Ms Tatiana Reid

Research Interests

  • Phonetics
  • Phonology, morphology and their interaction (morphophonology)
  • Tone
  • Western Nilotic languages
  • Linguistic Fieldwork

Research Collaborations

For my PhD at Surrey I work as part of the AHRC-funded research project titled ‘Morphological complexity in Nuer’. Nuer is a Western Nilotic language spoken in Southern Sudan and Ethiopia. It presents an extreme case of morphological complexity due to unpredictability of forms and their internal structure. My focus is on the morphology and phonology of verbs in Lau Nuer which is one of the Nuer dialects. I aim to account for the vast range of phonological distinctions employed in the language including three contrastive vowel lengths, tone and phonation distinctions; to investigate patterns employed in inflection and derivation; and to identify verb classes and describe their classification. My research is fieldwork based. A big part of it involves working with native speakers of the language in the U.K. and in their native land, and conducting elicitation sessions. I use controlled elicitation method when working with language consultants which involves asking speakers to produce short sentences which can be informative to the type of phenomena I investigate. The language under study is highly unusual with respect to the range of the phonological distinctions it employs (phonation types, tone, large vowel inventory and a three-way vowel length distinction) all of which can freely combine in monosyllabic words, making it difficult to tease these features apart. A great importance therefore is placed on making a good quality recordings of the elicited data that are suitable for phonetic analysis. I use instrumental analysis (Praat software) when processing the data that allows me to verify subjective perception by means of objective instrumental measurements.


1. A short introductory course on phonetics and phonology given to the Thok Reel language consultants. Rumbek, Southern Sudan.
2. ‘Elements of Agreement in Thok Reel’. Guest lecturer on Peter Ackema’s Current Issues in Morphology course. The University of Edinburgh, U.K.

2009 A week-long practical course on the use of recording equipment for phonetic analysis and given to the Dinka collaborators of ‘Beyond text: Metre and Melody in Dinka Speech and Song’ project. Juba, Southern Sudan.


2014 ‘Tone in Thok Reel’. ILCAA 50 years. Information Structure in Africa, with an international workshop on Nilotic Linguistics. Kyoto University, Japan.
2011 ‘Phonetics and phonology of Thok Reel’. Department of African Studies, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, Russia.
1. ‘Morphophonological alternations in Thok Reel verb inflection’. LEL postgraduate conference. The University of Edinburgh, U.K.
2. ‘The Sound System of Thok Reel’. 40th Colloquium on African Languages and Linguistics. LUCL, Leiden University, The Netherlands.
1. ‘Lost in Perception: transcribing distinctions not present in one’s native language’.  Student conference, 3L International Summer School on Language Description and Documentation. SOAS, The University of London, U.K.
2. ‘Language and Identity: The Atuot language of Dinka?’                                                      Language in Context Research Group. The University of Edinburgh, U.K.


1. The Endangered Languages Documentation Programme (SOAS). Small grant SG0062 for fieldwork in Southern Sudan
2. The British Institute in Eastern Africa. Minor research grant for fieldwork in Southern Sudan

Contact Me

Phone: 01483 68 2845

Find me on campus
Room: 42 AC 05

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