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Professor Bernard Comrie FBA

Bernard Comrie profile picture

About this Fellow

Bernard Comrie studied Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics at the University of Cambridge, taking his Ph.D. in 1972. Having taught previously at the University of Cambridge and the University of Southern California and served as Director of the Department of Linguistics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, he is currently Distinguished Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a member of the Academia Europaea, a corresponding fellow of the British Academy of Sciences, a corresponding member of the Saxon Academy of Sciences, a foreign member of the Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Professor Comrie's main interests are language universals and typology, historical linguistics, linguistic fieldwork, and languages of the Caucasus – he is currently combining the last two interests by preparing descriptive grammars of two languages of Daghestan, Tsez and Bezhta. In his work on typology, he has undertaken the cross-linguistic examination of tense-aspect systems, causative constructions, relative clauses, nominalizations, reference-tracking devices, ditransitive constructions, valency classes, and numeral systems. A special interest is the use of evidence from different disciplines, in particular linguistics, genetics, and archeology, in order to solve problems relating to prehistoric human migrations and contact.

Website: http://www.linguistics.ucsb.edu/people/bernard-comrie

Appointments

Current post

  • Distinguished Faculty Professor of Linguistics, University of California, Santa Barbara

Publications

Aspect

Bernard Comrie, 1976 Cambridge University Press
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Other Linguistics and Philology Fellows

Professor Harald Clahsen

Psycholinguistics; first and second language acquisition, developmental and acquired language disorders, the experimental study of language processing in different languages

Professor Dan Sperber

Cognition, communication and culture in an evolutionary perspective; anthropological fieldwork in Ethiopia, theoretical and experimental work in linguistic pragmatics and in cognitive psychology

Professor Elizabeth Traugott

Historical linguistics; semantic change, cognitive and interactional pragmatics; theories of grammaticalisation and construction grammar

Professor Paul Kiparsky

Phonology, morphology, historical linguistics, metrics, and the Sanskrit grammatical tradition. The relation between word structure and sentence structure, and the principles governing language change.