Brian D. Joseph, PhD

Distinguished University Professor of Linguistics, and Kenneth E. Naylor Professor of South Slavic Languages and Linguistics


Brian D. Joseph is Distinguished University Professor of Linguistics, and The Kenneth E. Naylor Professor of South Slavic Languages and Linguistics, at The Ohio State University. He received an A.B. in Linguistics from Yale University in 1973, and Ph.D. in Linguistics from Harvard University in 1978. He was an Izaak W. Killam postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta for a year, and then moved to The Ohio State University in 1979, into the Department of Linguistics and since 1997 also the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Literatures/Cultures. Dr. Joseph has held fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies. He holds two honorary doctorates (La Trobe University (2006), and University of Patras (2008)), and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Linguistic Society of America. His scholarly interests focus on historical linguistics; the history of the Greek language (Ancient through Modern); the relation of Greek to its genealogical and geographical neighbors in the Balkans; the Sanskrit language (which he has taught for over 30 years); the historical relations among Greek, Sanskrit, and other Indo-European languages; and the relation between Sanskrit and its “offspring” in India. More generally, Dr. Joseph works on the study of language change and how language is embedded in larger social structures. He has written 5 books and some 250 articles on topics all across the Indo-European family, including Sanskrit, Hindi, Avestan, Greek, and Albanian, and on both internally and externally motivated change in all components of grammar.