Richard Ashdowne
Lecturer in Linguistics


I read Classics as an undergraduate at New College, Oxford, and then completed a DPhil in linguistics, working on aspects of forms of address in Latin and the Romance languages including their  grammar, meanings, and uses. I have taught Linguistics at a number of colleges across Oxford since 2004, including for Trinity College since 2011.


I organise Linguistics teaching in Trinity. I teach the general Linguistics paper for both first-year and second- and third-year students in Modern Languages and Linguistics, as well as other specialist papers taken by Modern Languages or Linguistics students.


My research focuses on historical linguistics, i.e. language change, and especially on semantics and pragmatics. From 2008 to 2014 I worked as a lexicographer on the Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources, of which I was the final editor (2011-2014).

Selected Publications


  • R. K. Ashdowne & J. Morwood (2007) Writing Latin (Duckworth/Bristol Classical Press).
  • D. R. Howlett & R. K. Ashdowne (edd.) (2012) Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources Fasc. XV: SAL – SOL (British Academy).
  • R. K. Ashdowne & D.R. Howlett (edd.) (2013) Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources Fasc. XVI: SOL-SYR (British Academy).
  • R. K. Ashdowne (ed.) (2013) Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources Fasc. XVII: SYR-Z (British Academy).

 Articles & chapters

  • (2007) (with J.C. Smith) ‘Some semantic and pragmatic aspects of case-loss in Old French’, in Joseph C. Salmons and Shannon Dubenion-Smith (edd.) Historical Linguistics 2005. John Benjamins: Amsterdam, 191-205.
  • (2008) ‘E-vocative invocation: on the historical morphosyntax of Latin “oaths”‘, in Roger Wright (ed.), Latin vulgaire – latin tardif VIII (Actes du VIIIe colloque international sur le latin vulgaire et tardif, Oxford, 6-9 septembre 2006). Olms-Weidmann: Hildesheim – Zürich & New York, 13-25.
  • (2008) ‘Interjections and the parts of speech in the ancient grammarians’, The Henry Sweet Society Bulletin 50: 7-16.
  • (2009) ‘Accidence and Acronyms: deploying electronic assessment in support of Classical language teaching in a university context’, Arts and Humanities in Higher Education 8.2: 201-16.
  • (2010) ‘”ut Latine minus vulgariter magis loquamur”: the making of the Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources‘, in C. Stray (ed.), Classical Dictionaries, past, present and future (Duckworth), 195-222.
  • forthc. ‘Dictionaries of dead languages’ in P. Durkin (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Lexicography. OUP.
  •  forthc ‘Address systems’ in M. Maiden & A. Ledgeway (ed.), Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages. OUP.