Call for Papers: Dialectology Oxford 2023

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International Conference

Perceptions and social uses of the Ancient Greek dialects

University of Oxford, 21–22 September 2023

Call for Papers

As newly discovered texts continuously enhance our knowledge of the dialects of Ancient Greece, research on Greek dialectology has long focused on the grammatical description of these regional varieties as autonomous linguistic systems. However, it is cross-linguistically true that the use of dialects is not always determined by geographical factors alone. Although their distribution in space often remains a major conditioning force, dialects may also acquire, or be assigned, social meanings, and speakers may begin to associate specific forms of regional varieties with communicative situations and purposes that are independent of geographical origin and location as such.

Under the title “Perceptions and social uses of the Ancient Greek dialects”, the next conference on Ancient Greek dialectology, to be held in Oxford on 21–22 September 2023, aims to explore such sociolinguistic and socio-pragmatic dimensions of dialect variation in the Greek world. With this call for papers, we invite proposals for papers that respond to questions such as the following:

•    In situations of dialect competition (including competition between regional dialects and Koine Greek), which factors determine the choice of a given variety?

•    How are regional dialects represented in literature and what do ancient sources tell us about the para-linguistic associations evoked by the use of a given dialect?

•    How do ancient scholars and grammarians evaluate dialect usage (including, for example, ‘unexpected’ dialect features in literary texts)?

•    How do social and historical changes impact on the relationship between epichoric and literary dialects?

Proposals (no longer than one page A4, excluding bibliography) should be submitted, via e-mail, by 31 October 2022 to Prof. Andreas Willi ( and Prof. Philomen Probert (

The programme committee will select 14 submissions for presentation over the two days of the conference, alongside two keynote lectures by Prof. Olga Tribulato (Università Ca’ Foscari, Venezia) and Prof. Panagiotis Filos (University of Ioannina). Each paper should be 30 minutes in length, followed by 15 minutes of discussion. Preference will be given to proposals which are firmly grounded in a discussion of relevant bodies of textual evidence, but which also seek to transcend disciplinary boundaries, present a bigger picture, and thus speak to both Greek dialectologists and a wider audience of classicists and ancient historians. All notices of acceptance will be sent out by early December 2022. Following another round of peer review after the conference, it is planned that selected papers will be published in an edited volume.

Speakers will be offered three nights of free accommodation in Oxford, as well as free participation in the conference (including a conference dinner). Since our funding is limited, participants cannot unfortunately be reimbursed for their travel expenses.

Conference organisation:

Prof. Philomen Probert, Prof. Andreas Willi

Programme committee:

Prof. Nino Luraghi, Prof. Lucia Prauscello, Prof. Philomen Probert, Dr Alessandro Vatri, Prof. Andreas Willi