J C Smith

John Charles
MA Oxf, Chevalier dans l’ordre des Palmes académiques


I teach General and Historical Linguistics, including Romance Linguistics and the history and structure of French.

About me

I have been Fellow and Tutor in French Linguistics at St Catherine’s College since 1997. Before returning to Oxford, where I was an undergraduate and graduate student, I held appointments at the Universities of Surrey, Bath, and Manchester. I have also held visiting appointments in Paris, Limoges, Berlin, Melbourne and Philadelphia.

I am Secretary of the International Society for Historical Linguistics, Deputy Director of the University of Oxford Research Centre for Romance Linguistics, and co-editor of the Cambridge History of the  Romance Languages. In 2007 I was created Chevalier dans l’ordre des Palmes académiques by the French Government for services to the French language and French culture.


My main field of interest is historical morphosyntax, and I have published widely on agreement, refunctionalization, deixis, and the evolution of case and pronoun systems, with particular reference to Romance, although I have also worked on other language families, including Germanic and Austronesian.

Graduate supervision

I am happy to supervise appropriate topics in Historical Linguistics and Romance Linguistics, especially morphology.  One of my main interests is morphosyntactic refunctionalization.