This page lists books published by members of the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics, from about 2008 onwards. For other publications, please see the individual pages and websites of faculty members. 

Books published by members of the Faculty


Anne Breitbarth, Christopher Lucas and Daivd Willis (2020). The history of negation in the languages of Europe and the Mediterranean, volume II: Patterns and processes. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 292 pp. ISBN 978-0-19-960254-4.


This book presents a holistic approach to explaining the patterns of historical change found in the languages of Europe and the Mediterranean over the last millennium. It identifies typical developments found repeatedly in the histories of different languages and explores their origins, as well as investigating the factors that determine whether change proceeds rapidly, slowly, or not at all. Language-internal factors such as the interaction of syntax, semantics, and pragmatics, and the biases inherent in child language acquisition, are investigated alongside language-external factors such as imposition, convergence, and borrowing. The book proposes an explicit formal account of language-internal and contact-induced change for both the expression of sentential negation (‘not’) and negative indefinites (‘anyone’, ‘nothing’). It sheds light on the major ways in which negative systems develop, on the nature of syntactic change, and indeed on linguistic change more generally, demonstrating the insights that large-scale comparison of linguistic histories can offer.

Alessandra Petrocchi (2019). The Gaṇitatilaka and its Commentary: Two Medieval Sanskrit Mathematical Texts. London: Routledge. 452pp. ISBN: 978-1-35-102226-2.


The Gaṇitatilaka and its Commentary: Two Medieval Sanskrit Mathematical Texts presents the first English annotated translation and analysis of the Gaṇitatilaka by Śrīpati and its Sanskrit commentary by the Jaina monk Siṃhatilakasūri (13th century CE). Siṃhatilakasūri’s commentary upon the Gaṇitatilaka is a key text for the study of Sanskrit mathematical jargon and a precious source of information on mathematical practices of medieval India. This volume focuses on language in mathematics and puts forward a novel, fresh approach to Sanskrit mathematical literature which favours linguistic, literary features and textual data. This key resource makes these important texts available in English for the first time for students of Sanskrit, ancient and medieval mathematics, South Asian history, and philology.

Martin Maiden (2018). The Romance Verb: Morphomic structure and diachrony. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 384pp. ISBN: 978-0-19-966021-6.


This book is the first comprehensive comparative-historical survey of patterns of alternation in the Romance verb which appear to be ‘autonomously morphological’: although they can be shown to be persistent through time, they have long ceased to be conditioned by any phonological or functional determinant. Some of these patterns are well known in Romance linguistics, while others have scarcely been noticed. The sheer range of phenomena which participate in these patterns in any case far surpasses what Romance linguists had previously realized. The patterns constitute a kind of abstract ‘leitmotiv’, running through the history of the Romance languages and conferring on them a distinctive morphological physiognomy.

Richard K. Ashdowne, David R. Howlett, & Ronald E. Latham, eds., (2018). Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources. Oxford: British Academy: Oxford. 3 vols: (A–G) lxxxiii + 1402, (H–P) iv + 1544, (Q–Z) iv + 1154 pp. ISBN: Vol. I: 978-0-19-726630-4; Vol. II: 978-0-19-726631-1; Vol. III: 978-0-19-726632-8; Whole set: 978-0-19-726633-5.


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.

Andreas Willi (2018). Origins of the Greek verb. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 812pp. ISBN: 978-1-10-719555-4.


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.

John J. Lowe (2017). Transitive nouns and adjectives: evidence from early Indo-Aryan. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 416pp. ISBN: 978-0-19-879357-1.


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.

Antonia M. Ruppel (2017). The Cambridge Introduction to Sanskrit. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 431pp. ISBN: 978-1-10-745906-9.


Ideal for courses in beginning Sanskrit or self-study, this textbook employs modern, tried-and-tested pedagogical methods and tools, but requires no prior knowledge of ancient languages or linguistics. Devanāgarī script is introduced over several chapters and used in parallel with transliteration for several chapters more, allowing students to progress in learning Sanskrit itself while still mastering the script. Students are exposed to annotated original texts in addition to practise sentences very early on, and structures and systems underlying the wealth of forms are clearly explained to facilitate memorisation. All grammar is covered in detail, with chapters dedicated to compounding and nominal derivation, and sections explaining relevant historical phenomena. The introduction also includes a variety of online resources that students may use to reinforce and expand their knowledge: flash cards; video tutorials for all chapters; and up-to-date links to writing, declension and conjugation exercises and online dictionaries, grammars, and textual databases.

Richard K. Ashdowne and Carolinne White, eds., (2017). Latin in Medieval Britain. Oxford: British Academy / Oxford University Press. xvi + 358pp. ISBN: 978-0-19-726608-3.


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.

Alessandro Vatri (2017). Orality and performance in Classical Attic Prose: A linguistic approach.  Oxford: Oxford University Press. 352pp. ISBN: 978-0-19-879590-2.


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.

Andreas Willi, ed., (2017). Sprachgeschichte und Epigraphik. Festgaben für Rudolf Wachter zum 60. Geburtstag. 233pp. ISBN: 978-3-85124- 745-9.

Víctor Acedo-Matellán (2016). The Morphosyntax of Transitions. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 330pp. ISBN: 978-0-19-873328-7. 


This book examines the cross-linguistic expression of changes of location or state, taking as a starting point Talmy’s typological generalization that classifies languages as either ‘satellite-framed’ or ‘verb-framed’. In this volume, Víctor Acedo-Matellán explores the similarities between Latin and Slavic in their expression of events of transition: neither allows the expression of complex adjectival resultative constructions and both express the result state or location of a complex transition through prefixes. They are therefore analysed as weak satellite-framed languages, along with Ancient Greek and some varieties of Mandarin Chinese, and stand in contrast to strong satellite-framed languages such as English, the Germanic languages in general, and Finno-Ugric. This variation is expressed in terms of the morphological properties of the head that expresses transition, which is argued to be affixal in weak but not in strong satellite-framed languages. The author takes a neo-constructionist approach to argument structure, which accounts for the verbal elasticity shown by Latin, and a Distributed Morphology approach to the syntax-morphology interface.

Adam Ledgeway & Martin Maiden, eds., (2016). The Oxford Guide to the Romance languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1248pp. ISBN: 978-0-19-967710-8.


The Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages is the most exhaustive treatment of the Romance languages available today. Leading international scholars adopt a variety of theoretical frameworks and approaches to offer a detailed structural examination of all the individual Romance varieties and Romance-speaking areas, including standard, non-standard, dialectal, and regional varieties of the Old and New Worlds. The book also offers a comprehensive comparative account of major topics, issues, and case studies across different areas of the grammar of the Romance languages.

John J. Lowe (2015). Participles in Rigvedic Sanskrit. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 434pp. ISBN: 978-0-19-870136-1. 


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.

Philomen Probert (2015). Early Greek relative clauses. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 544pp. ISBN: 978-0-19-871382-1. 


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.

Martin Maiden, John Charles Smith & Adam Ledgeway, eds., (2013). The Cambridge History of the Romance languages. Volume II: Contexts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 553pp. ISBN: 978-0-52-180073-0.


What is the origin of the Romance languages and how did they evolve? When and how did they become different from Latin, and from each other? Volume 2 of The Cambridge History of the Romance Languages offers fresh and original reflections on the principal questions and issues in the comparative external histories of the Romance languages. It is organised around the two key themes of influences and institutions, exploring the fundamental influence, of contact with and borrowing from, other languages (including Latin), and the cultural and institutional forces at work in the establishment of standard languages and norms of correctness. A perfect complement to the first volume, it offers an external history of the Romance languages combining data and theory to produce new and revealing perspectives on the shaping of the Romance languages.

Silvio Cruschina, John Charles Smith & Martin Maiden, eds., (2013). The Boundaries of pure morphology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 338pp. ISBN: 978-0-19-967886-0.


This book brings together leading international scholars to consider whether in some languages there are phenomena which are unique to morphology, determined neither by phonology or syntax. Central to these phenomena is the notion of the ‘morphome’, conceived by Mark Aronoff in 1994 as a function, itself lacking form and meaning but which serves systematically to relate them. The classic examples of morphomes are determined neither phonologically or morphosyntactically, and appear to be an autonomous property of the synchronic organization of morphological paradigms. In a series of pioneering explorations of the diachrony of morphomes The Boundaries of Pure Morphology throws important new light on the nature of the morphome and the boundary — seen from both diachronic and synchronic perspectives — between what is and is not genuinely autonomous in morphology. Its findings will be of central interest to morphologists of all theoretical stripes as well as to all those concerned to understand the precise nature of linguistic diachrony.

Peter Barber (2013). Siever’s Law and the history of semivowel syllabicity in Indo-European and Ancient Greek. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 464pp. ISBN: 978-0-19-968050-4. 


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.

E. Matthew Husband (2012). On the compositional nature of states.  Linguistik Aktuell 188. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 170pp. ISBN: 978-9-02-725571-6. 


This monograph pursues a structural analogy between the availability of an existential interpretation in states and the telicity of events. Focusing on evidence from both verbal and adjectival predicates, it argues that quantization forms the basis of a unified theory of Aktionsart and provides a theory in which the availability of an existential interpretation in states is, like the telicity of events, determined compositionally by the predicate and the quantization of its internal argument. Quantization is further argued to reflect the internal temporal constitution of the stages of an individual which is tied to the generation of an existential interpretation. This monograph will be of interest to syntacticians and semanticists who are specifically concerned with compositional approaches to eventualities, and to those who have a more general interest in the role linguistic theory can play in determining core properties of the mind.

Mary Dalrymple and Suriel Mofu (2012). Dusner.  Languages of the World/Materials 487. Munich: Lincom Europa. 64pp. ISBN: 978-3-86-288278-6. 


Dusner is an Austronesian language with three remaining fluent speakers. It was formerly spoken in Dusner, a village of about 600 people on the western shore of Wandamen Bay, an inlet of Cenderawasih Bay in West Papua, Indonesia. Only one of the three speakers still lives in Dusner.

Philomen Probert and Andreas Willi, eds., (2012). Laws and Rules in Indo-European. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 432pp. ISBN: 978-0-19-960992-5.


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.

Martin MaidenJohn Charles SmithMaria Goldbach, and Marc-Olivier Hinzelin, eds., (2011). Morphological Autonomy: Perspectives from Romance inflectional morphology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 504pp. ISBN: 978-0-19-958998-2.


This book is about the nature of morphology and its place in the structure of grammar. Drawing on a wide range of aspects of Romance inflectional morphology, leading scholars present detailed arguments for the autonomy of morphology, ie morphology has phenomena and mechanisms of its own that are not reducible to syntax or phonology. But which principles and rules govern this independent component and which phenomena can be described or explicated by the mechanisms of the morphemic level? In shedding light on these questions, this volume constitutes a major contribution to Romance historical morphology in particular, and to our understanding of the nature and importance of morphomic structure in language change in general.

Mary Dalrymple and Irina Nikolaeva (2011). Objects and Information Structure. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 262pp. ISBN: 978-0-52-119985-8.


In many languages, the objects of transitive verbs are either marked by grammatical case or agreement on the verb, or they remain unmarked: this is differential object marking. This book is a cross-linguistic study of how differential object marking is affected by information structure, the structuring of the utterance in accordance with the informational value of its elements and contextual factors. Marked objects tend to be associated with old information or information that the sentence is about, while unmarked objects tend to express new information. The book also sheds light on grammatical patterning in languages with differential object marking: in some languages marked and unmarked objects have identical grammatical properties, whereas in other languages marked objects are more active in syntax. Finally, it provides a theory of the historical changes that lead to the emergence of various patterns of differential object marking.

Martin Maiden, John Charles Smith & Adam Ledgeway, eds., (2011). The Cambridge History of the Romance languages. Volume I: Structures. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 888pp. ISBN: 978-0-52-180072-3.


This Cambridge History is the most comprehensive survey of the history of the Romance languages ever published in English. It engages with new and original topics that reflect wider-ranging comparative concerns, such as the relation between diachrony and synchrony, morphosyntactic typology, pragmatic change, the structure of written Romance, and lexical stability. Volume I is organized around the two key recurrent themes of persistence (structural inheritance and continuity from Latin) and innovation (structural change and loss in Romance). An important and novel aspect of the volume is that it accords persistence in Romance a focus in its own right rather than treating it simply as the background to the study of change. In addition, it explores the patterns of innovation (including loss) at all linguistic levels. The result is a rich structural history which marries together data and theory to produce new perspectives on the structural evolution of the Romance languages

Andreas Willi (2008). Sikelismos: Sprache, Literatur und Gesellschaft im griechischen Sizilien (8.-5. Jh. v. Chr.). Basel: Schwabe. 477pp. ISBN 978-3-7965-2255-0.

Marco Vencato, Andreas Willi and Sacha Zala, eds., (2008). Ordine e trasgressione: Un’ipotesi di interpretazione tra storia e cultura. Roma: Viella.  240pp. ISBN: 978-8-88-334286-8.





Working Papers

Until 2009, the Faculty published the Oxford Working Papers in Linguistics, Philology & Phonetics. This presented research undertaken by former and current staff and graduate students from the University of Oxford.

VOLUME 12, 2009: Papers in Phonetics and Computational Linguistics
Editors: ‘Oiwi Parker Jones and Elinor Payne

VOLUME 11, 2006: Topics in Comparative Philology and Historical Linguistics
Editors: Daniel Kölligan and Ranjan Sen

VOLUME 10, 2005: Topics in Syntax, Semantics and Pragmatics
Editor : Anna McNay

VOLUME 9, 2004: Topics in Romance Linguistics
Editors: Richard Ashdowne and Tom Finbow

VOLUME 8, 2003: Topics in Phonetics and Computational Linguistics
Editors: Esther Grabe & David G. S. Wright

VOLUME 7, 2002: Topics in Comparative Philology and Historical Linguistics
Editors: Ina J. Hartmann & Andreas Willi

VOLUME 6, 2001: Topics in Syntax, Semantics & Computational Linguistics
Editors: Maria Liakata, Britta Jensen & Didier Maillat
Assistant Editor: Joanna Levene

VOLUME 5, 2000: Papers from the Phonetics Laboratory

Copies may be ordered from the office of the Centre for Linguistics and Philology, subject to availability.

Full index of papers

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