SOAS University of London

Department of Linguistics

Christopher Lucas

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


Chris Lucas
Department of Linguistics

Senior Lecturer in Arabic Linguistics

Department of the Languages and Cultures of Near and Middle East

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:
Office Hours:
Mondays 2-3pm/Tuesdays 2.30-3.30pm
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
Courses 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 Náhuat-Pipil
  • Jane Ann Al-Saraf,
  • Mohammed Alluhaybi,
  • 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 syntax, semantics and pragmatics, with a primary focus on Arabic and other Afro-Asiatic languages. To date, much of my research has centred around two empirical domains: the expression of negation and of definiteness, and the historical developments observed cross-linguistically in each of these domains. I also have significant interests in language contact and the development of general cognitive theories of contact-induced grammatical change.

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.


Edited Books or Journal Volumes

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 (2017) '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. (Studies in Diversity Linguistics) (Forthcoming)

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. (Linguistische Arbeiten)

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. (Oxford Studies in Diachronic and Historical Linguistics)

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

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. (Current Research in the Semantics/Pragmatics Interface 25)


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 (2017) 'On Wilmsen on the development of postverbal negation in dialectal Arabic.' Zeitschrift für Arabische Linguistik. (Forthcoming)

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.

This list was generated on Sat Jul 22 03:08:32 2017 BST.