SLE Leiden 2015

This week I’ll be at the Societas Linguistica Europaea conference in Leiden. This is one of those huge international conferences with about fourteen parallel tracks – which is a shame in some ways, because it means that I can’t possibly see everything. All the same, I’m excited about seeing (at least part of) the panels…

Oxbridge JRF Applications – A Brief How-To

Application season for the Oxbridge JRFs has just rolled around (in fact, the first deadline, Trinity, seems to be on Friday, so this post is a little late). A common complaint about these jobs is that their application procedure is difficult to access and poorly explained – and this complaint is often pretty fair. In…

Building a Corpus of Ancient Venetic

For the past few weeks I’ve been doing something which has been rewarding and frustrating in almost equal measure (in between some weekends visiting family in Sussex and Yorkshire, with some Roman sites and a grinning she-wolf thrown in): namely, building up a complete corpus of all the extant inscriptions in the ancient Venetic language.…

Archiving the Cambridge Greek Play

The Cambridge Greek Play desperately needs a new website. Very soon, I’m pleased to say this website will become a reality, and I will certainly be plugging it and providing links when it launches. Fortunately, we are paying some highly talented and professional designers to construct the website itself, thanks to a donation reserved for…

A 2500-Year-Old Tribute to a Lost Friend

ego vhontei ersiniioi  vineti karis vivoi oliialekve murtuvoi atisteit I (am a grave) for Fonts Ersinios (He was) Vinetos’s friend. He (Vinetos?) sets (me) up for (him), whether alive or dead.  (Venetic inscription on stone. Este, Italy. c. 500-475 BC. M. Lejeune “Manuel de la Langue Vénète”, #75 ter) I was very struck by this inscription the first…

Words for “alphabet” in ancient languages

I remember when I first realised that the English word “alphabet” came from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet – alpha and beta – and somehow I felt like I’d cracked a kind of etymological code. But the list of brilliant names for alphabet terms just goes on. The word “alphabet”  is of…