Folke Josephson

About Folke Josephson

As the successor of Lidén, Morgenstierne, Frisk and Liebert I was able to celebrate the first hundred years of the chair of Indo-European Linguistics and Sanskrit (from 1897) by organizing an international colloquium in 2000 on the presentday relevance of the publications of those well-known scholars.
I am doing research mainly on Hittite and Anatolian in a comparative perspective with emphasis on Celtic, Germanic and Slavic. I publish on prefixation, suffixation, preverbs, prepositions, case, directionality, actionality/aspect, tense and mood, and syntactic problems. Synchronic and diachronic analyses precede reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European. Modern typological studies in general linguistics and concerning the structure of IE languages like Slavic, Latin and Romance are of fundamental importance for understanding syntactic structures and structural changes in less wellanalysed languages like Anatolian, Tocharian and Celtic which are of great importance for the general picture of IE.
I directed a doctoral dissertation on Tocharian local cases (Gerd Carling), which appeared in 2000.
I participated in the Paris meeting 2003 of the Société des Études Indo-Europénnes on IE poetic language with a paper on the beginning of the poetic use of the Hittite language and in an international colloquium on case held in Paris in 2007 with a paper on ALLATIVE in IE. I delivered a lecture at the XVIIIth International Conference on Historical Linguistics in Montreal 2007 on Loss and retention of grammatical categories in Germanic and Hittite.
I had earlier organized and published the acta of the 4th symposium of Societas Celtologica Nordica and as chairman of the Society I arranged its 10th symposium in 2008. In the context of a Celto-Slavic international cooperation I published two articles on comparative Celtic and Slavic local and aspectual clitics and preverbs based on papers that I read in Coleraine 2005 and Moscow 2006.
I edited a conference volume on linguistic and philosophical categorisation and interpretation in India and organized a general congress of Societas Linguistica Europaea in Gothenburg with 95 participants from East and West Europe. I am presently involved in editing two scientific volumes.
The two years following my retirement, during which I was still in charge of Indo-European and Sanskrit, were used for a massive effort to widen the international network I had been busy building since 1983, which involved inviting a large number of guest lecturers to my department. A Tocharian colloquium in 2000 and Iranian seminars by a professor at Collège de France crowned these activities. I concentrated even more than before on sending my students to international conferences and week-long open seminars abroad in an effort to vitalise and widen the range of Indo-European studies in Sweden.
In recent years I initiated the two international colloquia on the interdependence of diachronic and synchronic linguistic typology which were held in Gothenburg 2004 and 2006 in collaboration with the Oslo faculty and linguists of Århus University. The acta of the first colloquium were published by Benjamins in 2008 and those of the second are on their way. Categories of the verb, mainly tense, mood and aspect, are in focus and ancient and modern IE and non-IE languages are included. The participating Nordic and international scholars consider the emphasis on diachronic typology a useful approach in research and teaching which is well worth developing, also in a wider international context.