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Faculty of Classics

 

Research

I'm interested in the history and development of classical languages, especially their phonology and morphology, and the writing systems used to represent them; I focus in particular on the Italic languages, including Latin, Oscan, Umbrian and South Picene. I've also worked on aspects of the (pre-)history of Celtic languages, and the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European. I welcome enquiries from potential graduate students who may be interested in working on topics of this sort.

Publications

Key publications: 

Monographs
2016. Oscan in the Greek Alphabet. Cambridge: CUP

2012. The Reflexes of the Proto-Indo-European Laryngeals in Celtic. Leiden & Boston: Brill

Edited volumes
2020. James Clackson, Patrick James, Katherine McDonald, Livia Tagliapietra & Nicholas Zair (eds.), Migration, Mobility and Language Contact in and around the Ancient Mediterranean. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Selected articles
2020. Rupert Thompson & Nicholas Zair. “Irrational lengthening” in Virgil. Mnemosyne 73, 577–608

2020. The Mamertini in Messina: mobility, migration and mercenaries. In James Clackson, Patrick James, Katherine McDonald, Livia Tagliapietra & Nicholas Zair (eds.), Migration, Mobility and Language Contact in and around the Ancient Mediterranean, 156-70. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

2019. Moreed Arbabzadah & Nicholas Zair. Notes on a British Curse Tablet from Red Hill, Ratcliffe-on-Soar (Nottinghamshire). Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 212, 172-9

2019. Reconstructed forms in the Roman writers on language. Language and History, Latest Articles, 1-20. Available online at https://doi.org/10.1080/17597536.2019.1649856

2018. On the relative sonority of PIE /m/. Indo-European Linguistics 6, 271-303

2018. Latin bardus and gurdus. Glotta 94, 311-18

2017 Katherine McDonald & Nicholas Zair. Changing script in a threatened language: reactions to Romanisation at Bantia in the first century BC. In Mari Jones & Damien Mooney (eds.), Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages, 291-304. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

2017. The origins of -urC- for expected -orC- in Latin. Glotta 93, 255-89

2016. Vowel weakening in the Sabellic languages as language contact. Indogermanische Forschungen 121, 295-316

2015 Katherine McDonald, Livia Tagliapietra and Nicholas Zair). New readings of the multilingual Petelia curse tablet. Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 195, 157-64

2015. Old Irish gniid 'makes, does', Middle Welsh gweinydaf ‘serve’ and i-presents. Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 62, 213-222

 

Senior Lecturer in Classics (Classical Linguistics & Comparative Philology)
Dr  Nicholas  Zair

Contact Details

Peterhouse
Trumpington St
Cambridge
CB2 1RD
01223 338 238
Not available for consultancy

Latest news

Open letter on anti-racism: a response from the Faculty Board of Classics

16 July 2021

The response to the Open Letter on anti-racism, together with an action plan outlining the Faculty’s strategy, is now available online. Read here for more details

Martin Millett elected as President of the Society of Antiquaries of London

7 July 2021

Professor Martin Millett FBA, Laurence Professor of Classical Archaeology and Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, has been elected as President of the Society of Antiquaries of London (2021-24). Founded in 1707, the Society of Antiquaries of London is an educational charity that promotes the understanding of the human past and...

Classics student Lylaah Bhalerao receives a Fulbright Award

5 July 2021

Classics MPhil student Lylaah Bhalerao (Murray Edwards 2017), has received an All Disciplines Fulbright Award to enable her to study at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University. Lylaah has been selected from a strong applicant pool to pursue doctoral research into how to decolonise ancient...

New gift to further support Joyce Reynolds Awards

15 June 2021

The Faculty is enormously grateful to Karen and Peter Ventress for their generous gift to further support our efforts to encourage more diversity among students studying Classics at Cambridge. Karen and Peter have made a gift of £40k to fund a further studentship under the banner of the Joyce Reynolds Awards . The Awards...