Anne-Maria Fehn

Dept. of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
+49 3641 686-810

Main Focus

Historical linguistics, Quantitative linguistics, Language contact, Southern African languages, Khoe-Kwadi, Bantu, Database-curation, Language in population history research, Language and human genetics

Curriculum Vitae

Anne-Maria Fehn is a linguist with a special interest in the languages and population history of southern Africa.

She holds a Ph.D. in African Studies from the University of Cologne which she received for her work on the Khoe language Ts’ixa supervised by Prof. Dr. em. Bernd Heine. From 2010-2012, she held a grant of the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School of the University of Cologne. Between 2012 and 2014, she was employed as a coordinator in Eurocores project “Kalahari Basin Area” which focused on the population history of southern Africa and included cooperation between linguistics, molecular anthropology and cultural anthropology. Her interdisciplinary work was continued on a grant held from 2014-2015 at CIBIO-InBIO, Portugal, where she worked on the population history of southwestern Angola; she has remained a collaborating member of the institute's Human Evolution group ever since. Since 2015, she is part of a DFG-project publishing the Khwe-materials stored in the "Oswin Köhler Archive" at the University of Frankfurt.

As a post-doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, she continues her work on the linguistic landscape and history of southern Africa, currently focusing on the Khoe-Kwadi and Southwest Bantu languages. In collaboration with Tom Güldemann, she curates the Tsammalex lexical database of plants and animals (, and works on a doculect-based database of languages spoken in and around the Kalahari Basin.

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