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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Dr Giuseppina Silvestri

Research Associate
Supervisor, MML
Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages
Contact details: 

Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages
Raised Faculty Building
University of Cambridge
Sidgwick Avenue
United Kingdom


Giuseppina Silvestri’s research interests include comparative Indo- European and Romance Linguistics, and especially Italian and non-standard Italian varieties, Greek dialectology, phonetics and phonology, and linguistic theory.

The major research focus of her doctoral work, completed in 2013, was formed by the typology of Genitive Case in Romance languages and brings together findings in traditional classical and philological scholarship with the state-of-the-art in theoretical analysis.

After completing her Ph.D., her research has centred on areas of intersection between morpho-phonology and syntax in a group of southern Italian dialects in the so-called ‘Lausbserg’ area, investigating in particular the effects of consonantal length (raddoppiamento fonosintattico), tonic vowel alteration (metaphony), and prosodic variation.

She is currently research associate on a 3-year Leverhulme-funded Project, ‘Fading voices in southern Italy: investigating language contact in Magna Graecia’, working with Adam Ledgeway (Principal Investigator) and Norma Schifano (Research Associate).

Teaching interests: 



Comparative Romance Linguistics

Italian Linguistics and Italian Dialects

French Linguistics

Research interests: 

Syntax of Romance varieties

Morpho-syntax of Italian varieties

Phonology-syntax Interface

Parametric Linguistics

Recent research projects: 

‘Fading voices in southern Italy: investigating language contact in Magna Graecia’ (Cambridge, Leverhulme Project Grant, October 2015-2018)

‘The syntax of nominal structures in Romance’ (Cambridge/Trieste, SHARM Research Grant, May 2013-December 2014)

‘Modularized global parametrization of the nominal domain’ (Trieste, January 2010- May 2013)

Published works: 

Höhn, Georg, Silvestri, Giuseppina &  Maria Olimpia Squillaci. 2017. Greek and Romance unagreement in Calabria. Journal of Greek Linguistics 17: 263-292.

Silvestri, Giuseppina. 2016. Adverb and participle agreement: for a parameter hierarchy in Italo-Romance microvariation.

In: E. Bidese, F. Cognola, M. C. Moroni (Eds), Theoretical Approaches to Linguistic Variation. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins, 98-118.

Longobardi, Giuseppe & Giuseppina Silvestri. 2013. The Structure of Noun Phrases: insights on Case, Empty Categories, and Poverty of Stimulus. In: S. Luraghi and C. Parodi (Eds.), The Bloomsbury Companion to Syntax. London: Bloomsbury, 88-117.