SOAS University of London

Department of Linguistics, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Christopher Lucas

BA (London); MPhil, PhD (Cantab)
  • Overview
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Expertise
  • Publications


Chris Lucas
School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Senior Lecturer in Arabic Linguistics

Department of Linguistics, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Senior Lecturer in Arabic Linguistics

London Middle East Institute (LMEI)


SOAS World Languages Institute


Dr Christopher Lucas
Email address:
+44(0) 20 7898 4318
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Academic Support Hours:
Wednesday 11.15-12.15, Thursday 3.15-4.15
Curriculum Vitae:
Christopher Lucas' Curriculum Vitae (pdf; 166kb)


I did my undergraduate studies in Arabic at SOAS, and my postgraduate studies in Linguistics at the University of Cambridge. Before taking up my current position at SOAS, I was Research Associate in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Cambridge and then British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Linguistics at SOAS.


Programmes Convened
Modules Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Andriana Koumbarou, A cross-linguistic study of focus phenomena from a dynamic perspective with special reference to Hindi
  • Ebany Dohle, A Documentation of semantic and lexical categorization of environmental knowledge in NĂ¡huat-Pipil
  • Jane Ann Al-Saraf,
  • Mohammed Alluhaybi,
  • Nadia Ait Said-Ghanem, Sentence Types and Word-Order Patterns in Old Babylonian Omen Texts: An Investigation of Old Babylonian Omens Using Arabic Grammatical Theory
  • Nadia Christopher, Information Structure and its Relationship with Syntax in the Kazakh Language.
  • Saba Tifooni, A Cross-linguistic and Cross-cultural Investigation of Non-equivalent Emotions in Second Language Learning: Frustration and Excitement between English and Kuwaiti Arabic


My principal research interests are in grammatical change and the interface between morphosyntax, semantics and pragmatics, with a primary focus on Arabic and other Afro-Asiatic languages, though I also work on English. My earlier research centred around two empirical domains: the expression of negation and of definiteness, and the historical developments observed cross-linguistically in each of these domains. More recently I have worked on contact-induced grammatical change, as well as linguistic variation in Maltese. My current AHRC-funded project focuses on contact-induced change in Arabic and other languages, as well as Language Analysis for the Determination of Origin (LADO) in the Arabic context. See here for more details.

I welcome inquiries from PhD students wishing to focus on any aspect of Arabic linguistics, or on grammatical change in Arabic, Afro-Asiatic or other languages.


For help in contacting SOAS academics and advice on services to business and the community, please contact SOAS Enterprise on +44(0)20 7898 4837 or email
For all press and media enquiries please call +44 (0)20 7898 4135 or email


Considerable experience with, and expertise in, producing experts' reports for Arabic-speaking asylum claimants.

Available for
  • Expert Immigration or Asylum Reports
Regional Expertise
  • Near and Middle East
Country Expertise
  • Arabic



Lucas, Christopher (2018) 'On Wilmsen on the development of postverbal negation in dialectal Arabic'. Zeitschrift für Arabische Linguistik, (67), pp 44-71.

Krug, Manfred and Lucas, Christopher (2018) 'Definite article (omission) in British, Maltese, and other Englishes'. STUF - Language Typology and Universals - Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung, (71) 2, pp 261-301.

Arnold, Doug and Lucas, Christopher (2017) 'One of Those Constructions that Really Needs a Proper Analysis'. Proceedings of the Joint 2016 Conference on Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar and Lexical Functional Grammar, pp 43-63.

Lucas, Christopher (2012) 'Contact-induced grammatical change: towards an explicit account'. Diachronica, (29) 3, pp 275-300.

Lucas, Christopher and Willis, David (2012) 'Never again: the multiple grammaticalization of never as a marker of negation in English'. English Language and Linguistics, (16) 3, pp 459-485.

Lucas, Christopher and Lash, Elliott (2010) 'Contact as catalyst: The case for Coptic influence in the development of Arabic negation'. Journal of Linguistics, (46) 2, pp 379-413.

Lucas, Christopher (2010) 'Negative -š in Palestinian (and Cairene) Arabic: Present and possible past'. Brill's Annual of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics, (2) 1, pp 165-201.

Lucas, Christopher (2007) 'Jespersen's Cycle in Arabic and Berber'. Transactions of the Philological Society, (105) 3, pp 398-431.

Edited Books or Journals

Lucas, Christopher and Krug, Manfred, (eds.), (2018) Special Issue - The noun phrase in Maltese and Maltese English. De Gruyter. (STUF - Language Typology and Universals [Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung]).

Willis, David and Lucas, Christopher and Breitbarth, Anne, (eds.), (2013) The History of Negation in the Languages of Europe and the Mediterranean. Volume I: Case Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Oxford Studies in Diachronic and Historical Linguistics).

Breitbarth, Anne and Lucas, Christopher and Watts, Sheila and Willis, David, (eds.), (2010) Continuity and Change in Grammar. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. (Linguistik aktuell, Bd. 159).

Book Chapters

Lucas, Christopher and Spagnol, Michael (2018) 'Conditions on /t/-insertion in Maltese numeral phrases: a reassessment'. In: Gatt, Albert and Paggio, Patrizia, (eds.), The Languages of Malta. Language Science Press: Berlin, pp 117-141.

Lucas, Christopher and Spagnol, Michael (2016) 'Connecting /t/ in Maltese numerals'. In: Puech, Gilbert and Saade, Benjamin, (eds.), Shifts and Patterns in Maltese. Berlin: DeGruyter.

Lucas, Christopher (2014) 'Contact-induced language change'. In: Bowern, Claire and Evans, Bethwyn, (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Historical Linguistics. London: Routledge, pp 519-536.

Lucas, Christopher (2014) 'Indefinites and negative concord in Maltese: towards a dynamic account'. In: Borg, Albert and Caruana, Sandro and Vella, Alexandra, (eds.), Perspectives on Maltese Linguistics. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, pp 225-248.

Breitbarth, Anne and Lucas, Christopher and Willis, David (2013) 'Incipient Jespersen's Cycle: the (non-)grammaticalization of new negative markers'. In: Fleischer, Jürg and Simon, Horst, (eds.), Sprachvandelvergleich - Comparing Diachronies. Berlin: De Gruyter, pp 141-162.

Lucas, Christopher (2013) 'Negation in the History of Arabic and Afro-Asiatic'. In: Willis, David and Lucas, Christopher and Breitbarth, Anne, (eds.), The History of Negation in the Languages of Europe and the Mediterranean, Volume I: Case Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 399-452.

Lucas, Christopher (2011) 'Form-function mismatches in (formally) definite English noun phrases: Towards a diachronic account'. The Noun Phrase in Romance and Germanic: Structure, Variation and Change. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp 159-174.

Lucas, Christopher (2011) 'Definiteness, Procedural Encoding and the Limits of Accommodation'. In: Escandell-Vidal, Victoria and Leonetti, Manuel and Ahern, Aoife, (eds.), Procedural Meaning: Problems and Perspectives. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing, pp 157-182.


This list was last generated on Thursday, 24th January 2019, 12:43 Europe/London.