Frans Plank - Curriculum Vitae#

Prof. Dr. Frans Plank, M.A. M.Litt. (Edin.)

Professor of Linguistics and English Language, University of Konstanz, Germany
Senior Research Fellow, Somerville College, University of Oxford, UK


Albertus-Magnus-Gymnasium, Regensburg (1959-68); Universities of Regensburg (1968-72, 1974), York, England (1972-73), Edinburgh (1975-76).

Academic degrees and professional qualifications
  • State exam in English and German, München (1971)
  • M.A. in Linguistics and English and German Philology, Universität Regensburg (1975)
  • Dr. phil. in English and German Philology, Universität Hannover (1980)
  • M. Litt. in English Language, University of Edinburgh (1981)
  • ‘Habilitation’ in Linguistics, Universität Hannover (1981)

Academic career

Postdoc, Universität Bielefeld (1973-75); Lecturer, Technische Universität Berlin (1976-78); Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, Universität Hannover (1978-83); Professor, Universität Konstanz (1983-96, 1997- present); Professor, Aarhus Universitet (1996-97); Senior Research Fellow, Somerville College, Oxford (since 2014).

Visiting appointments

Visiting Professorships at the Universities of Salzburg (1979, LSA Institute), Aix-en-Provence (1985), Zürich (1989-90), Mainz (1998, DGfS summer school), Graz (1999-2000), Utrecht (2001, LOT summer school), RGGU Moscow (2002, Typology winter school), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (2014, Typology spring school at Morelia).
Visiting Fellowships at Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Edinburgh (1986), University of Foreign Studies, Tokyo (2001), Faculty for Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics, University of Oxford (2010).

Academic administration

Dean, Faculty of Arts, Universität Konstanz (1993-94); Chair, Department of
Linguistics, Universität Konstanz (1998-2001); Chair, Sonderforschungsbereich 471, Universität Konstanz (2007-08).

Offices in learned societies

Nominating Committee, Societas Linguistica Europaea (1980-85); Honorary Secretary, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft (1982-83); Founder of the Association for Linguistic Typology (1994) and member of its Executive Committee (since 1996); Academy Committee for the Wilhelm von Humboldt edition, Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften (1995-2005).

Editorial activities

Founder and Editor of Linguistic Typology, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, since 1997;
Consulting Editor of Transactions of the Philological Society, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, since 2013;
Editorial or consulting boards of Typological Studies in Language (Benjamins, since 1983); Linguistische Berichte (Buske, 1985-2004); Linguistics (De Gruyter Mouton, since 1985); Studies in Language (Benjamins, 1992-2014); Rivista di Linguistica (Rosenberg & Sellier, 1997-2004); Jezikoslovlje (University of Osijek, Croatia, since 2002); Transactions of the Philological Society (Wiley-Blackwell (2006-13).

Research areas

Morphology (inflection and word formation), Syntax, Prosody
Historical Linguistics and Typology
History of Linguistics

Publication record

2 books written, 7 collections edited (mostly as single editor), and some 150 papers, including:

Phonological phrasing in Germanic: The judgement of history, confirmed through experiment. Transactions of the Philological Society 108. 370-398, 2010 (with Aditi Lahiri).

Differential time stability in categorial change: Family names from nouns and adjectives, illustrated from German. Journal of Historical Linguistics 1. 269-292, 2011.

Why *-ling-in? The pertinacity of a wrong gender. Morphology 22. 277-292, 2012.

Time for change. In Perspectives on historical syntax, ed. by Carlotta Viti, 61-91. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 2015.

Macroscopic and microscopic typology: Basic Valence Orientation, more pertinacious than meets the naked eye. Linguistic Typology 19. 1-55, 2015 (with Aditi Lahiri).

Not to forget the online resource THE UNIVERSALS ARCHIVE (, accompanied by DAS GRAMMATISCHE RARITÄTEN-KABINETT (

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