Professor of Classics and Historical Linguistics
Research interests: Greek language, dialect and literature; Mycenaean Greek; historical linguistics and sociolinguistics in the ancient world; Greek-Near Eastern contact.
IRIS research profile
After a degree in Classics (Oxford 1988) I did an MPhil. in General Linguistics and Comparative Philology (including a course in Hittite at SOAS in 1989), then concentrated on Greek dialect and sociolinguistics for my PhD ( Oxford 1993). I spent two years at UCL as a British Academy research fellow, and then eight years at Yale teaching in the Department of Classics. I returned to UCL in 2004.
I am interested in the language of Greek and Latin literature as a sociolinguistic phenomenon; in the Greek dialects and the emergence of the koine; and in Mycenaean Greek. I have also worked on bilingualism and the development of the Greek language in Lycia.
Modules I regularly teach
- CLAS0009 Introduction to the Study of Language (open to all students): Moodle page
- LATN0032 The History of the Latin Language (open to students with intermediate Latin or higher)
- GREK0001 The Greek Dialects (open to students with two years of Greek)
- GREK0019 Mycenaean Greek (open to students with two years of Greek)
- GREK0065 Introduction to the History of Greek (open to students with two years of Greek)
and at MA level
- CLAS0065 The Greek Dialects (two terms, 30 credits)
- CLAS0079 Introduction to the History of Greek (one term, 15 or 20 credits)
- CLAS0153 History of the Latin Language (one term, 15 or 20 credits)
I also teach Mycenaean Greek at BA and MA level.
I supervise PhD students in Greek and Latin historical linguistics and the ancient grammatical tradition. I am also happy to co-supervise with Mark Weeden, professor of ancient Middle Eastern languages.
- A Brief History of Ancient Greek (Wiley-Blackwell 2013)
- A Historical Greek Reader: Mycenaean to the Koiné (Oxford 2007)
- The Greco-Roman East (YCS 31: Cambridge 2004)
- Dialect in Aristophanes: the Politics of Language in Ancient Greek Literature (Oxford 1999)
Articles and Chapters:
- 'Greek dialect', 'Ionic dialect': in C. Barron (ed.), The Herodotus Encyclopedia (Wiley-Blackwell 2021).
- 'Varieties of Greek: Disorder and Continuity', Classical Quarterly 70 (2020), 68-84.
- 'Boeotians', 'Spartans', 'Dialect', 'Foreigners': in A. Sommerstein (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Greek Comedy (Wiley-Blackwell 2019).
- 'The modal particle in Greek', Cambridge Classical Journal 62 (2016), 65-84 (DOI)
- 'Perceptions synchroniques des dialectes et de la koinè', in S. Minon (ed.), Diffusion de l'attique et expansion des koinai dans le Péloponnèse et en Grèce centrale (Geneva: Droz 2014)
- 'Dialect speech in Ancient Greek literature', in A. Bartonek and Ch. Tzitzilis (eds.), Ancient Greek Dialects (Institute of Modern Greek Studies, Thessaloniki: forthcoming)
- 'The Social Dialects of Ancient Greece', in A. Bartonek and Ch. Tzitzilis (eds.), Ancient Greek Dialects (Institute of Modern Greek Studies, Thessaloniki: forthcoming)
- 'The Koine. A New Language for a New World', in Andrew Erskine et al. (eds.), Creating a Hellenistic World (Swansea: Classical Press of Wales: 2011)
- 'Koine', in R. Bagnall et al. (eds.), Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Ancient History (2011)
- 'The instantaneous aorist: the syntax of the agora and the syntax of Parnassus', in F. Cortés Gabaudan & J. Méndez Dosuna (eds.), Dic Mihi, Musa, Virum: homenaje al profesor Antonio López Eire (Salamanca 2010), 113-21
- 'Greek Dialects in the Archaic and Classical Ages', in E. Bakker (ed.), A Companion to the Ancient Greek Language (Blackwell: 2010), 200-212
- 'The Greek koine and the logic of a standard language', in M. Silk and A. Georgakopoulou (eds.) Standard Languages and Language Standards: Greek, Past and Present (Ashgate 2009), 33-45
- 'P. Artemidorus: Text, Proem, Koiné', in A. Soldati et al. (eds.), Cultura ellenistica, lingua e filosofia nel Papiro di Artemidoro: atti del colloquio del 15 novembre 2008 (LED Milano: 2009), 57-66
- 'Autosegmental phonology and word-internal -h- in Mycenaean Greek', Glotta 82 (2006), 36-54
- 'Social Dialect in Attica', in J. H. W. Penney (ed.), Indo-European Perspectives. Studies in Honour of Anna Morpurgo Davies (Oxford 2004), 95-108
- 'Names in Hellenistic and Roman Lycia', in The Greco-Roman East (YCS 31: Cambridge 2004), 44-84
- 'The language of non-Athenians in Old Comedy', in D. Harvey & J. Wilkins (eds.), The Rivals of Aristophanes (Duckworth/Wales 2000), 285-98
- 'The Atticist-Asianist Controversy', in New Oxford Encyclopedia of Rhetoric (Oxford 2001)
- 'Aristophanes: Dialect and Textual Criticism', Mnemosyne 48 (1995), 34-47