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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

Corbett Lecture 2021, “Sympathy and the Problem of Nature”

6 October 2021

Professor Brooke Holmes, Princeton University, will deliver this year’s Corbett Lecture in G19 on Thursday October 21 at 5.00 p.m.

Collaboration between the Faculty of Classics and the University of Ghana

20 October 2021

We are proud to announce that the Faculty of Classics has established a collaborative link with the University of Ghana, generously funded by the Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research fund. Developing new connections with Ghana promises to open up new possibilities for research and teaching, which will be beneficial for both...

SOUNDING ALDBOROUGH 2021 Episode 1

19 October 2021

The podcast for Aldborough Roman Town , written and presented by Dr Rose Ferraby, is now available. See the project page for more information .

Onassis Foundation endowing a fellowship for the creation of a new post in Classics

12 October 2021

A new University post linked to Newnham will continue a College tradition of teaching, research, and taking Classics out into the wider world that goes back more than a century to Jane Harrison. Newnham College, Cambridge is launching the Onassis Classics Fellowship in order to secure a permanent position for the teaching...