Michael Fortescue


Department of Scandinavian Studies and Linguistics


Copenhagen University

fortesq [at] hum.ku.dk


Sandford Park 19
United Kingdom

Brief Biography

2011: Retired as professor emeritus from the University of Copenhagen and moved to England, where now an associate of St Hugh’s College, Oxford. Editing OUP Handbook of Polysynthesis.
2009: Fieldwork in British Columbia and Alaska working principally with Kwakwala.
2006: Fieldwork with Ditidaht tribe on Vancouver Island, BC.
2005: Chairman of Linguistic Circle of Copenhagen.
2004: Spring semester spent as Visiting Fellow at La Trobe Research Centre for Linguistic Typology, Melbourne, Australia.
2000: Appointed Professor of General Linguistics, Department of General and Applied Linguistics, University of Copenhagen.
1996: Spring semester spent on sabbatical at University of California at Berkeley.
Invited as research fellow to Max Planck Institute of Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen (October 1996).
1992-95: Head of Department of Eskimology for further 3 year period.
October 1992 spent at Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge.
Field work in and Chukotka, Russia, summer 1995.
1989-91: Appointed 'docent' (reader) with retroactive effect from May 1988.
Field work in Qaanaaq, Thule, May 1990.
1988: Spring semester spent at Alaska Native Language Center, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, on faculty exchange scheme.
1986 87: Head of Department of Eskimology.
1984-5: Appointed 'lektor' (associate professor) in Eskimology, University of Copenhagen.
Joined editorial committee of Acta Linguistic Hafniensia.
Field work in Upernavik district of Greenland (summer 1984).
1983: Appointed 'ekstern lektor' (assistant professor) in Eskimology, University of Copenhagen.
1978 82: Researcher at Department of Eskimology, University of
Copenhagen, supported by the Danish Research Council for the Humanities.
Field trips to northwest Greenland (summer 1979), and Coppermine, Northwest Territories (summer 1980).
1978: PhD in Linguistics, University of Edinburgh. Tutor in General Linguistics. Arts Faculty scholarship for 1977 78.
1970: M.A. in Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of California at
1966: B.A. in Slavic Languages and Literatures (‘Honours with great
Distinction’), University of California at Berkeley.

Science Specialties


Current Research

Co-editing Oxford Handbook of Polysynthesis. Continuing investigation of linguistic relations across Bering Strait, and orientation systems of the North Pacific Rim.