"Around 7,000 languages are spoken in the world. They belong to different language families and differ significantly in terms of the number of speakers as well as geographical location, structure and other features. Through my research I would like to contribute to the understanding of the phenomenon of human language. What mechanisms are responsible for changes in language? What linguistic features are universal? What happens to neighbouring languages, how do they adapt to one another? I am researching these and other questions with the aid of Slavic languages as well as by comparing different languages worldwide."
Ilja Seržant, 44 years old, born in Riga/Latvia. Since January 2021: Professor of Slavic Linguistics specialising in Historical Linguistics at Kiel University. Previously research associate at Leipzig University. 2011: Doctoral degree at the University of Cologne, 2012: Doctoral degree at the University of Bergen/Norway, 2018: Habilitation (postdoctoral lecture qualification) at the University of Cologne.