Frederik Herman Henri (Frits) Kortlandt


Frederik Herman Henri (Frits) Kortlandt

1946 –
descriptive and comparative linguistics

Curriculum vitae

1946born in Utrecht on the 19th of June
1963-1969studied mathematics, economics and linguistics, University of Amsterdam
1968-1969research assistant of development economics, University of Amsterdam
1969MA Slavic linguistics, University of Amsterdam
1969-1972assistant professor of Slavic linguistics, University of Amsterdam
1970MA mathematical economics, University of Amsterdam
1972PhD mathematical linguistics under the supervision of C.L. Ebeling, University of Amsterdam
1972-1974associate professor of Baltic and Slavic linguistics, University of Leiden
1974-2011professor of Baltic and Slavic linguistics, University of Leiden
1985-2011also: professor of descriptive and comparative linguistics, University of Leiden
2011emeritus professor.

Special activities and positions

  • Member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, 1986-present
  • Laureate of the Spinoza Prize, 1997.


Selected publications

Kortlandt’s works on general (Proto)-Indo-European linguistics and Indo-Iranian languages are included. For his works on Balto-Slavic, Germanic, and other languages, see the bibliography on his personal website.
1972  Modelling the phoneme: new trends in East European phonemic theory, The Hague. – PhD thesis Amsterdam; also published as Janua linguarum, Ser. maior 68.
1978  “Proto-Indo-European obstruents.” IF 83: 107-118.
1981  “Glottalic consonants in Sindhi and Proto-Indo-European.” IIJ 23,1: 15-19.
“1st sg. middle *-H2.” IF 86: 123-136.
1983  “Proto-Indo-European verbal syntax.” JIES 11: 307-324. pdf
1985  “Proto-Indo-European glottalic stops: the comparative evidence.” Folia Linguistica Historica 6,2: 183-201.
1986  “Proto-Indo-European tones?” JIES 14: 153-160.
“Comment on R. Orr’s view.” JIES 14: 184.
1987  “Archaic Ablaut patterns in the Vedic verb.” In: George Cardona and Norman H. Zide (eds), Festschrift for Henry Hoenigswald: on the occasion of his seventieth birthday, Tübingen, pp. 219-224.
1989  “Lachmann’s law.” In: Theo Vennemann (ed.), The new sound of Indo-European: essays in phonological reconstruction, proceedings of a workshop held during the Seventh International Conference on Historical Linguistics held Sept. 9-13, 1985 at the University of Pavia, Berlin: Mouton (Trends in linguistics, Studies and monographs 41), pp. 103-105.
1990  “The spread of the Indo-Europeans.” JIES 18: 131-140. pdf
1995  “General linguistics and Indo-European reconstruction.” Rask 2: 91-109. pdf
1998  Review of: M. Fortescue, Indo-European reflections, Copenhagen: Reitzel, 1996. Language 74,3: 685-686.
1999  “The dual endings of the Indo-European verb.” Studia Indogermanica Lodziensia 2: 71-73.
“Lachmann’s law again.” In: Edgar C. Polomé and Carol F. Justus (eds), Language change and typological variation: in honor of Winfred P. Lehmann on the occasion of his 83rd birthday, vol. I: Language change and phonology, Washington (Journal of Indo-European Studies, monograph 30), pp. 246-248.
2004  “Accent and ablaut in the Vedic verb.” IIJ 47,1: 7–15. pdf
2008  “The origin of the Indo-Iranian desiderative.” In: L. Kulikov, M. Rusanov (eds). Indologica: T. Ya. Elizarenkova memorial volume, book 1, Moscow (Orientalia et Classica: Papers of the Institute of Oriental and Classical Studies 20), pp. 227-230.
2009  “C.C. Uhlenbeck on Indo-European, Uralic and Caucasian.” Historische Sprachforschung 122: 39-47. pdf
2010  “An outline of Proto-Indo-European.” In: F. Kortlandt, Studies in Germanic, Indo-European and Indo-Uralic, Amsterdam: Rodopi, pp. 37-45. pdf
2012  “Proto-Indo-European glottalic stops: the evidence revisited.” pdf
2014  “Reconstructing Balto-Slavic and Indo-European.” Baltistica 4,1: 5-13.
“Thematic and athematic present endings in Balto-Slavic and Indo-European.” Baltistica 50,1: 5-17.
2015  “Sigmatic and asigmatic long vowel preterit forms.” Journal of Indo-European Studies 43: 236-242. pdf
2018 “The Indo-European k-Aorist.” In Michiel de Vaan (ed.), Farnah: Indo-Iranian and Indo-European studies in honor of Sasha Lubotsky, pp. 137-142. Ann Arbor, NY: Beech Stave.
2020“How I discovered Proto-Indo-European glottalic stops.” Journal of Indo-European Studies 49: 1-12.
“The ergative in Anatolian and Proto-Indo-European.” Journal of Indo-European Studies 48: 313-318.
“The origin of grammatical gender in Tocharian and Indo-European.” Tocharian and Indo-European Studies 20: 113-124.