Frans Plank

Senior Research Fellow in Linguistics

Frans Plank was for many years Professor of Linguistics and English Language at the University of Konstanz, Germany, retiring in 2017. At Oxford, he is associated with the Language and Brain Lab of the Faculty for Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics.

His teaching and research interests include Morphology, Syntax, Prosody, with a focus on the Germanic languages and in a wider typological and historical context; also the history of linguistic ideas.

He was a founder of the Association for Linguistic Typology in 1994, and, for its first 21 years, the editor of its journal, Linguistic Typology. Since 2013 he has been Consulting Editor of the Transactions of the Philological Society.

He is a Member of the Academia Europaea.


Two books, long ago: Morphologische (Ir-)Regularitären (Narr, 1981), Wohl-geschliffener Tugendspiegel des Sprachforschers (Nodus, 1992).

Ergativity (Academic Press, 1979), Paradigms (De Gruyter, 1991), Language and Earth (Benjamins, 1992), Double Case (OUP, 1995), The Maltese Noun Phrase Meets Typology (with Albert Borg, Pacini, 1996), Noun Phrase Structure in the Languages of Europe (De Gruyter, 2003), Phonological Typology (with Larry Hyman, De Gruyter, 2018), and Suppletion in Diachrony (with Nigel Vincent, Wiley, 2019) are edited volumes Frans remembers especially fondly.

A much consulted online resource under his supervision is ‘The Universals Archive and Das grammatische Raritätenkabinett’ at

Some of his own typological work is reprinted in The Unabashed Typologist: A Frans Plank Schubertiade, ed. by Larry M. Hyman, Maria Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Aditi Lahiri, & Johanna Nichols, a special issue of Linguistic Typology 21, 2017.

A few recent and forthcoming articles: Prosodic phrasing, in The Oxford History of Phonology (with Aditi Lahiri, OUP, 2022); Morphologisation, in Handbook of Historical Morphology (with Aditi Lahiri, OUP, fc.); Patterns of suppletion in inflection revisited, in Papers from ICHL 25 (Benjamins, fc.).

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