Bernard Comrie

Professor of Linguistics


Bernard Comrie studied Linguistics at the University of Cambridge and taught Russian and Linguistics there for six years before moving to the Linguistics Department of the University of Southern California, where he taught for 20 years. In 1998 he moved to Germany to take up the directorship of the Department of Linguistics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, a position from which he retired in 2015. Since 2002 he is also Distinguished Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and starting in the Fall quarter 2015 has been in full-time residence at UCSB. His belief that an understanding of Language requires an understanding of as many languages of different types as possible has led him to carry out fieldwork in places as far apart as Papua New Guinea and the North Caucasus — he has been known to say: “If it’s a language, I’ll work on it.”