Walter Bisang - Curriculum Vitae#

  • April/May 2015: Visiting Professor at Zhejiang University, School of Humanities, Center for the Study of Language and Cognition (Hangzhou)
  • April/May 2012 Visiting Professor at the School of Humanities (Linguistics), University of Hong Kong
  • May 2008: Visiting professor at the Centre de recherches linguistiques sur l’asie orientale (CRLAO, EHESS: École des hautes études et sciences sociales, Paris)
  • June 1999 - 2008: Coordinator of the Collaborative Research Center “Cultural and Linguistic Contacts” (SFB 295 „Kulturelle und sprachliche Kontakte“), funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • Since 10/1992: Full professor (C4) of General and Comparative Linguistics in Mainz (Germany)
  • 1978 - 1986: 1978-1986 Studies in General Linguistics (Major), Chinese Language & Literature (Minor), Georgian (Minor) at the University of Zürich, Switzerland.

Board memberships of research foundations and editorial boards:
  • 2013 - 2018: Member of the Senate Committee on Collaborative Research Centres of the German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • 2004 - 2011: Member of the Review Board for Linguistics of the German Research Foundation (DFG-Fachkollegium 104 “Sprachwissenschaften”)
  • 2007 - 2010: Editor-in-Chief (Federführender Redaktor) of “Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft”
  • 1996 - 2009: Editor-in-Chief of Trends in Linguistics (together with W. Winter and H. H. Hock)


Research focuses on patterns of regularity that can be observed in the cross-linguistic structural variation worldwide. Currently, his interest is mostly directed towards areal/geographic clusterings of grammatical properties and the question of the extent to which areality and history determine the patterns of regularity that can be observed cross-linguistically. In that context, he has developed two main topics:

1. Overt vs. hidden complexity
2. Grammaticalization and areal patterns of variation

Publications on:
  • Broader topics: Linguistic typology, grammaticalization, complexity, language contact, areal linguistics, Construction Grammar
  • Linguistic structures: parts of speech, serial verb constructions, classifier systems, finiteness, valency, argument structure, morphological paradigms, information structure, tense-aspect-modality, neurolinguistics (with co-authors).
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