Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History

Prof. Dr. Martin Haspelmath

Kahlaische Strasse 10

07745 Jena



Prof. Dr. Martin Haspelmath

Prof. Dr. Martin Haspelmath

Prof. Dr. Martin Haspelmath


  • +49 (0) 3641 686-835



Main Focus

Martin Haspelmath's  research interests in linguistics are primarily in broadly comparative and historical morphology and syntax as well as language contact. He started out with a focus on European languages ("The European linguistic area", 2001), in particular Lezgian (A grammar of Lezgian, 1993), but more recently he sees himself as a generalist whose primary concern is the discovery and explanation of linguistic universals (The World Atlas of Language Structures, 2005; "Parametric versus functional explanation of syntactic universals", 2008). He has also been active in the area of comparative studies of lexical borrowing (Loanwords in the world's languages, 2009) and creole and pidgin languages (Atlas of Pidgin and Creole Language Structures, 2013).

Curriculum Vitae

Martin Haspelmath received his Ph.D. from Freie Universität Berlin in 1993, after studies in Vienna, Cologne, Buffalo and Moscow. He spent some time at the University of Bamberg and the University of Pavia before joining the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig in 1998. Since 2015 he has been at MPI-SHH in Jena, with an adjunct position at Leipzig University.

Organizational Unit (Department, Group, Facility):

  • Dept. of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
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