Victor Friedman

Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities, Director of CEERES Professor in the Department of Linguistics, Department of Slavic Languahges and Literatures Department of Anthropology (Associate Appointment)

Research Interest:
Balkan and Caucasian linguistics

Wieboldt 405
(773) 702-0732

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Victor A. Friedman (Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1975) is Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Chicago, where he also holds an appointment in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and an associate appointment in the Department of Anthropology. He is also Director of the Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies, a National Resource Center at Chicago. He is president of the U.S. National Committee of the International Association for Southeast European Studies and vice-president of the U.S. National Committee of the International Committee of Slavists. Professor Friedman is a member of the Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Academy of Sciences of Albania, the Academy of Arts and Sciences of Kosova, Matica Srpska, and has been awarded the "1300 Years of Bulgaria" jubilee medal. He has thrice been awarded the Golden Plaque from Sts. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje, from which he also holds the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa. In 2009 he received the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages’ Annual Award for Outstanding Contributions to Scholarship. During the Yugoslav Wars of Succession he worked for the United Nations as a senior policy and political analyst in Macedonia and consulted for other international organizations. He has held Guggenheim, Fulbright-Hays, ACLS, IREX, NEH, and other fellowships. His publications include The Grammatical Categories of the Macedonian Indicative (1977), Linguistic Emblems and Emblematic Languages: On Language as Flag in the Balkans (1999), Turkish in Macedonia and Beyond (2003), Studies in Albanian and Other Balkan Languages (2004, a nominee for Tirana’s Institute of Albanology’s Çmimi i albanologjisë [prize for Albanology]), a scholarly edition of Aleko Konstantinov’s Bai Ganyo (2010, winner of the Bulgarian Studies Association John D. Bell Book Award), Očerki lakskogo jazyka [Russian: Studies in Lak Grammar] (2011), as well as more than 200 scholarly articles. His main research interests are grammatical categories as well as sociolinguistic issues related to contact phenomena, standardization, ideology, and identity in the languages of the Balkans and the Caucasus.


Recent Publications (see also

Balkan Epic Cyclicity: A View from the Languages. Balkan Epic  Song, History Modernity, ed. by P. Bohlman and N. Petković, 293-309. Lanham, MD:Scarecrow Press. 2012.

The Languages of Bai Ganyo: Codeswitching as Social Commentary, Balkanistica 25,1.301-317. 2012.

Conjunction Calquing — A Heartland Balkanism. Balkanismen heute — Balkanisms Today —Balkanizmy segodnja, ed. by T. Kahl, M. Metzelin & H. Schaller, 31-37. Vienna: Lit Verlag. 2012.

Tense-Aspect and Language Contact. The Oxford Handbook of Tense and Aspect, ed. Robert Binnick, 398-427.  Oxford: Oxford. 2012.

Copying and Cognates in the Balkan Sprachbund. Copies vs Cognates in Bound Morphology, ed. by Lars Johanson and  Martine Robeets, 323-336. Leiden: Brill. 2012.

Perhaps Mirativity is Phlogiston, but Admirativity is Perfect: On Balkan Evidential Strategies. Linguistic Typology Vol. 16, No. 3. 505-527. 2012.

Europe, Eurasia, Southeast Europe, and Southeast Asia: On the Question of Areal Linguistics in the 21st Century. Philologica Jassyensia 8,1(15).113-122. 2012

The Balkan Sprachbund in the Republic of Macedonia Today:  Eurology as Discontinuity and Dialectology as Continuity. Colloquia Humanistica 1: The Continuity and Discontinuity as a Research Problem, ed. by Jolanta Sujecka, 125-129. Warsaw: PAN. 2012.

Urdhërorja treguese në gjuhët ballkanike [Albanian: The narrative imperative in the Balkan languages], Albanian and the Languages of the Bakans, ed. by Rexhep Ismajli, Prishtina: Academy of Arts and Sciences of Kosova, 119-124. 2012.

Beyond the Borders: Bulgarian and Macedonian Poetic Cover Art in the Early and Middle Twentieth Century. New Histories of Modern Art: The Eastern European Avant-Gardes, special issue of ARS - Journal of Institute of Art History of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, ed. by Steven Mansbach, Victor Friedman, Janis Kreslins, Vol. 45, No. 1, 37-48. 2012.

Enhancing National Solidarity through the Deployment of Verbal Categories: How the Albanian Admirative Participates in the Construction of a Reliable Self and an Unreliable Other. Pragmatics and Society. Vol. 3, issue 2, 189-225. 2012. [to be republished in Benjamins Current Topics book series]

Balkan Reflexivity: Albanian and the Balkan Linguistic League. Studimet për nder të Rexhep Ismajlit me rastin e 65-vjetorit të lindjes, ed. by Bardh Rugova. Prishtina: Academy of Arts and Sciences of Kosova. 275-284. 2012.

Albanian and Slavic - Comparative Perspectives on Contemporary Issues. Sovremennaja albanistika: Dostiženija i perspektivy. ed. by A.M. Domosileckaja, A. Ju. Rusakov, et al., 419-425.  St. Petersburg: Russian Academy of Sciences. 2012.

A Tantrum from the Cradle of Democracy: On the Dangers of Studying Macedonian,  Macedonia: The Political, Social, Economic and Cultural Foundations of a Balkan State. Ed. by Victor C. de Munck, and Ljupcho Risteski. London: I.B. Tauris. 22-43. 2012.

Compartmentalized Grammar: The Variable (Non)-Integration of Turkish Verbal Conjugation in Romani Dialects. Romani Studies. 5, 23.1-14. 2013.

The Use of li as a Marker of Evidential Strategy in Romani. Contrastive Linguistics 38,2-3.253-261. 2013.

The Languages of the Balkans. Oxford Bibliographies Online: Linguistics, ed. Mark Aronoff. Oxford Bibliographies On Line <> 2013.

Acts of Identity in the Balkans: The Role of Turkish Plurals. (Mis)Understanding the Balkans, ed. by Michel de Dobbelier and Stijn Vervaet, 157-159. Gent/Ghent: Academia. 2013.

The Morphology of Imperatives in Lak: Stem Vowels in the Second Singular Simplex Transitive Affirmative. Language Typology and Historical Contingency. ed. by Balthasar Bickel, Lenore Grenoble, David Peterson, Alan Timberlake, 445-462. 2013.


Linguistics Courses: Language Contact; Language, Power, and Identity in Southeastern Europe; Language, Power, and the Nation-State: France & the Balkans; Introduction to Slavic Linguistics; South Slavic Linguistics; Balkan Linguistics; Comparative East South Slavic Linguistics; Comparative Slavic Linguistics through Bai Ganyo; Structure of Albanian; History of Albanian; Albanian Dialectology; Bulgarian for Slavists; Structure of Lak; History of Macedonian; Structure of Macedonian; Romani Linguistics; History of Russian; Structure of Russian; Perspectives on Language in the Humanities; History of BCSM; Structure of BCSM; Advanced Old Church Slavonic; Language Courses: Albanian (three levels); Bulgarian; Georgian; Lak; Macedonian (three levels); Old Church Slavonic; Russian; Romani; Turkish. Other Courses:;  Macedonian Literature; Bulgarian Literature A. Konstantinov’s Do Čikago i nazad; Croatian Language and Nationalism; Balkan History from the Early Middle Ages to the Present; Balkan History from the Arrival of the Sklavenoi; Balkan History from 1371; The Brighter Side of the Balkans: Balkan Humor.