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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Dr Ioanna Sitaridou

Photo of Ioanna Sitaridou
University Reader in Spanish and Historical Linguistics
Undergraduate Teaching and Examinations Officer (LT 2018-LT 2020) - for UTEO-related matters please email her at: MMLL UTEO SpanPort (
Fellow and Director of Studies in Linguistics, Queens’ College
Director of the Spanish and Portuguese Section
Spanish & Portuguese
Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages
Contact details: 
Telephone number: 
+44 (0)1223 331 943

Queens' College


​Prior to her Cambridge appointment in 2004 Dr 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. The areas in which she carries out research are: the relationship between syntactic change and acquisition, language contact, micro-variation, and phylogenies.

Her research has been funded twice by British Academy (#SRG-102639; #SRG 48312) and several times by the University of Cambridge (Cambridge Humanities Research Grants Scheme 2014; Newton Trust Small Research Grant 2010; Early Career Fellowship by CRASSH in 2008). In Lent 2012, she received a research buyout by the research project ‘Information Structure and Word Order Change in Germanic and Romance Languages’ (ISWOC), at the University of Oslo. 

She has published several papers in Lingua, Diachronica, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, among others, and her book on Word Order in Old Ibero-Romance (with Prof. Montserrat Batllori) will appear by CUP in 2018.

Her work on Romeyka has featured in national and international media (the Today programme in BBC Radio 4, The Independent, Der Spiegel, Sabah, etc.). She uses this research and the resulting publicity to educate on bilingualism, promote linguistic self-esteem, especially for female speakers in remote areas of Turkey. For her research on Romeyka she was awarded the Stanley J. Seeger Visiting Research Fellowship in Hellenic Studies by Princeton University in Spring 2011 and a Research Fellowship at the Center for Hellenic Studies at Harvard University in Winter 2015. 

Dr Sitaridou welcomes inquiries from potential MPhil and PhD students with research interests relevant to her interests.

Research interests: 

Dialectal and diachronic syntax: word order phenomena, null subjects

complementation, infinitives, null objects, subjunctive obviation


Acquisition and language change

Language Contact

Syntactic phylogenies

Published works: 


  1. Sitaridou, I. (2017). Chapter II.2: Object arguments. In: Dufter, Andreas and Stark, Elisabeth, Manual of Romance Morphosyntax and Syntax. Series: Manuals of Romance Linguistics. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. 89-153
  2. Guardiano, C., D. Michelioudakis, A. Ceolin, M. Irimia, G. Longobardi,  N. Radkevich, G. Silvestri, & I. Sitaridou. (2016). South by Southeast. A syntactic approach to Greek and Romance microvariation. L’Italia dialettale LXXVII. 95-166
  3. Sitaridou, I., Ayres, L. & H. Whimpanny (2015). ‘Variation and Optionality in Clitic climbing in Argentinean Spanish’. Isogloss. 247-291
  4. Sitaridou, I. (2015). ‘La anteposición de participio en español antiguo debida a la estructura de la información del discurso’. In: Marta López Izquierdo y Mónica Castillo Lluch (Eds.), El orden de palabras en español medieval. 111-140
  5. Eide, K. & I. Sitaridou (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
  6. Alboiu, G., Hill, V. & I. Sitaridou (2014). ‘Discourse Driven V-to-C in Early Modern Romanian’. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. 1057-1088
  7. Sitaridou, I. (2014). ‘The Romeyka Infinitive: Continuity, Contact and Change in the Hellenic varieties of Pontus’. Diachronica. 31.1.  23-73
  8. Sitaridou, I. (2014). ‘Modality, antiveridicality, and complementation: The Romeyka infinitive as a negative polarity item’. Lingua. 118-146
  9. Sitaridou, I. & M. Kaltsa (2014). ‘Contrastivity in Pontic Greek’. Lingua. 1-27
  10. Sitaridou, I. (2012). ‘A comparative study of word order in Old Romance’. Folia Linguistica, 46/2, “The pace of Grammaticalisation in Romance”, (guest eds.) A. Carlier, B. Lamiroy & W. De Mulder). 553-604
  11. Sitaridou, I. (2011). ‘Word order and information structure in Old Spanish’. Catalan Journal of Linguistics, Special issue on ‘Word Order and Information Structure’, (eds.) M. Battlori & M.-L. Hernanz. 159-184
  12. Sitaridou, Ioanna. (2009). ‘On the emergence of personal infinitives in the history of Spanish’. Diachronica 26:1. 36-64