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Cambridge Language Sciences

Interdisciplinary Research Centre


The history and development of Proto-Indo-European and the Indo-European languages, in particular the Italic and Celtic language families. Indo-European phonology and morphology, mechanisms of sound change, and language classification. I am currently working on the historical phonology of the Sabellic languages of Ancient Italy (Oscan, Umbrian, South Picene ).

Publications (from Symplectic)

Journal articles

2023 (Accepted for publication)

  • Zair, N. and Zamponi, R., 2023 (Accepted for publication). L'iscrizione (sud)picena della stele di Mondolfo. Proposta die una nuova lettura Studi Etruschi,
  • Zair, N., 2023 (Accepted for publication). Latin scrĭptus in the Senatus Consultum de Bacchanalibus (CIL 1².581) Glotta - Zeitschrift fur Griechische und Lateinische Sprache,
  • 2021 (Accepted for publication)

  • Zair, N. and Sen, R., 2021 (Accepted for publication). Liquid polarity, positional contrast, and diachronic change: clear and dark /r/ in Latin Diachronica: international journal for historical linguistics,
    Doi: 10.1075/dia.17032.sen
  • Zair, N., 2021 (Accepted for publication). Word-final -s in Ennius’ Annales: a sociolinguistic approach Journal of Latin Linguistics,
  • 2020

  • Thompson, R. and Zair, N., 2020. ‘Irrational Lengthening’ in Virgil Mnemosyne, v. 73
    Doi: 10.1163/1568525x-12342696
  • 2019 (Accepted for publication)

  • Zair, N., 2019 (Accepted for publication). Reconstructed forms in the Roman writers on language Language and History, v. 62
  • 2019

  • Arbabzadah, M. and Zair, N., 2019. Notes on a British curse tablet from Red Hill, Ratcliffe-on-Soar (Nottinghamshire) Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik,
  • 2018 (Accepted for publication)

  • Zair, NAS., 2018 (Accepted for publication). On the Relative Sonority of PIE /m/ Indo-European Linguistics, v. 6
  • 2017 (Accepted for publication)

  • Zair, NAS., 2017 (Accepted for publication). Latin bardus and gurdus. Glotta - Zeitschrift fur Griechische und Lateinische Sprache, v. 94
  • 2017

  • Nicholas, Z., 2017. The origins of -urC- for expected -orC- in Latin Glotta, v. 93
  • 2016

  • Zair, N., 2016. Vowel weakening in the Sabellic languages as language contact Indogermanische Forschungen, v. 121
  • 2015

  • McDonald, K., Tagliapietra, L. and Zair, N., 2015. New readings of the multilingual Petelia curse tablet Zeitschrift fur Papyrologie und Epigraphik, v. 195
  • Zair, N., 2015. Old Irish gniid ‘makes, does’, Middle Welsh gweinydaf ‘serve’, and i-presents Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie, v. 62
    Doi: 10.1515/zcph.2015.008
  • 2014

  • Zair, N., 2014. The Future Perfect in Oscan and Umbrian, and the <i>Ō‐</i>Perfect in South Picene Transactions of the Philological Society, v. 112
    Doi: 10.1111/1467-968x.12032
  • Zair, N., 2014. The Treatment(s) of *-u- after a Coronal in Oscan: Dialect Variation and Chronology Indo-European Linguistics, v. 2
    Doi: 10.1163/22125892-00201001
  • 2013

  • Zair, N., 2013. Latin <i>glārea</i> ‘gravel’ Historical Linguistics, v. 126
    Doi: 10.13109/hisp.2013.126.1.280
  • 2012

  • Zair, NAS., 2012. Reconstructing the Brittonic future/present subjunctive Journal of Celtic Linguistics, v. 14
  • Zair, NAS. and Mcdonald, K., 2012. Oscan ϝουρουστ and the Roccagloriosa law tablet Incontri Linguistici, v. 35
  • 2011

  • Zair, NAS., 2011. Varia I: OIr cuae, MW keu, MB queu ‘hollow’ Ériu, v. 61
  • Zair, NA., 2011. British *-au and *-ag, and the Celtic words for 'sun'. Die Sprache: Zeitschrift fuer Sprachwissenschaft, v. 49
  • Zair, NA., 2011. PIE 'bird' and 'egg' after Schindler Munchener Studien zur Sprachwissenschaft, v. 65
  • 2006

  • Zair, NAS., 2006. Dybo’s law: Old Irish evidence Oxford Working Papers in Linguistics, v. 11
  • Book chapters


  • McDonald, K. and Zair, N., 2017. Changing script in a threatened language: Reactions to Romanization at Bantia in the first century BC
  • 2013

  • Zair, NAS., 2013. Individualism in “Osco-Greek” orthography
  • 2012

  • Zair, N., 2012. Schrijver's rules for British and Proto‐Celtic *‐ou̯‐ and *‐uu̯‐ before a vowel
    Doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199609925.003.0010
  • Zair, NAS., 2012. A new environment for laryngeal loss in Proto-Celtic
  • 2009

  • Zair, NAS., 2009. OIr. biid < *bhuH-ye/o- and ‘hiatus’ verbs
  • 2008

  • Zair, NAS., 2008. Sound change in Proto-Celtic: laryngeals before *w
  • Books


  • Zair, N., 2016. Oscan in the Greek Alphabet
  • 2012

  • Zair, NA., 2012. The Reflexes of the Proto-Indo-European Laryngeals in Celtic
  • Senior Lecturer in Classics, Faculty of Classics
    Director of Studies, Linguistics, Peterhouse College
    Research Associate, Greek in Italy project
    Departments and institutes: 
    Dr Nicholas  Zair