I studied general linguistics and phonetics at Charles University in Prague. I am mainly interested in language change and language typology, so my orientation is both synchronic and diachronic.
- Some of my favourite language groups include Nakh-Daghestanian, Abkhazo-Adyghean, Sino-Tibetan, Athabaskan-Eyak-Tlingit, Salishan, Wakashan and many others.
- I find areas such as the Caucasus, American Northwest Pacific Coast, Southeast Asia or Himalayas extremely intriguing from the linguistic point of view.
- I look rather favourably on long-range comparisons, but, at the same time, I have been quite critical and sceptical about vast majority (if not all) of the proposals due to a general lack of rigour and/or statistical significance, and/or because of ad hoc assumptions, some or all of which seem to be the rule rather than the exception.
- Consequently, I have been somewhat sceptical about the recent Dene-Yeniseian endeavour, not because I would consider it completely futile, but because I feel there is too little data and too many assumptions that need to be justified first, such as the claim that Yeniseian has been persistently "loan-proof". Looking at lexical data from the neighbouring languages, for example, I cannot but express my doubts. Also, Stefan Georg and George Starostin, two other Ket and Yeniseian experts, have each criticised Ed Vajda's interpretation of what the latter sees as traces of the hypothetical Proto-Yeniseian. And Lyle Campbell's ctitique is not to be taken lightly either.
Some of my favourite websites include
- World Loanword Database
- Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database
- Intercontinental Dictionary Series
- Global Lexicostatistical Database
- Tower of Babel: An Etymological Database Project
- Database of Semantic Shifts in the Languages of the World
- Electronic Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary
- [to be expanded and properly categorised]