School of English

This page shows the staff for the University of Nottingham's School of English in the UK. Please see here for the School of Education and English in China and the School of English in Malaysia.

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Joshua Neal

Research Student,


Teaching Summary

(Q33220) English Place-Names - Seminar Tutor, Autumn 2018.

(Q31207) Beginnings of English - Seminar Tutor, Spring 2019.

Research Summary

Research topic:

(Anglo-) Scandinavian place-names.

Thesis title:

Danelaw Boundaries: the place-name evidence in context.

Research summary:

My research investigates Scandinavian influence in the border regions of Anglo-Scandinavian England, using place-names as historical evidence where traditional textual evidence is limited.

The Alfred-Guthrum treaty of c. AD 886 (AGu), a peace between Alfred, King of Wessex, and Guthrum, a viking leader, ostensibly divided England politically: much territory in the north and east of England came under Scandinavian rule, and a large area of (north-) eastern England became socially and legally scandinavianised to such an extent that it was later referred to as the 'Danelaw'. The reality of AGu's boundary as a sociopolitical and socioethnic border has been much debated; place-name evidence indicates it was not a fixed sociolinguistic border.

My thesis will analyse Scandinavian nomenclature in eleven modern counties, ranging from Essex in the south-east to Cheshire in the north-west. These counties include those adjoined or bisected by AGu's boundary, and neighbouring counties which feature natural borders for Scandinavian linguistic influence (e.g. The Fens in Cambridgeshire). These counties' place-names, although complex evidence, provide the opportunity to assess the level of Scandinavian linguistic influence in the border regions of Anglo-Scandinavian England.

Research Supervisors:

Dr Jayne Carroll (UoN); Dr John Baker (UoN).


Midlands3Cities AHRC Doctoral Studentship

School of English

Trent Building
The University of Nottingham
University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5900