Stefan Höfler

Stefan Höfler

Marie Curie Fellow

  • Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics

    Emil Holms Kanal 2, 2300 København S, Building: 22.5.43

    Phone: +45 35 33 29 25

My love for comparative linguistics began when I started to teach myself Welsh and Modern Irish in High School and noticed systematic similarities between these two Celtic languages. As soon as I found out that there was an academic tradition devoted to the study of comparative linguistics, I knew that I wanted to become a historical linguist. At age 18, I moved to Vienna to study Historical and Comparative Indo-European Linguistics at the University of Vienna.

In the course of my Mag. phil. (B.A. and M.A. equivalent), I studied a whole array of different languages, including Ancient Greek, Latin, Vedic and Classical Sanskrit, Old and Young Avestan, Hittite, Old Irish, Middle Welsh, Celtiberian, the Sabellic languages, Gothic, Old Church Slavonic, and Tocharian A and B, but also took courses on theoretical topics such as Proto-Indo-European (PIE) phonology, morphology, syntax, and history of linguistics. Apart from that, I had always taken a great interest in non-Indo-European languages, which is why I enrolled in a B.A. program in Hungarian language and literature (graduation in 2011) and took several courses in Biblical and Modern Hebrew (from Fall 2012 through Spring 2016).

After my graduation in 2012, I started a Ph.D. program in Historical and Comparative Indo-European Linguistics at the University of Vienna. I presented my research at different conferences, gave two invited talks in Europe and the US, published four papers in peer-reviewed journals, and spent one semester as a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Linguistics at Harvard University.

After completing my Ph.D. in June 2017, I moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts for a one-year post-doc lecturer position at the Department of Linguistics at Harvard University. I taught three courses during the year at both graduate and under-graduate level, as well as one course  at the Harvard Summer School.

Back in Vienna, I received a grant for the completion of several publications from the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Since September 1st, 2019, I have been a Marie Curie postdoc fellow at the Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics at the University of Copenhagen. In my research project "Of beasts and men. The animals of the Proto-Indo-Europeans" I intend to find out more about the structure, morphology, etymology, and semantic motivation of animal names in PIE.

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