Benjamin Fortson

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Benjamin Fortson

Greek and Latin language and literature, Indo-Euorpean comparative philology, and historical linguistics.

435 S State St
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Office Location(s): 2139 Angell Hall
Phone: 734.764.1579

  • Fields of Study
    • Indo-European linguistics and comparative philology, historical linguistics, early Latin and Greek, metrics and poetics, lexicography
  • About

    Ben Fortson is Professor of Greek and Latin (Department of Classical Studies) and Linguistics. He specializes in the comparative linguistic study of the Indo-European language family, focusing primarily on the Italic, Greek, Indo-Iranian, Anatolian, and Germanic branches, with side interests in comparative Indo-European metrics, poetics, and culture. He also does research in the methodology of historical linguistics and the mechanisms of phonological and morphological change. For several years he was etymologist and Senior Lexicographer of The American Heritage Dictionary of English, and continues to do occasional lexicographic work.

    Selected Publications

    Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction (3rd edition in preparation, to appear in late 2016, Wiley-Blackwell)

    Language and Rhythm in Plautus: Synchronic and Diachronic Studies (Mouton de Gruyter, 2008)

    "Italic dialectology," to appear in Comparative Indo-European Linguistics: An International Handbook of Language Comparison and the Reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European, ed. Jared S. Klein and Brian D. Joseph (Mouton de Gruyter, to appear 2016)

    "An illicit Hittite–Latin affair," Journal of Cuneiform Studies 67 (2015)

    "A fragmentary early Republican public inscription from Gabii," ZPE 178 (2011) (with D. Potter)

    "Latin prosody and metrics," in A Companion of the Latin Language, ed. James Clackson (Wiley-Blackwell 2011)

    "Reconsidering the history of Latin and Sabellic adpositional morphosyntax," AJP 131 (2010)

    "On the 'double-nasal' presents in Indo-European and a new Old Irish sound law," Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 57 (2010)

    "Bleary eyes and ladles of clay: Two liquid Sabellicisms in Latin," Glotta 84 (2009)

    "The origin of the Latin future active participle," in Verba Docenti: Studies in Historical and Indo-European Linguistics Presented to Jay H. Jasanoff, ed. Alan Nussbaum (Beech Stave, 2007)

  • Education
    • B.A. '89, Yale
      Ph.D. '96, Harvard