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Professor James Clackson

Professor James Clackson

Professor of Comparative Philology

Fellow and Director of Studies in Classics, Jesus College

Jesus College, Cambridge, CB5 8BL
Office Phone: 01223 339415 (College)

Research Interests

I have wide interests in the history of the Latin and Greek languages, ancient sociolinguistics and bilingualism, the languages and epigraphy of the ancient Mediterranean and comparative Indo-European studies. I have particular interests in the historical sociolinguistics of Latin; the other ancient Languages of the Italian peninsula especially Sabellian and Etruscan; and the history of the Armenian language. I am currently Principal Investigator of the AHRC funded project ‘Greek in Italy’. I am editor of the oldest scholarly journal devoted to the general study of language and languages that has an unbroken tradition,Transactions of the Philological Society.

Research Supervision

Current and former research projects supervised include: a study of the ways in which Greek expresses the agent after a passive verb; a re-examination of the stop system of Indo-European using recent work in phonetics; dialects of Indo-European and the development of the verbal system; the interaction of Latin, Greek and Gaulish in Southern France; the language of ancient curse tablets, especially bilingual formulae; the Oscan language in Southern Italy; Sabine glosses in ancient texts; the Latin of Roman Britain; registers of language use in ancient Greek; Greek borrowings in Etruscan; Latin borrowings in Punic; and individual studies of the language of several Latin and Greek literary authors.

Key Publications

Language and Society in the Greek and Roman Worlds (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

(editor) A Companion to the Latin Language (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011).

Indo-European Linguistics (Cambridge, 2007).

(with Geoff Horrocks) The Blackwell History of the Latin Language (Oxford, 2007, corrected paperback edition 2010).

(ed. with A. Boud'hors, C. Louis and P. Sijpesteijn) Monastic Estates in Late Antique and Early Islamic Egypt (American Society of Papyrologists, 2009).

(ed. with Birgit Anette Olsen) Indo-European Word Formation (Copenhagen, 2004).

(ed. with Torsten Meißner) Nominal Composition in Indo-European Languages (=Transactions of the Philological Society  Vol. 100, nos. 2-3. 2002).

The Linguistic Relationship between Armenian and Greek (Oxford, 1994).

Upcoming events

Philological Society

Apr 26, 2018

Room G.21

Ancient History Seminar

Apr 30, 2018

Room G.21

Ancient History Seminar

May 06, 2018

Room G.21

J.H Gray Lectures 2018

May 08, 2018

Upcoming events

RSS Feed Latest news

University Lectureship in Classics (Greek Literature)

Apr 04, 2018

Details of how to apply for this established post are now available on line. Closing date: 2 May 2018.

AHRC CDP Funded PhD position in Classics (Mycenaean Archaeology)

Mar 28, 2018

The University of Cambridge and the British Museum invite applications for a funded, three-year PhD in Classics (Mycenaean Archaeology).

Professor Emily Gowers: Sather Lectures

Mar 27, 2018

The Faculty offers its warmest congratulations to Professor Emily Gowers who has been invited to deliver The Sather Lectures at Berkeley in 2021/2.

Honorary Degrees

Mar 26, 2018

The Faculty is delighted to announce the award of an Honorary Degree by the University to Joyce Reynolds, and also by the University of Oxford to Mary Beard, at congregations on 20th June.

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