Staff – University of Copenhagen

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Birgit Anette Rasmussen (Olsen)

Birgit Anette Rasmussen (Olsen)

Professor with special responsibilities

Current research

My primary research field currently falls within the Velux project Individual, kin and family in prehistoric Europe - what words can tell (2013-16) where I am collaborating with three postdocs, Adam Hyllested, Benedicte Nielsen Whitehead and Bjarne S. Hansen on an investigation of the social roles of the individual within Indo-European society as reflected in the vocabulary.

In continuation of the programme of excellence, Roots of Europe - language, culture and migration (2008-13) I am also working on a monograph on Indo-European word formation, An Outline of Indo-European Nominal Derivation.

Finally, I write occasional articles on various subjects within Indo-European language and culture.

Primary fields of research

While I take a broad interest in Indo-European language and culture in general, the following areas are particularly important in my previous and current research:

  • Indo-European morphology, especially nominal word formation
  • Indo-European morphophonemics and phonemics, especially the laryngeal theory and consonantal alternations
  • Indo-European lexicon and palaeolinguistics, e.g. with respect to kinship terms and social institutions
  • Classical Armenian phonology, morphology and etymology


Through the years I have taught a variety of subjects within Indo-European studies:

  • Historical linguistics
  • Introduction to Indo-European studies
  • Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans
  • Indo-European phonology
  • Indo-European morphology
  • Indo-European word formation
  • Indo-European vocabulary
  • Laryngeal theory
  • Seminars on recent literature
  • Roots of Europe
  • Indo-Iranian, Sanskrit, Vedic, Avestan and Old Persian
  • Greek
  • Latin and Italic
  • Gothic and panorama of ancient Germanic languages
  • Old Irish
  • Armenian
  • Anatolian

Additionally, I have taught propaedeutic Greek and Latin and ancient literature.

Most recent courses:

  • Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans
  • Indo-European phonology
  • Indo-European morphology
  • Indo-European vocabulary
  • Italic
  • Vedic
  • Indoiransk
  • Armenian
  • Anatolian


I am happy to supervise all subjects within Indo-European language and culture with the Indo-European protolanguage as a starting point: phonology, morphophonemics, morphology and lexicon. Moreover, subjects dealing with specific branches, with particular pleasure within Armenian, Indo-Iranian, Greek and Italic.

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