Frank Seifart



Present Positions

Since August 2019Researcher (DFG Heisenberg position), Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin
Since March 2019Principal Investigator, DoReCo project (DFG-ANR)
Since February 2018Chargé de recherche, CNRS, laboratoire Dynamique Du Langage, Lyon (on leave since August 2019)
Since Dec. 2020Privatdozent, Linguistics, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin

Previous Positions

Dec. 2018 – Dec. 2020Privatdozent, Universität zu Köln
July 2015 – Dec. 2018Principal Investigator “Articulation speed variation cross-linguistically”, Universität zu Köln
Feb. 2014 – Jan. 2018Assistant Professor, University of Amsterdam
Aug. 2009 – June 2015Senior Researcher, Department of Linguistics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig
August 2009Faculty member, Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute. Class taught: Nominal classification
Oct. 2007 – July 2009Wissenschaftlicher Assistent, Universität Regensburg
Sep. 2004 – July 2009Principal Investigator “Documenting the languages of the People of the Centre, especially Bora and Ocaina (North West Amazon)” (until Sep. 2007 as Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, Ruhr-Universität Bochum)

Degrees and university education

Dec. 2016Habilitation (postdoctoral lecture qualification), University of Cologne. Thesis title: “Affix borrowing: Processes and Patterns”
Feb. 2001 – Oct. 2005Ph.D. in linguistics, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen and Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. Thesis title: “The Structure and Use of Shape-Based Noun Classes in Miraña (North West Amazon)”
Feb. 1999 – Jan. 2001M.A. in Etnolingüística, Centro Colombiano de Estudios de Lenguas Aborígenes (CCELA), Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia. Thesis title: “El sistema de clasificación nominal del miraña [The System of Nominal Classification of Miraña]”
Oct. 1992 – Jan. 1999M.A. in General Linguistics, Freie Universität Berlin. Thesis title: “Grundfragen bei der Dokumentation bedrohter Sprachen [Fundamental Issues in the Documentation of Endangered Languages]”
Sep. 1996 – May 1997Studies in General linguistics, experimental phonetics, Spanish literature and Catalan language at the Universitat de Barcelona

Awards and grants

May 2017Lecturer of the Year prize for BA Linguistics at the University of Amsterdam
Dec. 2005Mary R. Haas Award, presented by the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas (SSILA) for a manuscript from a younger scholar that makes a significant substantive contribution to the knowledge of American Indian languages
Mar. 2001 – Feb. 2004Ph.D. stipend of the Max Planck Gesellschaft
Feb. 1999 – Jan. 2001Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) stipend for graduate students
Sep. 1996 – Jun. 1997Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) stipend for undergraduate students of Romance Studies


Since July 2003Fieldwork on Bora (Boran) and Resígaro (Arawakan) in Northern Peru, supervision of fieldwork on Witoto and Ocaina (Witotoan) (total of 10 months)
Mar. 1999 – Oct. 2002Fieldwork on Miraña (Boran) in Southern Colombia (total of 10 months)
Feb. – April 1998Various short field trips to indigenous communities in Colombia: Wiwa, Chimila (Chibchan), Cocama (Tupian) as visiting researcher at the CCELA, Bogotá

Membership in professional associations Gesellschaft für Bedrohte Sprachen (GBS) (president) Association for Linguistic Typology (ALT) Linguistic Society of America (LSA) Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE) Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft (DGfS) Dissertation committees

May 2019Luis Miguel Rojas Berscia (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen), Ph.D. thesis “From Kawapanan tu Shawi. Topics in language variation and change”
March 2018Bien DoBui (Université Paris-Sorbonne), PhD. thesis “Grammaire de l’amuzgo de Xochistlahuaca, langue otomangue orientale. Documentation d’une variété amuzgoane de «langue en danger»”
Sept. 2017Helder Perri Ferreira (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen), Ph.D. thesis “Yanomama Clause Structure”
June 2017Marlou van Rijn (Universiteit van Amsterdam), Ph.D. thesis “The expression of modifiers and arguments in the noun phrase and beyond. A typological study”
Dec. 2016Matthias Passer (Universiteit van Amsterdam), Ph.D. thesis “The Noun Phrase in the Languages of South America”
Sep. 2016Ewelina Wnuk (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen), Ph.D. thesis “Semantic specificity of perception verbs in Maniq”
June 2016Femmy Admiraal (Universiteit van Amsterdam), Ph.D. thesis “A grammar of space in Baure: A study on the linguistic encoding of spatial reference”
April 2014Joshua Birchall (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen), Ph.D. thesis “Argument marking patterns in South American languages”
Sept. 2013Doris Fagua (Université Paris Diderot – Paris 7), committee member and pré–rapporteur for Ph.D. thesis “Aspects morphosyntaxiques de l’ocaina”
Sept. 2013Ergin Öpengin (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3), Ph.D. thesis “Clitic/affix interactions. A corpus-based study of person marking in the Mukri variety of Central Kurdish”
Sept. 2012Marine Vuillermet (Université Lumière Lyon 2), Ph.D. thesis “A grammar of Ese Ejja”
July 2012Olga Krasnoukhova (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen), Ph.D. thesis “The Noun Phrase in the Languages of South America”
June 2010Helder Pereira (CIESAS, Mexico), M.A. thesis “Los Clasificadores Nominales del Yanomama de Papiu (Brazil)”

Thesis supervision

Since 2021Frederic Blum (HU Berlin) “Word-initial consonant strengthening: A Bayesian analysis based on corpora from 20 languages” (preliminary title)
2011-2016Katherine Bolaños (MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, and Universiteit van Amsterdam): Day-to-day supervision of Ph.D. thesis “A grammar of Kakua” (defended October 2016)
2014Eline Visser (Universiteit van Amsterdam): Day-to-day supervision of M.A. thesis “Evidentiality that also expresses tense: A typological study”
2017Annemijn von Holtz (Universiteit van Amsterdam). B.A. thesis “Universele klank-betekenisassociaties binnen kleurterminologie”
2017Bart Nijsten (Universiteit van Amsterdam). B.A. thesis “Additieve en/of alternatieve coördinatie constructies: een onderzoek naar de typologische claims van mental logic theory”
2014Simone Mooi (Universiteit van Amsterdam): Day-to-day supervision of B.A. thesis “Plantation creoles vs. trade pidgins: The effect of social inequality on language structure”
2014Redmer Kronemeijer (Universiteit van Amsterdam): Day-to-day supervision of B.A. thesis “Optionele getalsmarkering in Cochabamba-Quechua; een corpusgebaseerd onderzoek”

Impressum (German legalese)

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