Staff – University of Copenhagen

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Thomas Olander

Thomas Olander

Associate Professor

I do research in the Indo-European languages and their relationship. I have primarily been occupied with the Slavic languages and their relations to the Baltic languages, but I am interested in all branches of Indo-European. The aim of much of my research is to contribute to the reconstruction of the proto-language from which all Indo-European languages descend, a proto-language that we have learned a good deal about through comparison of the oldest stages of the attested Indo-European languages.

My current research focus is on the Indo-European homeland problem, i.e. the question of where and when Proto-Indo-European was spoken, and how it diverged into the branches we know today (Anatolian, Tokharian, Celtic, Germanic, Greek, Armenian, Albanian, Indo-Iranian and Balto-Slavic).

I am also interested in Danish phonology, morphology and syntax and in the historical grammar of Danish.

Primary fields of research

  • comparative Indo-European linguistics
  • reconstruction of the Indo-European proto-language
  • the Indo-European homeland
  • historical grammar of Slavic
  • historical grammar of Baltic and Balto-Slavic
  • historical grammar of other Indo-European languages

Current research

My current project is the cross-disciplinary research project The homeland: In the footprints of the early Indo-Europeans (2015–2018), financed by the Carlsberg Foundation. The project aims at establishing where and when the earliest stages of the Indo-European language branches where spoken, thus pinning down where and when the Indo-European proto-language was spoken.

In 2015 I published a monograph on the development of the inflexional system from Proto-Indo-European to Slavic (Proto-Slavic inflectional morphology).


I teach various Indo-European disciplines, including the historical grammar of specific Indo-European languages and Indo-European morphology.

Within the field of Danish language I have taught Danish phonetics, morphology, syntax and historical grammar

I have also taught Bulgarian language.

Selected publications

  1. Published

    Proto-Slavic inflectional morphology : a comparative handbook

    Olander, T. 2015 Leiden / Boston: Brill. 439 p. (Brill's Studies in Indo-European Languages & Linguistics, Vol. 14).

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook

  2. Published

    Balto-Slavic accentual mobility

    Olander, T. K. 2009 Berlin / New York: Mouton de Gruyter. (Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs, Vol. 199).

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook

  3. Published

    Proto-Indo-European *-os in Slavic

    Olander, T. K. 2012 In : Russian Linguistics. 36, 3, p. 319-341 23 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  4. Published

    Proto-Indo-European final nasals in Slavic

    Olander, T. K. 2010 In : Scando-Slavica. 56, 1, p. 84-98 15 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  5. Published

    Indo-European accent and ablaut

    Keydana, G. (ed.), Widmer, P. (ed.) & Olander, T. (ed.) 2013 Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum. 195 p. (Copenhagen Studies in Indo-European, Vol. 5).

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewAnthology

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