skip to content


Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Professor Ioanna Sitaridou

Photo of Ioanna Sitaridou
Professor of Spanish and Historical Linguistics
Co-Director for the Cambridge Centre for Greek Studies
Fellow, Tutor and Director of Studies in Linguistics and Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics PIB and YA, Queens’ College
Spanish & Portuguese
Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages & Linguistics
Contact details: 
Telephone number: 
+44 (0)1223 331 943

Queens' College Cambridge CB3 9ET



Dr Ioanna Sitaridou is Professor of Spanish and Historical Linguistics at the University of Cambridge where she also served as Head of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese from 2019-2021; Co-Director for the Cambridge Centre for Greek Studies; Fellow, Tutor and Director of Studies in Linguistics and Modern and Medieval Languages at Queens’ College, Cambridge; and Co-Editor-in-Chief for the linguistics journal Glossa Contact.


Prior to her Cambridge appointment in 2004 Prof. Ioanna Sitaridou worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Research Centre on Multilingualism at the University of Hamburg, investigating word order in Old Romance and the licensing/loss of null subjects in the history of French and Occitan (2002-2005), with Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Meisel.

She received her PhD in Romance linguistics at the University of Manchester (2002) under the supervision of Prof. Nigel Vincent. She holds an MA in Linguistics from University College London (UCL) (1998). She also holds a BA in French Philology from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (1997), part of which was spent under the Erasmus scheme at the University of Lisbon (1997) studying Portuguese and Romance linguistics with Prof. Ana Maria Martins.


Her main areas of research are comparative and diachronic syntax of the Romance languages, in particular 13th Century Spanish, as well as dialectal Spanish, and dialectal Greek, especially Pontic Greek. The areas in which she carries out research are the relationship between syntactic change and acquisition, language contact and sociolinguistics, micro-variation and change, heritage languages and change, and phylogenies. She has published many papers in Glossa, Lingua, Diachronica, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, among others. She is known to take ‘orthodoxies’ and turn them upside-down thanks to meticulous consideration of data coupled with cutting-edge linguistic theory. She is one of the key advocates for a holistic approach to language contact incorporating findings from syntactic theory, variation, language acquisition and sociolinguistics and she has proposed that there is no need for a specialised theory of language contact. She has been awarded numerous fellowships at Princeton, Oslo, Harvard, UFB in Salvador, Brazil and CNRS-Inalco Paris. She has lectured all over the world delivering over 250 talks and lectures.


She has extensive experience field-working and researching endangered and low prestige languages in socio-politically sensitive contexts such as Romani-speaking communities in Dendropotamos, Thessaloniki; Vlach-speaking communities in Trikala; Spanish in La Palma, Canary Islands with the COSER team; and Llanito in Gibraltar. Undoubtedly, most of this experience has been gained out of 16 years of field working in Turkey where she took Romeyka out of oblivion (e.g., the Today programme in BBC Radio 4, The Independent, Der Spiegel, Sabah, etc.) and turned into a topic of global discussion by publishing papers in international peer-reviewed journals, while putting forward a new phylogeny of Greek positing the existence of more than one Greek language. She used this research and the resulting publicity to educate on bilingualism, promote linguistic self-esteem, especially for female speakers in remote/underprivileged areas, with the aim to promote heritage languages and cultures as a way of maintaining social cohesion in direct counterpoint to the ideology underpinning nationalism.


Teaching interests: 

Synchrony and Diachrony of Spanish and Romance languages and Asia Minor Greek;

Historical syntax; Language Acquisition; Sociolinguistics; Variation;

Heritage languages; Fieldwork and Revitalisation of endangered languages.

Research interests: 

Dialectal and diachronic syntax: word order phenomena, null subjects, complementation, infinitives, null objects, subjunctive obviation, control


Acquisition (especially L2 and heritage languages) and language change

Language Contact

Syntactic phylogenies and reconstruction


Published works: 


  1. Kavčič, J. & I. Sitaridou (2025). Koine Greek. In Walter Bisang, Johannes Kabatek and Bernd Kortmann (Eds.), Spread of World Languages. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.
  2. Michelioudakis, D. & I. Sitaridou (2025). Greek Dialectal Syntax. In George Tsoulas and Anthi Revithiadou, Oxford Handbook of Greek Linguistics. Oxford: OUP.
  3. Sitaridou, I. (2025). Hyperbaton in Greek. Encyclopedia of Greek Language and Linguistics, Georgios K. Giannakis (Ed.), Leiden/Boston: Brill.


Journals (referred)

  1. Neocleous, N. & I. Sitaridou (2022). Never Just Contact. The rise of final auxiliaries in Asia Minor Greek. Diachronica 16.1. 369-408.
  2. Giannakou, Aretousa & Sitaridou, Ioanna. (2022). (In)felicitous use of subjects in Greek and Spanish in monolingual and contact settings. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 7(1), 1-33. DOI: 
  3. Txuss Martin, Ioanna Sitaridou & Wolfram Hinzen (2021). Correlations between Case and the D-system and the interpretability of Case. Borealis: An International Journal of Hispanic Linguistics, 2021, 10 / 2. pp. 238-263.
  4. Batllori, M. & I. Sitaridou. (2020). Fronting in Old Spanish. Glossa. 1-39.
  5. Giannakou, A. & I. Sitaridou (2020). Microparametric variation in the syntax of Spanish and Greek pronominal subjects. Glossa. 1-42.
  6. Schreiber L. & I. Sitaridou (2017). Assessing the sociolinguistic vitality of Romeyka: An attitudinal study. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. 1-17. 
  7. Michelioudakis, D. & I. Sitaridou. (2016). ‘Recasting the multiple-wh typology: Evidence from Pontic Greek varieties’. Glossa. 1-33.
  8. Guardiano, C., Michelioudakis, D., Ceolin, A., Irimia, M. A., Longobardi, G., Radkevich, N., Silvestri, G. & Sitaridou, I. (2016). South by Southeast. A syntactic approach to Greek and Romance microvariation. L’Italia dialettale. 1-63. 
  9. Michelioudakis, D. & Sitaridou, I. (2016). Recasting the typology of multiple wh-fronting: Evidence from Pontic Greek. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 1(1), 40. 1-33.
  10. Sitaridou, I. (2016). Reframing the phylogeny of Asia Minor Greek: The view from Pontic Greek. CHS Research Bulletin, Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard University 4, 1. 1-17. 
  11. Sitaridou, I., Whimpanny, H. & Ayres, L. (2015). Variation and Optionality in Clitic climbing in Argentinean Spanish. Isogloss 1, 1. 247-291. 
  12. Alboiu, G., Hill, V. & Sitaridou, I. (2015). Discourse Driven V-to-C in Early Modern Romanian. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 33, 4. 1057-1088.  
  13. Sitaridou, I. (2014). Modality, antiveridicality, and complementation: The Romeyka infinitive as a negative polarity item. Lingua. 118-146. 
  14. Sitaridou, I. & Kaltsa, M. (2014). Contrastivity in Pontic Greek. Lingua. 1-27. 
  15. Sitaridou, I. (2014). The Romeyka Infinitive: Continuity, Contact and Change in the Hellenic varieties of Pontus. Diachronica 31, 1. 23-73. 
  16. Jaspal, R. & Sitaridou, I. (2013). Coping with Stigmatized Linguistic Identities: Identity and Ethnolinguistic Vitality Among Andalusians. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research 13(2). 95-119.
  17. Sitaridou, I. (2012). A comparative study of word order in Old Romance. Folia Linguistica 46(2), ‘The pace of Grammaticalisation in Romance’ (guest eds. Anne Carlier, Béatrice Lamiroy & Walter De Mulder). 553-604. 
  18. Sitaridou, I. (2011). Word order and information structure in Old Spanish. Catalan Journal of Linguistics, Special issue on ‘Word Order and Information Structure’ (eds. Montserrat Battlori &Maria Lluïsa Hernanz). 159-184. 
  19. Sitaridou, I. (2009). On the emergence of personal infinitives in the history of Spanish. Diachronica 26, 1. 36-64. 
  20. Sitaridou, I. (2007). Infinitives with subjects in Greek and Southern Italian dialects: a Sprachbund effect. In D. Bentley & A. Ledgeway (eds.), Sui dialetti italoromanzi. Saggi in onore di Nigel B. Vincent, The Italianist, Special Supplement. London: Maney. 221-242. 



  1. Bouzouita, M., I. Sitaridou & E. Pato. (Eds.) (2018). Studies in Historical Ibero-Romance Morphosyntax. Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics series (IHLL). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  2. Lavidas, Nikolaos, Bergs, Alexander, van Gelderen, Elly and Sitaridou, Ioanna (Eds). (2022). The Naxos Papers. Vol. II: On Language Change in Indo-European. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 250pp.



Chapters in edited volumes (referred)

  1. Sitaridou, I. (2024). Romeyka. ‘Türkiye'nin tehlike altındaki dilleri’ içinde, Metin Bağrıaçık, Ömer Demirok ve Balkız Öztürk (Ed.), İstanbul: Laz Enstitüsü. ISBN: 978-605-70129-7-5
  2. Sitaridou, I. (2024). Romeyka. In ‘Endangered Languages in Turkey’, edited by Metin Bagriacik, Omer Demirok and Balkiz Ozturk. Istanbul: The Laz Institute. 118-146 ISBN: 978-605-70129-6-8
  3. Sitaridou, I. (2023). ‘Petnajst let terenskih raziskav romejščine: ključne ugotovitve o jeziku ter o njegovem razvoju, vitalnosti in možnostih preživetja' Keria’, Studia Latina et Graeca 25, 2.
  4. Sitaridou, I. and Tristan L. (2023). ‘Clitic climbing in modal constructions in Algherese Catalan’, Linguistica sine finibus, Gibert-Sotelo, Elisabeth; Pujol Payet, Isabel; Rost Bagudanch, Assumpció; y Tro Morató, Teresa de Jesús (eds.). Girona: Documenta Universitaria.
  5. Bouzouita, M. and I. Sitaridou (2023). ‘Cambios en el orden de palabras y la estructura informativa’, Lingüística histórica del español / The Routledge Handbook of Spanish Historical Linguistics, Steven Dworkin, Gloria Clavería y Álvaro Octavio de Toledo (Eds.). Oxon: Routledge. 221-232
  6. Sitaridou, I. (2022). ‘On the redundancy of a theory of language contact: Cue-based reconstruction in a socio-linguistically informed manner’. In N. Lavidas and K. Nikiforidou, Language change: Theory and Methodologies in the 21st century. Leiden: Brill. 15-52
  7. Sitaridou, I. (2022). ‘La subida de los clíticos en rioplatense: mecanismos universales, variación y opcionalidad’ en Universales vernáculos en la gramática del español, Ángela Di Tullio, Enrique Pato (eds.). Madrid: Iberoamericana Vervuert. 1-35
  8. Sitaridou, I. (2021). ‘(In)Vulnerable inflected infinitives as complements to volitionals and modals: Evidence from Galician and Romeyka’. In T. Eythórsson & J. G. Jónsson (Eds.), Syntactic Features and the Limits of Syntactic Change. Oxford: OUP. 161-177
  9. Donnabedian, A. & I. Sitaridou (2020). ‘Language contact in Anatolia’. In E. Adamou and Y. Matras (Eds.), Handbook of Language Contact . London: Routledge. 404-434
  10. Michelioudakis, D. & I. Sitaridou (2020) ‘Towards a formal model of transfer under contact: Contrasting Asia Minor Greek to mainland Greek and Turkish in search of syntactic borrowings’ in M. Georgiafentis, G. Giannoulopoulou, M. Koliopoulou & A. Tsokoglou (Eds.), Theoretical Approaches to Contrastive Linguistics. Morphological and Syntactic Perspectives. London: Bloomsbury Studies in Theoretical Linguistics. 246-261
  11. Abbott, J. & I. Sitaridou (2019). 'How contact with Greek exacerbated the rise of the definite article in Bulgarian'. In J. J. Pennington, V.A. Friedman, and L. A. Grenoble, (Eds.), And Thus You Are Everywhere Honored: Studies Dedicated To Brian D. Joseph. Bloomington: Slavica Publishers. 7-20
  12. Sitaridou, I.  (2019). ‘Against V2 in Old Spanish’. In A. Breitbarth, M. Bouzouita, M. Farasyn, L. Danckaert (Eds.), The Determinants of Diachronic Stability. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 131-156
  13. Guardiano, C., D. Michelioudakis, G. Cordoni, M.A. Irimia, N. Radkevich, I. Sitaridou (2018). ‘Parametric comparison and dialect variation. Insights from Southern Italy’. In L. Repetti & F. Ordóñez (Eds.), Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 14. Selected papers from the 46th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 103-133
  14. Bouzouita, M., I. Sitaridou & E. Pato (2018). ‘Some Introductory Reflections’. In M. Bouzouita, I. Sitaridou & E. Pato (Eds.), Studies in Historical Ibero-Romance Morpho-Syntax [Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics]   Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 1-12
  15. Sitaridou, I. (2017). ‘Chapter II.2: Object arguments’. In A. Dufter & E. Stark, Manual of Romance Morphosyntax and Syntax. Series: Manuals of Romance Linguistics. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. 89-153
  16. Sitaridou, I. (2015). ‘La anteposición de participio en español antiguo debida a la estructura de la información del discurso’. In M. López Izquierdo & M. Castillo Lluch (Eds.), El orden de palabras en español medieval. Madrid: Visor. 111-140
  17. Eide, K. & Sitaridou, I. (2014). ‘Contrastivity and information structure in the Old Ibero-Romance languages’. In K. Bech & K. Gunn Eide (Eds.), Information Structure and Syntactic Change in Germanic and Romance languages. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 377-412
  18. Sitaridou, I. (2013). ‘Greek-speaking enclaves in Pontus today: The documentation and revitalization of Romeyka’. In M. Jones & S. Ogilvie (Eds.), Keeping Languages Alive. Language Endangerment: Documentation, Pedagogy and Revitalization. Cambridge: CUP. 98-112
  19. Michelioudakis, D. & Sitaridou, I. (2012). ‘Syntactic microvariation: Dative Constructions in Greek’. In R. Etxepare & B. Fernández (Eds.), Datives in variation: a micro-comparative perspective. Oxford: OUP. 212-255
  20. Sitaridou, I. (2007). ‘Romance infinitives with subjects, subjunctive obviation and control theory’. In L. Eguren & O. Soriano (Eds.), Coreference, Modality and Focus. Studies on the Syntax-Semantics Interface. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 191-219
  21. Sitaridou, I. (2006). ‘The (dis)association of Tense, phi-features EPP and nominative Case: case studies from Romance and Greek’. In J. Costa & M. C. Figueiredo Silva (Eds.), Studies on Agreement. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 243-260
  22. Mathieu, E. & Sitaridou, I. (2005). ‘Split wh-Constructions in Classical and Modern Greek: A Diachronic Perspective’. In M. Batllori, M.-L. Hernanz, C. Picallo & F. Roca (Eds.), Grammaticalization and Parametric Change. Oxford: OUP. 236-250


Working papers (refereed)

  1. Michelioudakis, D. & Sitaridou, I. (2013). ‘Multiple wh-fronting across Pontic Greek dialects.’ In A. Ralli, B. Joseph, M. Janse, A. Karasimos (Eds.), On-line Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference of Modern Greek Dialects and Linguistic Theory (MGDLT5), Ghent, 20-22 September 2012. 
  2. Kaltsa, M. & Sitaridou, I. (2010). ‘Topicalisation in Pontic Greek’. In A. Ralli, B. Joseph, M. Janse, A. Karasimos (Eds.), On-line Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference of Modern Greek Dialects and Linguistic Theory (MGDLT4), Chios, 11-14 June 2009 (pp. 262-279). 
  3. Michelioudakis, D. & Sitaridou, I. (2010). ‘Syntactic microvariation in Pontic Greek: Dative constructions.’ In A. Ralli, B. Joseph, M. Janse & A. Karasimos (Eds.), On-line Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference of Modern Greek Dialects and Linguistic Theory (MGDLT4), Chios, 11-14 June 2009 (pp. 131-146). 
  4. Haidou, K. & Sitaridou, I. (2002). ‘The Licensing of Subjects in Greek Gerunds’. SOAS Working Papers (pp. 189-197). 
  5. Mathieu, E. & Sitaridou, I. (2002). ‘Split wh-constructions in Classical and Modern Greek’. In A. Alexiadou, S. Fischer, M. Stavrou (Eds.), Linguistics in Potsdam 19 (pp. 143-182). 

Proceedings (refereed)

  1. Michelioudakis, D. & I. Sitaridou. (2013). ‘Multiple wh-fronting across Pontic Greek dialects.’ On-line Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference of Modern Greek Dialects and Linguistic Theory (MGDLT5), Chios, 11-14/06/2009, (eds.) A. Ralli, B. Joseph, M. Janse & A. Karasimos.
  2. Kaltsa, M. & I. Sitaridou (2010). ‘Topicalisation in Pontic Greek’. On-line Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference of Modern Greek Dialects and Linguistic Theory (MGDLT4), Chios, 11-14/06/2009, (eds.) A. Ralli, B. Joseph, M. Janse & A. Karasimos. 262-279. 
  3. Michelioudakis, D. & I. Sitaridou (2010). ‘Syntactic microvariation in Pontic Greek: Dative constructions.’ On-line Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference of Modern Greek Dialects and Linguistic Theory (MGDLT4), Chios, 11-14/06/2009, (eds.) A. Ralli, B. Joseph, M. Janse & A. Karasimos. 131-146. 
  4. Sitaridou, I. & Terkourafi, M. (2009). ‘On the Loss of the Masculine Genitive Plural in Cypriot Greek: language contact or internal evolution?’. In M. Dufresne, F. Dupuis & E. Vocaj (Eds.), Historical Linguistics 2007. Selected Papers from the 18th International Conference on Historical Linguistics, Montréal, Québec, 6-11 August 2007 (pp. 161-173). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 
  5. Michelioudakis, D. & Sitaridou, I. (2009). ‘The ethic dative in Greek and Romance’. Studies in Greek Linguistics 29. Thessaloniki: Institute for Modern Greek Studies, Aristole University of Thessaloniki (pp. 355-370). Μελέτες για την Ελληνική γλώσσα. Πρακτικά της 29ης ετήσιας συνάντησης του τομέα Γλωσσολογίας, του   τμήματος   Φιλολογίας,   της   Φιλοσοφικής   Σχολής   του   Αριστοτελείου Πανεπιστημίου Θεσσαλονίκης (pp. 355-370).   
  6. Sifaki, E. & Sitaridou, I. (2007). ‘EPP Revisited: Evidence from Null Subject Languages’. In E. Agathopoulou, M. Dimitrakopoulou & D. Papadopoulou (Eds.), Selected Papers in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, Volume 1, 17 International Symposium, English Department, Aristotle University (pp. 188-198). Thessaloniki: Monochromia. 
  7. Sitaridou, I. (2004). ‘A corpus-based study of null subjects in Old French and Occitan’. In C. D. Pusch, J. Kabatek, W.  Raible.  (Eds.), Romance Corpus Linguistics II.  Corpora and Diachronic Linguistics (pp. 359-374). Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag.  
  8. Σιταρίδου, Ι. & Χάϊδου, Κ. (2001). ‘Η αρχή νομιμοποίησης των υποκειμένων στα ελληνικά γερούνδια’, Μελέτες για την Ελληνική γλώσσα. Πρακτικά της 22ης ετήσιας συνάντησης του τομέα Γλωσσολογίας, του τμήματος Φιλολογίας, της Φιλοσοφικής Σχολής του Αριστοτελείου Πανεπιστημίου Θεσσαλονίκης (pp. 583-592). 
  9. Sitaridou, I. (2001). ‘Inflected and Personal infinitives in Romance languages from a diachronic perspective’. Proceedings of the 6th Doctorate Meeting in Linguistics at the University Paris 7 (pp. 143-149). 
  10. Sitaridou, I. (2001). ‘The History of Inflected and Personal infinitives in Romance languages.’ Proceedings of the Tenth Postgraduate Conference in Linguistics, University of Manchester.
  11. Sitaridou, I. (2000). ‘Non-finiteness in Old Neapolitan and Modern Greek’. Μελέτες για την Ελληνική γλώσσα. Πρακτικά της 21ης ετήσιας συνάντησης του τομέα Γλωσσολογίας, του τμήματος Φιλολογίας, της Φιλοσοφικής Σχολής του Αριστοτελείου Πανεπιστημίου Θεσσαλονίκης (pp. 700-712). 
  12. Sitaridou, I. (2000). ‘Lexical subjects in Portuguese and Spanish infinitival clauses.’ Proceedings of the Ninth Postgraduate Conference in Linguistics, University of Manchester (pp. 123-195).