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Richard Coates
Born 16 April 1949
Grimsby
Residence Bristol
Citizenship UK
Nationality British
Ethnicity English
Fields Linguistics
Institutions University of the West of England, Bristol
Alma mater University of Cambridge
Doctoral advisor J.L.M. Trim
Known for Historical linguistics
Philology of northern and western European languages
Onomastics, especially place-names

Richard Coates (born 16 April 1949, in Grimsby) is professor of linguistics (alternatively professor of onomastics) at the University of the West of England in Bristol. He was formerly (1991-2006) professor of linguistics at the University of Sussex, where he served as Dean of the School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences from 1998 to 2003. He has been honorary director of the Survey of English Place-Names since 2003, having previously (1997-2002) served as president of the English Place-Name Society which conducts the Survey. From 2002 to 2008, he was secretary of the International Council of Onomastic Sciences, a body devoted to the promotion of the study of names. He was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1992 and of the Royal Society of Arts in 2001.

His main academic interests are proper names (from both the historical and the theoretical perspective), historical linguistics in general, the philology of northern and western European languages, and local history. He is editor of the Survey of English Place-Names for Hampshire.

He has written books on the names of the Channel Islands and the local place-names of St Kilda, Hampshire and Sussex, as well as numerous academic articles and collections on related topics. Some years ago, he introduced a new etymology of the name London. He derived it from the pre-Celtic Old European *(p)lowonida, meaning 'boat river' or 'swim river', i.e. 'river too wide to ford', and suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London; from this, the settlement gained the Celtic form of its name, *Lowonidonjon.[1]

He is also the author of Word Structure, an introduction to linguistic morphology.

External links

References

  1. ^ Coates, Richard (1998). "A new explanation of the name of London". Transactions of the Philological Society 96 (2): 203–229. doi:10.1111/1467-968X.00027. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/1467-968X.00027. 
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