David Parsons MA, PhD

Position:  Senior Fellow, Place-Names of Wales Project
e-mail: d.parsons@wales.ac.uk  
Tel.: 01970 636543
Fax: 01970 639090
Postal address: Dr David Parsons,
University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies,
National Library of Wales,
SY23 3HH

David Parsons joined the Centre in February 2009 after fifteen years of working on English place-names in the University of Nottingham. During that time he has written widely on names and the various languages – English, Norse, British/Welsh, Gaelic, Anglo-Norman and Latin – in which they were coined. His principal task at the Centre is to plan, and attract funding for, a major research project on the place-names of Wales; in preparation for that he is assembling an electronic guide to existing research and resources which, it is hoped, will in itself be of use and interest to a range of researchers.

David is also working on a monograph on the languages of medieval Britain. This will examine the evidence, drawn from inscriptions as well as names and manuscript texts, for the existence and interaction of languages in various regions at various dates. One section will tackle north-west England and south-west Scotland during the Viking Age, a medley of Cumbric, Norse, Gaelic and English; another will explore the earliest linguistic traces of the Anglo-Welsh border.

David is Deputy Director of the Survey of English Place-Names and sits on the committees of the British Academy / Royal Historical Society Anglo-Saxon Charters project, and of the British Academy Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture. He continues to direct the five-year AHRC-funded ‘Perceptions of Place’ project, and for that reason will maintain a 20% attachment to the University of Nottingham until the end of 2010.

Selected Publications

(editor, with Oliver Padel) A Commodity of Good Names: Essays in Honour of Margaret Gelling (Donington, 2008).

(with Jayne Carroll) Anglo-Saxon Mint-Names (Nottingham, 2007).

‘Field-name statistics, Norfolk and the Danelaw’, in Names through the Looking-Glass , eds. Peder Gammeltoft and Bent Jørgensen (Copenhagen, 2006), pp. 165–88.

The Vocabulary of English Place-Names: Ceafor–Cock-pit (Nottingham, 2004).

(with Lesley Abrams) ‘Place-names and the history of Scandinavian settlement in England’, in Land, Sea and Home , eds. John Hines et al . (Leeds, 2004), pp. 379–431.

(editor, with John Higgitt and Katherine Forsyth), Roman, Runes and Ogham: Medieval Inscriptions in the Insular World and on the Continent (Donington, 2002).

Anna, Dot, Thorir ... counting Domesday personal names’, Nomina , 25 (2002), 29–52.

‘Old English * l­ōt , dialect loot , a salt-maker’s “ladle”’, in ‘Lastworda Betst’: Essays in Memory of Christine E. Fell with her Unpublished Writings , eds. Carole Hough and Kathryn A. Lowe (Donington, 2002), pp. 170–88.

(editor, with James Graham-Campbell, Richard Hall and Judith Jesch), Vikings and the Danelaw: Select Papers from the Proceedings of the Thirteenth Viking Congress (Oxford, 2001).

‘How long did the Scandinavian language survive in England? Again’, in Vikings and the Danelaw: Select Papers from the Proceedings of the Thirteenth Viking Congress , eds. James Graham-Campbell et al. (Oxford, 2001), pp. 299–312.

(with Tania Styles) The Vocabulary of English Place-Names: Brace–Cæster (Nottingham, 2000).

(editor, with Patrick Sims-Williams) Ptolemy: Towards a Linguistic Atlas of the Earliest Celtic Place-Names of Europe (Aberystwyth, 2000).

‘Classifying Ptolemy’s English place-names’, in Ptolemy: Towards a Linguistic Atlas of the Earliest Celtic Place-Names of Europe , eds. David Parsons and Patrick Sims-Williams (Aberystwyth, 2000), pp. 169–78.

Recasting the Runes: The Reform of the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc (Uppsala, 1999).

(with Tania Styles) The Vocabulary of English Place-Names: Á-Box (Nottingham, 1997).

‘British * Caratīcos , Old English Cerdic ’, CMCS , 33 (Summer 1997), 1–8.

‘The Language of the Anglo-Saxon Settlers’, in The Origins and Development of Emigrant Languages , eds. H. F. Nielsen and L. Schløsler (Odense, 1996), pp. 141–56.

(with Tania Styles) ‘Birds in Amber : the Nature of English Place-Name Elements’, Journal of the English Place-Name Society , 28 (1995–6), 5–31.