I’m a linguist and philologist specialized in the earlier history of the Germanic languages, including Old and Middle English, Old Norse, Gothic, Old Frisian, Old Saxon, and Old High German. I currently hold a British Academy postdoctoral fellowship to research Norse Influence on Middle English Prosody. Based on this work, I am preparing a book manuscript synthesizing the phonological and metrical evidence for foot structure in medieval English and Old Norse.

I maintain a broad interest in what used to be called Germanic comparative philology, including the phonological and morphological development of the Germanic languages from Proto-Indo-European. This field combines close attention to ancient and medieval texts as the primary sources for information about older languages, and a grounding in the typology of languages around the world and current thinking about the possibilities and constraints concerning how languages and Language in general work. My ongoing blog series The History of the English Language in A Hundred Words aims to bring the full history of English, from its earliest reconstructible prehistory to the present day, to a wider public in a readable and reliable way.


Grinnell College (BA Anthropology, concentration in Linguistics)
University of Oxford (MPhil General Linguistics and Comparative Philology)
University of Oxford (DPhil General Linguistics and Comparative Philology)

Work Shared in CORE

Book chapters
Conference papers
Book reviews

Other Publications

Gothic [In preparation, with Ryan Sandell]. A Handbook of Ancient Indo-European Grammars, ed. G. Keydana, S. Dalpedri, and S. Skopeteas. Contract with Cambridge University Press.

Phonological Evidence for Resolution in Early Middle English. Journal of English and Germanic Philology. Forthcoming.

Eduard Sievers’ Altgermanische Metrik 125 Years On. Of ye Olde Englisch Language and Textes: New perspectives on Old and Middle English Language and Literature, ed. Rodriguez-Puente, Perez Lorido, and Prado-Alonso, pp. 139-161. Forthcoming.

(Proto-)Germanic Alliterative Verse: Linguistic Limits on a Cultural Phenomenon. Interrogating the ‘Germanic’, ed. J.M. Harland, M. Friedrich, and N. Gunn. Forthcoming.

Review of R. D. Fulk ‘A Comparative Grammar of the Early Germanic Languages’. English Studies. Forthcoming.

Review of Robert Mailhammer & Theo Vennemann ‘The Carthaginian North: Semitic Influence on Early Germanic: A Linguistic and Cultural Study’. Journal of Historical Linguistics. Forthcoming.

Blog Posts


    Norse Influence on Middle English Prosody (British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship)

    Nelson Goering

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