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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

The Faculty invites applications for a two-year Lectureship in Classics (Greek Literature)

19 April 2021

The Faculty invites applications for a two-year Lectureship in Classics (Greek Literature) from 1st September 2021. The deadline for applications is Monday 16th May 2021 . Applications from those currently completing PhDs in any area of Greek literature, as well as from post-doctoral scholars will be welcomed. Further...

Professor Paul Cartledge receives one of Greece’s highest honours

13 April 2021

Professor Paul Cartledge, Emeritus A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture, received the Commander of the Order of Honour (Ταξιάρχης τῆς Τιμῆς), for his 'contribution to enhancing Greece's stature abroad'. One of the highest honours the Greek state can give, Paul received the honour from the H. E. Ambassador to London...

Publication of the Cambridge Greek Lexicon

13 April 2021

The much-anticipated Cambridge Greek Lexicon will be published by Cambridge University Press (CUP) on 22nd April 2021. Written by an editorial team based in the Faculty, the Cambridge Greek Lexicon , which has been twenty years in the making, covers the most widely read ancient literary texts, from Homer to the Hellenistic...

Teaching Classics in the time of Covid-19

24 February 2021

Dr Renaud Gagné, Director of Undergraduate Studies, discusses the on-going challenges and adaptations made by the Faculty as the Covid-19 crisis continues and Lent term began under a renewed lockdown.