University College London, in the English Department and the Linguistics Department. I have taught at the University of Cambridge and the University of Hong Kong, and have been at Edinburgh since 2002.


Syntax, semantics, and lexical semantics from pre-Honours to MSc.

Administrative Roles

At different times I have had various administrative roles, including

  • Director of Studies/Personal Tutor
  • Convenor of Board of Studies
  • Member of School Management Committee
  • Member of College Undergraduate Studies Committee
  • Director of MSc English Language (several times)
  • Director of MSc Applied Linguistics
  • PG Advisor for Linguistics and English Language
  • Member of the committee of the LAGB


Research Groups

Meaning and Grammar Research Group

English Language Research Group


1989 BA in English, First Class Honours, University of London (University College).

1991 MA in Modern English Language, University of London (University College).

1996 PhD in Linguistics, University of London (University College).


Research outputs

  1. Where do relative specifiers come from?

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

  2. Defaulting to the new Romance synthetic future

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

  3. On the stubborn refusal of English grammar to generate multiple correlatives

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

View all (30) »

Research activities & awards

  1. LAGB annual meeting

    Activity: Participation in conference, seminar or training courseParticipation in conference

  2. European Day of Languages

    Activity: External academic engagementInvited talk

  3. Mont Follick Chair Appointment Panel

    Activity: External academic engagementMembership of peer review panel or committee

View all (38) »

Research projects

  1. History English Evidential Verbs

    Project: Funded ProjectResearch

  2. English Predicative Constructions

    Project: Funded ProjectResearch

View all (3) »

ID: 6632