|Born||16 April 1949 (age 72)|
|Alma mater||University of Cambridge|
|Known for||Historical linguistics|
Philology of northern and western European languages
Onomastics, especially place-names,
theory of names and naming
|Institutions||University of the West of England, Bristol (previously at University of Sussex)|
|Doctoral advisor||J. L. M. Trim|
|Other academic advisors||Pieter A. M. Seuren, Erik C. Fudge, Roy A. Wisbey, Peter Rickard, Martin Harris|
Richard Coates (born 16 April 1949, in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, and educated at Wintringham School) is an English linguist. He was Professor of Linguistics (alternatively Professor of Onomastics) at the University of the West of England, Bristol, now emeritus. From 1977 to 2006 he taught at the University of Sussex, where he served as Professor of Linguistics (1991–2006) and as Dean of the School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences (1998–2003). From 1980–9 he was assistant secretary and then secretary of the Linguistics Association of Great Britain. He was honorary director of the Survey of English Place-Names from 2003 to 2019, having previously (1997–2002) served as president of the English Place-Name Society which conducts the Survey, resuming this role in 2019. 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, and elected as one of its two vice-presidents from 2011–17. 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 (both from the historical and the theoretical perspective), historical linguistics in general, the philology of the Germanic, Romance and Celtic languages, regional variation in language, and local history. He is editor of the Survey of English Place-Names for Hampshire and was principal investigator of the AHRC-funded project Family Names of the United Kingdom (FaNUK), running from 2010–16, of which Patrick Hanks was lead researcher.
He has written books on the names of the Channel Islands, the local place-names of St Kilda, Hampshire and Sussex, the dialect of Sussex, and, with Andrew Breeze, on Celtic place-names in England, as well as over 500 academic articles, notes, and collections on related topics. His main contribution to linguistic theory is The Pragmatic Theory of Properhood, set out in a number of articles since 2000.
He is also the author of Word Structure, a students' introduction to linguistic morphology (Routledge), and of online resources on Shakespeare's character-names and on the place-names of Hayling Island.
Books, dissertations and selected other freestanding publications
1977 The status of rules in historical phonology. Doctoral dissertation 10301, University of Cambridge. [Unpublished.]
1996–2007 (ed.) Locus focus: forum of the Sussex place-names net (7 vols, 14 issues).
2000 (with Andrew Breeze; including a contribution by David Horovitz) Celtic voices, English places: studies of the Celtic impact on place-names in England. Stamford: Shaun Tyas; pp. xiv + 433 (ISBN 1-900289-41-5).
2007 The place-names of Hayling Island, Hampshire. [MS. of 1991. Web-publication; http://www.uwe.ac.uk/hlss/llas/staff_coates_r_hayling.doc; pp. 96.]
2010 A place-name history of the parishes of Rottingdean and Ovingdean in Sussex (including Woodingdean and Saltdean). Nottingham: English Place-Name Society (Regional series 2); pp. xviii + 222, ISBN 978-0-904889-84-0. [Published with the aid of a grant from the British Academy.]
2010 The traditional dialect of Sussex: a history, description, selected texts, bibliography and discography. Lewes: Pomegranate Press; pp. 349. (ISBN 978-1-907242-09-0.) [Published with the aid of a grant from the Marc Fitch Fund.]
2017 Wilkins of Westbury and Redland: the life and writings of the Rev. Dr Henry John Wilkins (1865-1941). Bristol: Avon Local History Association pamphlet 24.
2019 Places, names and history in north-west Bristol: Shirehampton, Avonmouth and King’s Weston. Bristol: Bristol Centre for Linguistics, University of the West of England.
2019 Your city's place-names: Cambridge. Nottingham: English Place-Name Society.
2020 (guest co-ed. with Martyna Gibka) Explorations in literary onomastic theory. Special issue of Onoma, vol. 53 (spine date 2018; to appear 2020).
- , University of the West of England: Richard Coates, where a list of his main recent publications can be found.
- Coates, Richard (2006). "Properhood" (PDF). Language. 82 (2): 356–382. doi:10.1353/lan.2006.0084.
- Coates, Richard (2006). "Some consequences and critiques of The Pragmatic Theory of Properhood". Onoma. 41: 27–44.
- Coates, Richard (2007). "A strictly Millian approach to the definition of the proper name". Mind and Language. 24 (4): 433–444. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0017.2009.01369.x.
- Coates, Richard (2012). "Eight issues in The Pragmatic Theory of Properhood". Acta Linguistica Lithuanica/ Lietuvių Kalbotyros Klausimai. 66: 119–140.