Student, University Rome La Sapienza, 1955—1959. Doctor of Letters, University Rome, 1959. Libera docenza, University Rome, 1963.
Master of Arts, University Oxford, 1964. Doctor of Letters (honorary), University St. Andrews, Scotland, 1981.
Asst, in classical philology University Rome, 1959—1961. Junior fellow Center for Hellenic Studies (Harvard University), Washington, 1961—1962. University lecturer in classical philology University Oxford, 1964—1971, professor comparative philology, since 1971.
Supernumerary fellow and lecturer in classics St. Hilda's College, 1966—1971. Professorial fellow Somerville College, 1971—2004, Diebold professor, 2003—2004, professor emeritus, since 2004. Visiting professor University Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1971, Yale University, New Haven, 1977.
Collitz professor Linguistics Society of America, University Florida, Tampa, 1975. Sather professor University California-Berkeley, 2000. Semple lecturer University Cincinnati, 1983, Webster lecturer Stanford University, 1988, Jackson lecturer Harvard University, 1990.
Delegate Oxford University Press, since 1992.
(The History of Linguistics, to be published in five volum...)
Fellow British Academy. Member American Academy Arts and Sciences (foreign honorary), Oesterreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften (correspondent), Academia Europaea, American Philosophical Society (foreign), (British) Philological Society (president 1976-1980, vice president since 1980), Linguistic Society of America (honorary), Academy des inscriptions et belles lettres, Institute de France (correspondent), Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften (correspondent), Premio Linceo per la linguistica.
Married John Kenyon Davies, September 8, 1962 (divorced 1978).