Research & Publications

Bianconi2022_imgRoussou, Stephanie & Probert, Philomen (2023). Ancient and Medieval Thought on Greek Enclitics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

This book has two complementary aims: to improve our grasp of the ideas about Greek enclitics that ancient and medieval scholars have passed down to us, and to show how a close examination of these sources yields new answers to questions concerning the facts of the ancient Greek language itself. New critical editions of the most extensive surviving ancient and medieval texts on Greek enclitics, together with translations into English, lay the foundations for an improved understanding of thought on Greek enclitics in those periods. Stephanie Roussou and Philomen Probert then draw out the main doctrines and the conceptual apparatus and metaphors that were used to think and talk about enclitic accents, consider the antiquity of these ideas within the Greek grammatical tradition, and make use of both ancient and medieval sources to explore two much-debated questions about the facts of the language itself.


Bianconi2022_imgBianconi, Michele, Marta Capano et al. (eds.; 2022). Ancient Indo-European Languages between Linguistics and Philology. Contact, Variation, and Reconstruction. Leiden/Boston: Brill.

Studying the Indo-European languages means having a privileged viewpoint on diachronic language change, because of their relative wealth of documentation, which spans over more than three millennia with almost no interruption, and their cultural position that they have enjoyed in human history.  The chapters in this volume investigate case-studies in several ancient Indo-European languages (Ancient Greek, Latin, Hittite, Luwian, Sanskrit, Avestan, Old Persian, Armenian, Albanian) through the lenses of contact, variation, and reconstruction, in an interdisciplinary and intradisciplinary way. This reveals at the same time the multiplicity and the unity of our discipline(s), both by showing what kind of results the adoption of modern theories on “old” material can yield, and by underlining the centrality and complexity of the text in any research related to ancient languages.


Bianconi2021_imgBianconi, Michele (ed.; 2021). Linguistic and Cultural Contacts between Greece and Anatolia. In Search of the Golden Fleece. Leiden/Boston: Brill.

The aim of this book is to provide new insights on the multi-faceted topic of the relationships between ancient Greece and ancient Anatolia before the Classical era. This is a rapidly evolving field of enquiry, thanks to the recent advances in our understanding of the Anatolian languages and the ever-growing availability of primary evidence. The chapters in this volume investigate the question of Graeco-Anatolian contacts from various points of view and with a specifically linguistic and textual focus. The nature of the evidence calls for an interdisciplinary approach, and the contributions presented here range from writing systems to contact linguistics, without excluding the analysis of cultural motifs and religious practices in both literary texts and non-literary evidence.



Bianconi2021_imgBianconi, Michele & Marta Capano (eds.; 2020). In amicitia tua memores et grati. Contributi di retorica, metrica e stilistica per Daniele Mastai. Pisa: Pisa University Press.

This volume brings together contributions on Greek and Latin rhetoric, metre and stylistics that friends and colleagues offer in memory of Daniele Cosimo Mastai, who prematurely passed away in 2016. He had a great interest in Greek and Latin oratory and rhythmic prose, areas on which this volume aims to offer new contributions and research directions.




Willi_imgWilli, Andreas (ed.; 2019). Formes et fonctions des langues littéraires en Grèce ancienne. Vandoeuvres/Genève: Fondation Hardt.

Covering  a broad range of the literary genres of Ancient Greece – including epic and lyric poetry, tragedy, historiography, oratory, technical prose, and epigram –, the contributions gathered together in this volume aim to show how a variety of linguistic approaches to these texts can enrich our understanding of their literary, cultural, and historical dimensions. Collectively the nine essays are thus meant to be read as an invitation to (re)integrate the linguistic study of Ancient Greek into mainstream Classics and to make a first step towards writing a linguistic history of Ancient Greek literature.




deMelo_imgde Melo, Wolfgang David Cirilo (2019). Varro: De Lingua Latina. Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Marcus Terentius Varro (116-27 BCE) was the greatest polymath of the Roman republic. The De lingua Latina (‘On the Latin language’), the first large-scale linguistic treatment of Latin, was by far his most significant work. Originally consisting of twenty-five volumes — one introductory, followed by six on etymology, six on morphology, and twelve on syntax — only books 5-10 treating etymology and morphology have come down to us in a more or less complete form, though a fair number of fragments of other volumes have been transmitted in other authors. The present volumes aim to provide a comprehensive treatment of this highly technical text in a new critical edition accompanied by a clear, accurate translation and full commentary.



Probert_imgProbert, Philomen (2019). Latin Grammarians on the Latin Accent. The Transformation of Greek Grammatical Thought. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Latin Grammarians on the Latin Accent offers a fresh perspective on a long-standing debate about the value of Latin grammarians writing about the Latin accent: should the information they give us be taken seriously, or should much of it be dismissed as copied mindlessly from Greek sources? This book focusses on understanding the Latin grammarians on their own terms: what they actually say about accents, and what they mean by it. Careful examination of Greek and Latin grammatical texts leads to a better understanding of the workings of Greek grammatical theory on prosody, and of its interpretation in the Latin grammatical tradition.



Ashdowne_imgAshdowne, Richard K., David R. Howlett, & Ronald E. Latham, eds., (2018). Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources. Oxford: British Academy / Oxford University Press.

Based entirely on original research, the Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources is the most comprehensive dictionary of Medieval Latin to have been produced and the first ever to focus on British Medieval Latin. It is a definitive survey of the vocabulary of one of the most important languages in British and European history. This new edition, bound for the first time as a convenient three-volume set, incorporates a small number of amendments and additions into the text originally published as a series of fascicules between 1975 and 2013.



Willi, Andreas (2018). Origins of the Greek verb. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Situated at the crossroads of comparative philology, classics and general historical linguistics, this study is the first ever attempt to outline in full the developments which led from the remotest recoverable stages of the Indo-European proto-language to the complex verbal system encountered in Homer and other early Greek texts. By combining the methods of comparative and internal reconstruction with a careful examination of large collections of primary data and insights gained from the study of language change and linguistic typology, Andreas Willi uncovers the deeper reasons behind many surface irregularities and offers a new understanding of how categories such as aspect, tense and voice interact. Drawing upon evidence from all major branches of Indo-European, and providing exhaustive critical coverage of scholarly debate on the most controversial issues, this book will be an essential reference tool for anyone seeking orientation in this burgeoning but increasingly fragmented area of linguistic research.


Lowe, John J. (2017). Transitive nouns and adjectives: evidence from early Indo-Aryan. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

This book explores the wealth of evidence from early Indo-Aryan for the existence of transitive nouns and adjectives, a rare linguistic phenomenon which, according to some categorizations of word classes, should not occur. John Lowe shows that most transitive nouns and adjectives attested in early Indo-Aryan cannot be analysed as a type of non-finite verb category, but must be acknowledged as a distinct constructional type. The volume provides a detailed introduction to transitivity (verbal and adpositional), the categories of agent and action noun, and to early Indo-Aryan. Four periods of early Indo-Aryan are selected for study: Rigvedic Sanskrit, the earliest Indo-Aryan; Vedic Prose, a slightly later form of Sanskrit; Epic Sanskrit, a form of Sanskrit close to the standardized ‘Classical’ Sanskrit; and Pali, the early Middle Indo-Aryan language of the Buddhist scriptures. John Lowe shows that while each linguistic stage is different, there are shared features of transitive nouns and adjectives which apply throughout the history of early Indo-Aryan. The data is set in the wider historical context, from Proto-Indo-European to Modern Indo-Aryan, and a formal linguistic analysis of transitive nouns and adjectives is provided in the framework of Lexical-Functional Grammar.


Ashdowne, Richard K., and Carolinne White, eds., (2017). Latin in Medieval Britain. Oxford: British Academy / Oxford University Press.

Latin continued to be used across Europe long after the end of the Roman Empire. This collection considers key issues arising from the use of Latin in Britain from the 6th to the 16th centuries. Latin in this period was not the native language of its users but was nevertheless used extensively for a wide variety of functions from religion, literature, and philosophy to record-keeping and correspondence. It existed alongside a number of everyday native spoken languages, including English, French, and Welsh. The chapters in this collection consider Latin with regard to the various contexts in which it was used, looking beyond narrow comparisons with its Roman ancestor to see what medieval users did with Latin and the changing effects this had on the language.



Vatri, Alessandro (2017). Orality and performance in Classical Attic Prose: A linguistic approach.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.

This study discusses the question of whether there is a linguistic difference between classical Attic prose texts intended for public oral delivery and those intended for written circulation and private performance. Identifying such a difference which exclusively reflects these disparities in modes of reception has proven to be a difficult challenge for both literary scholars and cultural historians of the ancient world, with answers not always satisfactory from a methodological and an analytical point of view.  In establishing a rigorous methodology for the reconstruction of the native perception of clarity in the original contexts of textual reception this study offers a novel approach to assessing orality in classical Greek prose through examination of linguistic and grammatical features of style. It builds upon the theoretical insights and current experimental findings of modern psycholinguistics, providing scholars with a new key to the minds of ancient writers and audiences.


Willi, Andreas (ed.; 2017). Sprachgeschichte und Epigraphik. Festgaben für Rudolf Wachter zum 60. Geburtstag.







Lowe, John J. (2015). Participles in Rigvedic Sanskrit. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

This book examines several thousand examples of tense-aspect stem participles in the Rigveda, and the passages in which they appear, in terms of both their syntax and semantics, applying formal linguistic analysis to the data to produce a comprehensive formal model of how participles are used. The author uses his findings to recategorize the data, by defining certain stems and stem-types as outside the synchronic category of participle on the basis of their syntactic and semantic properties. He suggests alternative sources for these forms and considers the linguistic processes that transformed old participles into non-participial entities. In his conclusion he reassesses the category of participles within the verbal and nominal systems, looks at their prehistory in Proto-Indo-European, and describes their universal, typological characteristics. Several of the conclusions drawn either directly challenge or radically revise received opinion and recent work.


Probert, Philomen (2015). Early Greek relative clauses. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Early Greek Relative Clauses contributes to an old debate currently enjoying a revival: should we expect languages spoken a few thousand years ago, such as Proto-Indo-European, to be less well-equipped than modern languages when it comes to subordinate clauses? Early Greek relative clauses provide a test case for this problem. Early Greek uses several kinds of relative clause, but all these are usually thought to come from one, or at most two, prehistoric types. In a new look at the evidence, this book finds that a rich variety of relative clause types has been in place for a considerable time.



Barber, Peter (2013). Siever’s Law and the history of semivowel syllabicity in Indo-European and Ancient Greek. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

This book investigates how semivowels were realized in Indo-European and in early Greek. More specifically, it examines the extent to which Indo-European *i and *y were independent phonemes, in what respects their alternation was predictable, and how this situation changed as Indo-European developed into Greek. 
The comprehensive and chronologically sensitive nature of this study, together with its careful assessment of what is inherited and what is innovative, enables substantive conclusions to be drawn regarding the behaviour of semivowels at various stages in the history of Greek and in Indo-European itself.



Probert, Philomen, and Andreas Willi, eds., (2012). Laws and Rules in Indo-European. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

This book examines the operation of laws, rules, and principles in Indo-European, the language family which includes the Celtic, Germanic, Italic/Romance, and Baltic/Slavic subfamilies as well as the predominant languages of Greece, Iran, parts of Southern Asia, and ancient Anatolia. Laws and Rules in Indo-European brings together leading scholars from all over the world. It makes a valuable contribution to the understanding of the history of ancient languages and the reconstruction of their ancestors, as well as to research methods.



Willi, Andreas (2008). Sikelismos: Sprache, Literatur und Gesellschaft im griechischen Sizilien (8.-5. Jh. v. Chr.). Basel: Schwabe.

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