Scott Shell

Scott Shell

PhD Candidate

Office: 5410

Scott Shell, a PhD candidate at the University of California at Berkeley, received an MA in linguistics in 2014 and is currently pursuing a PhD in Germanic linguistics. His interests are semiotics, runology, Germanic/Scandinavian mythology and historical linguistics.


  1. Shell, Scott. Review of In Prayer and Laughter: Essays on Medieval Scandinavian and Germanic Mythology, Literature, and Culture by Anatoly Liberman. Berkeley Insights. (Forthcoming, Spring 2019)
  2. Shell, Scott. Review of The Early Runic Inscriptions: their Western Features by Irene Losquiño. Berkeley Insights. 2017. 
  3. Shell, Scott. "On Dual Gender Nouns in German and Syntactic Theory". In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Germanic Linguistics and Semiotic Analysis. 21, 1: 1-35. 2016

Professional Presentations

  1. “Applying Semiotic Models of Communication to Elder Futhark Inscriptions”  University of Aarhus, Denmark. “11th Annual Aarhus Student Symposium on Viking and Medieval Scandinavian Subjects", April 25-26, 2018 (scheduled).
  2. “Communication Beyond the Grave: Runes, Peircean Semiotics and James Frazer’s Sympathetic Model of Magic”. University of Bucharest, Romania. “Semiosis in Communication: Differences and Similarities", June 14-16, 2018 (scheduled)
  3. “Making Sense of Non-Sense: the Application of Peircean Semiotics and Frazer’s Sympathetic Model of Magic to the Björketorp (DR 350 U) Inscription”. University of California at Berkeley. Semiotic Circle of California, January 20, 2018.
  4. “What Can Semiotics Do for Runological Interpretation?” Indiana University Bloomington. "Speaking the Unspoken: Explicit vs. Implicit Structures in Germanic Literature & Linguistics” March 4, 2017
  5. “BAG XIV: Forensic Phonology Project". Co-presenter with Alex Estes, Michael Fragomeni, Sarah Harris, Zainab Hossainzadeh, Stephanie Peltner, Lindsay Preseau, Christine Vais and Peter Woods. University of California at Berkeley. Berkeley Germanic Linguistics Roundtable, April 2, 2016.
  6. "Runes, Magic and Runica Manuscripta: the Function of Rune in Late Medieval Icelandic”. University of California at Berkeley: Berkeley Germanic Linguistics Roundtable, April 1, 2016.
  7. “On the Polysemy of Wicht. University of California at Berkeley. Semiotic Circle of California, January 24, 2016.
  8. "Hidden Children as Represented in Germanic and Scandinavian Folklore”. University of Tartu, Estonia. The Ontology of Supernatural Encounters in Old Norse Literature and Scandinavian Folklore. December 12, 2015.
  9. “Reading Runic Inscriptions: How Do We Interpret Ideographic Emphasis?” University of California at Berkeley. Semiotic Circle of California. January 24, 2015
  10. “Dual Gender Nouns in German and Syntactic Theory”. Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan. Graduate Student Colloquium, April 24, 2014.
  11. “Runes Used throughout History – From Basic Sound Shifts to Semiotic Interpretations”. Theosophical Society of America. Invited. Berkeley, Michigan. March 27, 2014.
  12. “Using Software for Linguistic Documentation”. Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan. Linguistics Brown Bag Series. September 18, 2013.

Recent Courses

German R5A - 'Germanic Mythology and Religion' - Fall 2017; German R5B - 'Germanic Mythology and Religion' - Summer 2017, Spring 2017, Summer 2016; German 1 (Elementary German 1) - Fall 2016, Summer 2015, Fall 2014; German R5B - 'Lower Germanic Mythology and Folklore' - Spring 2016, Fall 2015; German 2 (Elementary German 2) - Spring 2015

Research Areas

Runology, Semiotics, Historical Linguistics and Germanic/Scandinavian Mythology