Faculty of Humanities / Linguistics
Eitan Grossman

Talks and lectures Conferences and workshops organized Recent Courses Graduate students supervised Publications The Typology of Adposition Borrowing

I am an assistant professor in the Department of Linguistics and the School of Language Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem since 2012. In 2013, I was appointed a member of the interdisciplinary Language, Logic and Cognition Center. Before this, I was a postdoctoral researcher in the Ramses Project (and later a Visiting Professor) at the University of Liège, a Kreitman Fellow at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, and spent 2010-2012 at the Martin Buber Society of Fellows in Jerusalem. I also spent some time in 2011 as a Senior Research Fellow of the TOPOI project at Humboldt University in Berlin.
The problems that trouble me tend to revolve around the questions: Why are languages the way that they are? How do they become the way they are? My research and teaching focus on three main areas. The first is descriptive linguistics and philology of Coptic-Egyptian, an Afroasiatic language attested for about 4000 years. The second is language variation and change, with special interest in grammaticalization and contact-induced change. The third is language typology. These interests often converge.
The project that I’m currently busiest with is a study of the typology of borrowing of adpositions and other case-markers. A three-year project (2013-2016) funded by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF 248/13), the goal of this research is to understand the cross-linguistic patterning of contact-induced change involving adpositions and case-marking. While the project has officially only just begun, colleagues and I have already held a thematic workshop on the topic at the 2013 meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea in Split. We have submitted a book proposal for a thematic volume, Adpositional Systems in Contact.  Other ongoing projects involve research on contact-induced change in transitivity and valency patterns (with Sebastian Richter), long-term and cyclical grammatical change in Coptic-Egyptian (with Stéphane Polis), and case, agreement, and information structure (with Giorgio Iemmolo).
I teach courses in historical linguistics, typology, and Coptic-Egyptian descriptive linguistics, as well as the Introduction to Linguistics.
Also under consideration for funding are two projects dealing with language change. The first, in collaboration with Götz Keydana (Göttingen), is a cross-linguistic, cross-domain look at the general mechanisms of language change. The second, with Sebastian Richter (Leipzig), deals with contact-induced changes related to valency and transitivity in Coptic.
Eitan Grossman

Department of Linguistics
The Hebrew University
Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905
+972 2 588 3809