Research interests

Present areas of interest and research:

  • Myanmar as a linguistic area between South- and Southeast Asia
  • The typology of Austroasiatic languages
  • Areal phenomena in Southeast Asia; convergence and diffusion of morphosyntactic and other features
  • Minority languages in Southeast Asia
  • Language change
  • Verbal systems
  • Functional-typological issues in morphosyntax
  • Information structure and coding systems
  • Cognitive and semantic/pragmatic approaches to language
  • Historical linguistics (Indo-European and Asian language families)
  • Language and culture

Other interests

The people behind the languages, their cultures, literatures and music, as well as their everyday lives. To understand and be able to describe what's going on in any language you have to understand the people who speak the language. Therefore I don't see linguistic work as a purely theoretical discipline (although theory and discipline are prerequisites to do linguistics) or language as a goal in itself, but rather as a way and means of reaching other goals. Field work therefore is an important part of my work.