Edinburgh Research Explorer

Nikolas Gisborne

Chair of Linguistics

Phone: 0131 650 3600

Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Research Interests

I have worked on several topics to do with argument structure and event structure, synchronically and diachronically, as well as aspects of noun phrase structure, particularly relative clauses. Currently, I mostly work on syntax and language change, with my current main research project being on the diachrony of relative clauses.


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


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

Administrative Roles

At different times I have had various administrative roles, including

  • Head of Linguistics and English Language 2017-2020
  • Convenor of PPLS Undergraduate Board of Studies
  • Director of MSc Applied Linguistics
  • Director of MSc English Language
  • Director of MSc Linguistics
  • Director of Studies/Personal Tutor
  • Member of School Management Committee
  • Member of College Undergraduate Studies Committee
  • Membership Secretary of the Linguistics Association of Great Britain
  • PG Advisor for Linguistics and English Language

Research Groups

Cognitive Linguistics Research Group

English Language Research Group

Meaning and Grammar 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. Which-hunting in Medieval England

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Thematic roles and events

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

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Research activities & awards

  1. Idiomaticity and language change

    Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesOral presentation

  2. Language Networks

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

  3. Catholic University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt

    Activity: Visiting an external institution typesResearch and Teaching at External Organisation

View all (45) »

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