skip to primary navigationskip to content

Dr Nicholas Zair

Dr  Nicholas Zair

Lecturer in Classics (Classical Linguistics & Comparative Philology)

Director of Studies in Linguistics, Peterhouse

Trumpington St

Office Phone: 01223 338 238

Research Interests

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.

Key Publications

2016. Oscan in the Greek Alphabet. Cambridge: CUP

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

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

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

2017 (with Katherine McDonald). 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 (with Katherine McDonald and Livia Tagliapietra). 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

2015 [2013]. Latin glārea ‘gravel’. Historische Sprachforschung 126, 280-86

2014. The future perfect in Oscan and Umbrian, and the o-perfect in South Picene. Transations of the Philological Society 112, 367-85

2013 (with Katherine McDonald). Oscan ϝουρουστ and the Roccagloriosa law tablet . Incontri Linguistici 35 [2012], 31-48

2013. Individualism in “Osco-Greek” orthography. In Esther-Miriam Wagner, Ben Outhwaite & Bettina Beinhoff (eds.), Scribes as Agents of Language Change, 217-26. Berlin: De Gruyter

2012. British *-āw- and *-āg-, and the Celtic words for ‘sun’. Die Sprache 49, 194-208