• Scituate High School, Scituate, Massachusetts, USA. June, 1981
  • Exchange student - American Field Service (AFS) in Governador Valadares, Minas Gerais, Brazil. February, 1981 - January, 1982
  • B.A. Connecticut College, New London, Connecticut, USA. Major: German, Minor: physics. May, 1986
  • Fulbright Scholar  at the “Nordfriesische Wörterbuchstelle”, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel. October, 1986 - July, 1987
  • Magister. Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel. December, 1993. Major: Indology, Minors: General linguistics, Indo-European linguistics
  • Ph.D.  Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel. January 1997. Major: General linguistics, Minors: Indology, Indo-European linguistics
  • Habilitation ("professorial dissertation"). Universität Osnabrück. February, 2007


 Academic experience

  • February, 1994-September, 1994: Acting assistant professor (Vertretung der Assistentenstelle) , Indology, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
  • October, 1994-July, 1997: Doctoral position, Indology, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
  • October, 1997-September, 1998: Temporary assistant professor (Assistent mit Abschluss), General linguistics, Universität Zürich
  • November, 1997-September, 1998:Research assistant (wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter), Project of the Swiss National Foundation (Schweizerischen Nationalfonds) "Arealtypology of South Asia" General linguistics, Universität Zürich
  • October, 1998-September, 2000:Research assistant (wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) in the project of the German Research Foundation (DFG) "Allgemein-vergleichende Grammatik (AVG, “Cross-linguistic grammar”)", Department of German, Theoretical linguistics, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München
  • October, 2000-September, 2006:Temporary assistant professor (wissenschaftlicher Assistent, C1), General linguistics, Typology and empirical linguistics, Universität Osnabrück
  • October, 2006-September, 2008:Visiting professor (Verwaltung der Stelle eines Universitätsprofessors, W2) for "German as a Second Language and General Linguistics", Universität Osnabrück
  • October, 2008-March, 2009:Visiting professor (Verwaltung der Stelle eines Universitätsprofessors, W2) for "Applied Linguistics in German", Universität Osnabrück
  • April, 2009 - August, 2011:Visiting professor (Vertretung der Stelle eines Universitätsprofessors, W2) for "General Linguistics, especially Typology and Linguistic Variation", Universität Leipzig
  • Since October, 2011:Full Professor of General Linguistics, University of Kiel, Germany


Other academic activites

  • Dean of Student Affairs for the School of Humanities (Prodekan für Studium und Prüfungen der Philosphischen Fakultät) of the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, 2 July, 2014 - 6 July, 2016


Travel Grants from the German Research Council (DFG)


1. Kharia, February - March, 2002. Jharkhand, central-eastern India

2. Kharia, February - March, 2003. Jharkhand, central-eastern India
3. Sadri (Sadani), March, 2009. Jharkhand, central-eastern India


 Externally-funded Projects


Towards a linguistic prehistory of eastern-central South Asia (and beyond)

The primary goal of the project will be to determine prehistoric language contacts in South Asia by examining the distribution of morphosyntactic patterns in languages of the region from different families, above all in eastern-central South Asia, and checking these for potential areal and genealogical trends, constantly viewing this information against the backdrop of what is known of the history of this region and South Asia in general. To achieve this goal, the team will compile a fine-grained morphosyntactic database on up to ca. 150 languages from the core area and selected languages from throughout South Asia. Finally, the project will contribute considerably to our present knowledge of the languages of this region by conducting field work on several languages of the region on which very little is known.

Project duration: 36 months

Funded by the German Research Council (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG))

Expected begin: September, 2017


"Literacy Acquisition in Schools in the Context of Migration and Multilingualism - A Comparative Study" (LAS), in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Michael Bommes (IMIS, Universität Osnabrück), Prof. Dr. Ulrich Mehlem (Universität Bielefeld, previously: Universität Osnabrück) and Prof. Dr. Christoph Schroeder (Universität Postdam, previously İstanbul Bilgi  University). 2007-2011.

Team members in Germany: Dr. Anja Boneß (Universität Kiel), Dr. Inken Sürig (Universität Osnabrück), Dr. Yazgül Şimşek (Universität Potsdam), Helena Olfert, M.A. (Universität Duisburg)

Funded by the VolkswagenFoundation