Curriculum Vitae

Place of birth: Copenhagen
Present positions: Researcher, Leiden University Centre for Linguistics, Leiden University (since Febr. 2018)
Director, Laboratory of Quantitative Linguistics, Kazan Federal University (since 2015)
Researcher, Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Language Resources, Beijing Language University (since May 2018)

Professional career

2017-2018 Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Linguistics, University of Tübingen (June 2017-Jan. 2018)
2015-2017 Assistant Professor, Leiden University Centre for Linguistics, University of Leiden, Leiden
2016 Visiting Professor, Nankai University, Tianjin, China (July 11-15)
2015-2016 Fellow, Center of Advanced Studies “Word, Bones, Genes, Tools”, University of Tübingen (Dec. 2015-Febr. 2016)
2009-2015 Senior Scientist, Department of Linguistics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig
2014-2015 Research Fellow, Laboratory of Quantitative Linguistics, Kazan Federal University (Febr. 1-May 9, 2014; March 3-28, 2015)
2007-2011 Post-Doctoral Fellow, Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University
2003-2009 Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Linguistics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig
2005-2008 Assistant Professor, Languages and Cultures of Indian America, Leiden University
2002-2005 Associate Research Professor, Dept. of General and Applied Linguistics, University of Copenhagen
2003 Visiting Professor, Departamento de Letras y Lingüística, Universidad de Sonora (Nov. 9-18)
2001-2002 Visiting Professor, Departamento de Letras y Lingüística, Universidad de Sonora
2000-2001 Senior Researcher, Danish Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities
1996-2000 Assistant Professor, Dept. of Native American Languages and Cultures, University of Copenhagen
1996 Part-time teacher, Dept. of Native American Languages and Cultures, University of Copenhagen (spring semester)
Fall 1995 Visiting Scholar, Linguistics Dept., University of California, Santa Barbara

University Education

1996 Ph.D. in Native American Languages and Cultures, University of Copenhagen. “Description and Typology of Some Grammatical Categories in Azoyú Tlapanec.”
1993 Coursework at 1993 Linguistic Institute, The Ohio State University
1992 M.A. in Comparative Literature, University of Copenhagen. “The Relationship between the Mixe-Zoquean Languages of Mexico.”
1987-92 Studies at Dept. of Native American Languages and Cultures and Dept. of Linguistics (University of Copenhagen)
1985 B.A. in Comparative Literature, University of Copenhagen
1982-83 Coursework toward a B.A. in English, Honor’s College, University of Oregon

Courses taught

2015-18 Leiden University:

  • Introduction to quantitative methods in linguistics
  • Classical Nahuatl
  • Introduction to Lowland Mayan linguistics
  • Advanced typology
2014 Kazan Federal University:

  • Quantitative methods in linguistics (12 lectures, March-April)

IMPRS Human Origins (An international Max Planck research school):

  • Computational historical linguistics (1 lecture)
2013 IMPRS Human Origins (An international Max Planck research school):

  • The Automated Similarity Judgment Program (1 lecture)
2012 IMPRS Human Origins (An international Max Planck research school):

  • The Automated Similarity Judgment Program (1 lecture)
2011 16th European Maya Conference (Copenhagen):

  • Advanced Workshop on Nahuatl writing (with Alfonso Lacadena; 4 days)

IMPRS Neurocom (An international Max Planck research school):

  • Typological distributions (3 lectures)
2010 3L International Summer School on Language Documentation and Description, Leiden:

  • Introduction to the Tlapanec language (5 days)
2005-09 Leiden University:

  • Introduction to Nahuatl I-III
  • Introduction to Ch’orti’ I-II
  • Introduction to Maya Hieroglyphs I
  • Writing systems
  • Mesoamerican languages (one block)
  • Overview of Mesoamerican cultures
  • Tlapanec (part of linguistics structure course)
2008 13th European Maya Conference (Paris):

  • Classic Maya Grammar – Possessive expressions in Maya hieroglyphic texts and relevant extant Mayan languages (4 days, with Alfonso Lacadena and Albert Davletshin)
2007 Vigésima séptima semana de vida y lengua mixes:

  • Advanced Mixe (July 31-August 3, 2007)
2006 Kulturarvens Forskerskole, Copenhagen:

  • Contribution on Mesoamerican writing and other symbolic communication to the course “Visuel Viden? En perspektivering af aflæsning og tolkning af kulturgenstande som nonverbal viden” (May 2, 2006)

Leipzig Spring School on Linguistic Diversity:

  • New approaches to language and prehistory from typology, genetics, and quantitative linguistics (March 20-21 & 23-24)
2003 Depto. de Letras y Lingüística, Universidad de Sonora:

  • Introduction to areal-typological linguistics (9 days intensive course, in Spanish)

Workshop adjacent to the Fifth World Archaeological Congress, Washington:

  • Nahuatl writing (1 day workshop, with Alfonso Lacadena, assisted by Marc Zender)
2002 7th European Maya Conference (London):

  • Classic Maya grammar (advanced workshop, 3 days, with Alfonso Lacadena)
2001 Depto. de Letras y Lingüística, Universidad de Sonora:

  • The dynamics of language in Eastern Mesoamerica during the first millenium A.D. (one semester seminar, in Spanish)
1999 4th European Maya Conference (Copenhagen):

  • Classic Maya grammar (advanced workshop, 3 days)
1996 Museo Goeldi, Belem, Pará, Brazil:

  • Intensive course on comparative linguistics (3 days)
1994-99 Dept. of Native American Languages and Cultures, University of Copenhagen:

  • Structure and history of (Mesoamerican) studies
  • Nahuatl linguistics
  • Maya writing
  • Yucatec Maya linguistics
  • Native languages and cultures of the Americas
  • History and culture of the Aztecs
  • The Mesoamerican ballgame
  • 16th and 17th century sources on the Yucatec Maya
  • 16th and 17th century sources on the Native Peoples of Colonial Mexico
  • The Maya


  • Project referee for National Science Foundations:
    • Austria: FWF, the Austrian Science Fund (one, 2017)
    • Belgium: FWO Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek – Vlaanderen (one, 2012)
    • Canada: SSHRC, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (one, 2021)
    • Czechoslovakia: the Czech Science Foundation (one, 2017)
    • Estonia: Estonian Research Council (two, 2017-)
    • Finland: the Academy of Finland (two [panel member], 2019-)
    • France: AGR, Agence Nationale de la Recherche (one, 2012)
    • Germany: DFG, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (four, 2015-)
    • Mexico: CONACyT, the Mexican Research Council (one, 2001)
    • Poland: National Science Centre, Poland (one, 2016)
    • Switzerland: SNF, Swiss National Science Foundation (two, 2010)
    • USA: U. S. National Science Foundation (thirteen, 1994-)
  • Remote referee for ERC, the European Research Council (three, 2008-)
  • Project referee for ELDP, Endangered Languages Documentation Project (two, 2014-)
  • Special researcher (consultant) for Institute for Asian and American Studies, Dankook University, Seoul, South Korea) (2007-)
  • Consultant for Den Store Danske Encyclopædi – Danmarks Nationalleksikon (1999-2001)
  • Occasional referee for the following journals and publishers (* = on 2-4 occasions, ** = on 5 or more occasions):
    • Multidisciplinary Journals: *Advances in Complex Systems, *Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Nature, Nature Human Behavior, Palgrave Communications, *Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Series B, **PLOS ONE, **Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A., Royal Society Open Science, SAGE Open, Science, Science Advances, Scientific Data.
    • Linguistics journals: Acta Linguistica Hafniensia, Amerindia, *Anthropological Linguistics, Boletim do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi. Ciências Humanas, Corpora, *Diachronica, Folia Linguistica, **International Journal of American Linguistics, Journal of Greek Linguistics, Journal of Historical Linguistics, *Journal of Language Contact, Journal of Language Evolution, *Journal of Linguistics, Journal of Neurolinguistics, Journal of Pragmatics, *Journal of Quantitative Linguistics, *Language, Language and Linguistics in Melanesia, Language and Speech, Language Documentation and Description, **Language Dynamics and Change, Language Resources and Evaluation, Leeds Working Papers in Linguistics & Phonetics, *Lingua, Linguistic Discovery, **Linguistic Typology, *Linguistics, Mon-Khmer Studies, *Morphology, *Oceanic Linguistics, *Open Linguistics, Pragmatics and Cognition, Society for Caribbean Linguistics Occasional Papers, Tidsskrift for Sprogforskning, Transactions of the Philological Society, Вопросы языкового родства / Journal of Language Relationship.
    • Physics journals: *Europhysics Letters, International Journal of Modern Physics C, **Physica A.
    • Computer science journals: *Computational Methods in Science and Technology, *Computer Speech and Language, Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, PeerJ Computer Science.
    • Anthropology journals: Cambridge Archaeological Journal, *Current Anthropology, Food Culture and Society, Tidsskriftet Antropologi.
    • Journals on the science of religion: The Journal of Religious History.
    • Americanist journals: *Ancient Mesoamerica, *Estudios de Cultura Maya, Iberoamérica, Journal of the Institute of Iberoamerican Studies, Journal de la Société des Américanistes, *Latin American Antiquity, Latin American Indian Literatures Journal, *Tlalocan, Wayeb Notes.
    • Biology journals: Biology, PLOS Biology.
    • Psychology journals: Child Development, *Frontiers in Psychology, Learning and Individual Differences.
    • University presses: *Cambridge University Press, Editorial UniSon, Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, *Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, University of Oklahoma Press, *University of Utah Press.
  • Member of program committees/refereeing of conference submissions or abstracts:
    • Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE): Bucharest, Romania, 2020 (SLE-53); Leipzig, Germany, 2019 (SLE-52); Tallinn, Estonia, 2018 (SLE-51); Zürich, Switzerland, 2017 (SLE-50); Naples, Italy, 2016 (SLE-49); Leiden, Netherlands, 2015 (SLE-48); Poznań, Poland, 2014 (SLE-47); Split, Croatia, 2013 (SLE-46); Stockholm, Sweden, 2012 (SLE-45).
    • International Conference on Historical Linguistics (ICHL), Naples, July 27-31, 2015 (ICHL-22); Osaka, Japan, July 25-30, 2011 (ICHL-20).
    • Causality in the Language Sciences, Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, Leipzig, Germany, April 13-15, 2015.
    • International Conference on Mathematical Modeling in Physical Sciences (IC-MSQUARE), Madrid, Spain, August 28-31, 2014.
    • Conference on Cognitive Modelling in Linguistics (CML): Milano-Marittima, Italy, September 14-21, 2013 (CML-14); Cala-d’Or, Spain, Sept. 6-13, 2020 (CML-21).
    • Computational approaches to the study of dialectal and typological variation, a workshop at the European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information, Opole, Poland, August 6-10, 2012.
    • Uncovering Language History from Multilingual Resources, a workshop at the 13th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Avignon, France, April 23-24, 2012.
    • TextGraphs-4: Graph based Methods for Natural Language Processing, Suntec, Singapore 2009.
  • Member of prize award committees:
    • Von der Gabelentz Award of the Association for Linguistic Typology, 2013.
    • Academia Europaea Prizes for Young Russian Scientists, 2017.

Journal editorship

    • Associate Editor of Journal of Ethnobiology (2020-)
    • Academic Editor for PLOS ONE (2018-)
    • Founder and General Editor of Language Dynamics and Change (2011-2018)

Member of editorial and advisory boards of journals

      • Journal of Language and Education (EB, 2020-)
      • Language Dynamics and Change (AB, 2019-)
      • Estudios de Cultura Maya (EB, 2015-)
      • Computational Methods in Science and Technology (EB, 2014-)
      • Open Linguistics (AB, 2014-)
      • Indian Ocean Review of Science and Technology (EB, 2013-)
      • The Open Anthropology Journal (EB, 2008-2013)
      • Tidsskrift for Sprogforskning (EB, 2008-2009)
      • Journal of Mesoamerican Languages and Linguistics (EB, 2007-2010)
      • Member of “Compass User Crew”, Language and Linguistics Compass (EB, 2009-)
      • Revista Asia y América (published by Institute for Asian and American Studies, Dankook University, Seoul, South Korea) (EB, 2007-)

Member of editorial boards of book series

      • Estudios de lenguas amerindias (published by Universidad de Sonora) (2015-)
      • Gramáticas (A series of grammatical description published by Universidad de Sonora) (2014-)
      • Brill’s Studies in Historical Linguistics (2011-)

Member of Ph.D. advisory committees

      • Arjan Mossel: [A topic related to toponomy as a clue to prehistory in Highland South America]. Leiden University (ongoing).
      • Evandro Cunha: Contributions to the computational processing of diachronic linguistic corpora. Federal University of Minas Gerais & Leiden University, 2020.
      • Rita Eloranta: Mochica: grammatical topics and external relations. Leiden University, 2020.
      • Ilona Heijnen: Here it is. A Nahuatl translation of European cosmology: Context and contents of the Izcatqui manuscript in the Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, Leiden University, 2020.
      • Matthias Pache: Languages of the intermediate area (Colombia and eastern Central America) and their connections to Mesoamerica and the Middle Andes. Leiden University, 2018.
      • Taraka Rama Kasicheyanula: Computational historical linguistics. University of Gothenburg, 2015.
      • Cédric Becquey: Diasysteme, diachronie: études comparées dans les langues cholanes. Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3, 2014.
      • Lars Kirkhusmo Pharo: Rituals of time: an analysis of the ritual practice of time of the long count calendar, the 260-Day Calendar, the 365-Day Calendar and the 52-Year Calendar in Mesoamerica. Oslo University, 2007.

Member of Ph.D. promotion or reading committees

      • Rammie Cahlon: [A topic in Quechuan historical linguistics]. Hebrew University (ongoing).
      • Juventino Santiago Jiménez: Procesos de gramaticalización de verbos, sustantivos y demostrativos en el mixe de Tamazulápam. Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (Mexico) (ongoing).
      • Jiménez Jiménez, Silviano: Estudios en la gramática de la oración simple y compleja en el zoque de San Miguel Chimalapa. Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (Mexico), 2019.
      • Michael W. Swanton: A history of Chocholtec alphabetic writing. Leiden University, 2016.
      • Femke Swarte: Predicting the mutual intelligibility of Germanic languages from linguistic and extra-linguistic factors. University of Groningen, 2016.
      • Snježana Kondic: A grammar of South Eastern Huastec, a Mayan language from Mexico. University of Sydney & Université Lyon 2 Lumière, 2012.
      • Araceli Rojas Martínez Gracida: El tiempo y la sabiduría en Poxoyëm. Un calendario sagrado entre los ayook de Oaxaca. Leiden University, 2012.
      • Hans-Jörg Witter: Die gefiederte Schlange und Christus: eine religionshistorische Studie zum Mixtekisch-Christlichen Synkretismus. Leiden University, 2011.
      • Benjamin Maldonado Alvarado: Comunidad, comunalidad y colonialismo en Oaxaca, México. La nueva educación comunitaria y su contexto. Leiden University, 2010.
      • Frauke Sachse: Reconstructive description of Eighteenth-Century Xinka grammar. Leiden University, 2010.
      • Juan Julián Caballero: Ñuu davi yuku yata. Comunidad, identidad y educación en la Mixteca (México). Leiden University, 2009.
      • Ubaldo López García: Sa’vi discursos ceremoniales de yutsa to’on (Apoala). Leiden University, 2007.
      • Alex Geurdts: Grounding the Past: The praxis of participatory archaeology in the Mixteca Alta, Oaxaca, Mexico. Leiden University, 2007.
      • Mariano Sanz: La categoría de tiempo en las inscripciones mayas del Período Clásico. Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 2007.
      • Astrid Alexander-Bakkerus: Eighteenth-Century Cholón. Leiden University, 2005.
      • Bodil Liljefors Persson: The Legacy of the Jaguar Prophet: An Exploration of Yucatec Maya Religion and Historiography. Lund University, 2000.

Internal member of M.A. advisory committees

      • Ilona Heijnen: Izcatqui – “here it is”. Initial study on an early colonial Nahuatl manuscript (ms 3523-2 Tropenmuseum) based on the Spanish astrological and agricultural almanac or Reportorio de Los Tiempos by Andrés de Li [1495]. Leiden University, 2009.
      • Bente Juhl Andersen: Pre-Hispanic subsistence strategies: a comparison between El Edén and other selected sites in the Maya lowlands. University of Copenhagen, 2001.
      • Jesper Nielsen: Making the man-made world alive: dedication rituals of the Maya – a survey of the epigraphic, iconographic, archaeological, ethnohistorical, and ethnographic sources. University of Copenhagen, 1998.

External member of M.A. advisory or promotion committees

      • Gregorio Tiburcio Cano: La flexión verbal en el me¹’phaa¹ de Zilacayotitlán: clases flexivas. CIESAS, México D. F. (ongoing).
      • Juan Clímaco Gutiérrez Díaz: Estructura de cláusula, predicación primaria y predicación secundaria en el mixe de Tlahuitoltepec. CIESAS, México D. F. (ongoing).
      • Abad Navarro Solano. El patrón de alineamiento en el me7phaa de Malinaltepec, Guerrero. CIESAS, México D. F., 2012.
      • Lars Kirkhusmo Pharo. Undersøkelse av way-hieroglyfen (T539) i inskripsjoner hos Maya fra den klassiske perioden (ca. 200 – ca. 900 En kritisk analyse av sjamanisme, nagualisme og tonalisme. Oslo University, 2001.
      • Salomé Gutiérrez Morales: Duración vocálica en los verbos monosilábicos zoqueanos: consideraciones diacrónicas basadas en el popoluca de Soteapan y Texistepec, Veracruz. CIESAS, México D. F., 1993.

Linguistic fieldwork

      • Ulterior Mixe. 6 weeks (2007-2008).
      • Cucapá (also called Cocopa) (Pozas de Arvizu, Baja California, Mexico). 1 week (2004).
      • Tlapanec (Azoyú, Guerrero, Mexico). 12 months (1991-1994, 2003-2004, 2007).
      • Ch’orti’ (Olopa, Guatemala). 2 weeks (1998).
      • Texistepec Popoluca (Veracruz, Mexico). 5 months (1993-1998).
      • Pira-Tapuyo, Tuyuca, and Desana (São Gabriel das Cachoeiras, Amazônas, Brazil), 7 weeks (1996).
      • Sierra Popoluca (Veracruz, Mexico). 1 week (1993).
      • Pastores Nahuatl (Azoyú, Guerrero, Mexico). 2 weeks (1993).
      • Zoque (Tabasco, Mexico). 2 weeks (1993).
      • South Highland Mixe (Tamazulapan and Ayutla, Oaxaca, Mexico). 2 weeks (1990).
      • Chiapas Zoque-NE dialect (Oxolotán, Tabasco, Mexico). 7 weeks (1988).

Conferences organized