J. Derrick McClure (President) taught for forty years in the English Department of Aberdeen University. His publications include A Kist o Skinklan Things (an anthology of mid-twentieth-century Scots poetry) and Language, Poetry and Nationhood (a study of the poetic language of the period), Sangs tae Eimhir (a Scots translation of Sorley McLean’s Dàin do Eimhir) and Ailice’s Anters in Ferlielann (a North-East Doric version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) as well as numerous other literary translations and well over a hundred refereed papers on Scottish linguistic and literary topics. As Chairman of the Language Committee of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies from 1976-1991 and of the FRLSU from 1991-2009, he was instrumental in organising many conferences, including a long-running series of one-day events on local dialects held in venues from Lerwick to Newton Stewart and the first few in the still ongoing triennial FRLSU conferences.

Joanne Kopaczyk3Joanna Kopaczyk (Chair) is Senior Lecturer in Scots & English at the School of Critical Studies, the University of Glasgow. She is a historical linguist with a special interest in the medieval and early modern history of the Scots language, which she approaches from a corpus-driven perspective on the one hand, and a pragmaphilological one on the other. She published The Legal Language of Scottish Burghs (Oxford University Press, 2013) and her recent co-edited collections include Historical Dialectology in the Digital Age (Edinburgh University Press, 2019), Applications of Pattern-driven Methods in Corpus Linguistics (John Benjamins, 2018), Binomials in the History of English (Cambridge University Press, 2017), and Communities of Practice in the History of English (John Benjamins, 2013). From 2014 to 2017, she was part of the FITS team at the University of Edinburgh (From Inglis to Scots: Mapping sounds to spellings) and worked on reconstructing the relationships between the proliferation of spelling variants and their postulated sound values in pre-1500 legal and administrative Scots texts. Joanna’s recent interests focus on historical multilingualism, especially in the Scottish context, and she is also fascinated with the early modern Scottish diaspora abroad, especially in the Baltic and Central Europe.

For more information including publications and teaching, see here.

millarRobert McColl Millar (Former Chair) is Professor in Linguistics and Scottish Language at the University of Aberdeen.  He has published widely on the interface between Gaelic and Scots in Northern Scots, lexical attrition in Modern Scots, rapid language change and its connection with attitudes in modern Scotland, language policy towards Scots, the connection between language standardisation and the development of the nation state and the sociology of language. His first book, System Collapse, System Rebirth: The Demonstrative Systems of English 900-1350 and the Birth of the Definite Article, was published by Peter Lang in 2000; his second, Language, Nation and Power, by Palgrave Macmillan in 2005; and his third, Northern and Insular Scots, by Edinburgh University Press in March 2007. His fourth, Trask’s Historical Linguistics, was published in May 2007. In the late 2000s he edited Why Do Languages Change?, a book R.L. Trask had nearly completed at the time of his death in 2004. It was published by Cambridge University Press at the beginning of 2010. Millar’s  Authority and Identity: a Sociolinguistic History of Europe before the Modern Agewas published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2010; English Historical Sociolinguistics was published by Edinburgh University Press in May 2012. Lexical Variation and Attrition in the Scottish Fishing Communities, which he wrote with William Barras and Lisa Marie Bonnici, was published by Edinburgh University Press in June 2014.

He chaired the Forum for Research on the Languages of Scotland and Ulster from 2009 to 2017. He is Editor of Scottish Language, a member of the editorial board of English World-Wide, of the Steering Committee of the Angus McIntosh Centre for Historical Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh, and a trustee of Scots Language Dictionaries. He is also series editor for a refereed online series, Publications of the Forum for Research on the Languages of Scotland and Ulster.

Janet Cruickshank (University of Aberdeen) Treasurer


Christine Elsweiler is Lecturer at the chair for English Linguistics and Literature of the Middle Ages at the University of Munich. She specialises in English historical linguistics with a particular focus on the history of Scots. Her current post-doctoral project researches the pragmatic-semantic interface of the modal auxiliaries in Older Scots and Early Modern English. Her wider research interests include Early Middle English, historical pragmatics and sociolinguistics as well as language and dialect contact. For further information and a list of publications please see:

Carole Hough is Professor of Onomastics at the University of Glasgow. Her research interests include the history of English and Scots, English and Scottish personal names and place-names, historical and contemporary semantics, and Anglo-Saxon law. She is President of the Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland, Convener of the Scottish Place-Name Society, and Principal Investigator for the Leverhulme-funded research project Recovering the Earliest English Language in Scotland: Evidence from Place-Names. For more information and a list of publications, please see:

IMG_1371E Jamieson is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. They are broadly interested in dialect syntax and generative syntactic theory, with a focus on data from Scots varieties. Their PhD investigates the syntax and semantics of non-canonical questions (e.g. rhetorical questions, tag questions) using data from Glasgow Scots and Shetland dialect. For a list of presentations and publications see

Warren Maguire (University of Edinburgh)

MScottMaggie Scott is Lecturer in English Language and Literature at the University of Salford. She is Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) English Literature and the BA (Hons) English Literature with English Language. Her research interests include the history of English and Scots, English and Scottish place-names, historical lexicography, and contemporary Scottish literature. She is currently investigating the lexicographical legacy of Charles Relly Beard (with Joshua Pendragon) and they are curating Beard’s manuscript Dictionary of Arms, Armour and Fashiononline. She is Reviews Editor for the Journal of Scottish Name Studies and a member of the editorial board for Scottish Language and Nomina, the Journal of the Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland. For more information and a list of publications, please see:

Hall of Fame

Iseabail MacLeod worked on Scots-language dictionaries since 1979. She was Editorial Director of the Scottish National Dictionary Association (1986-2002) and Editorial Consultant to Scottish Language Dictionaries. She was joint editor of several of their dictionaries and had a special interest in the language of food and drink. Her other publications include The Pocket Guide to Scottish Words (1986, 2006), and she edited Mrs McLintock’s Recipes for Cookery and Pastry-Work, Scotland’s earliest published cookery book. She was General Editor of the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Scotland (2004).

Bill Nicolaisen was an Honorary Research Professor in the Department of English in the University of Aberdeen, having been an academic teacher since 1951. A world-famous Name Studies and Folklore scholar, he published several books, including The Picts and Their Place Names (1996), and over 700 articles and reviews.