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Ilja A. Seržant (Ilja Serzants / Ilja Serzant / Илья А. Сержант)


Ilja A. Serzants

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Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter


Dept. of English



Postal address:

Nikolaistraße 6-10 (Strohsackpassage), Leipzig (Germany)


Projekt "Grammatische Universalie", Universität Leipzig, IPF 141199, Leipzig D-04103 (Germany)




+49-341 97 37713 (office)


ilja.serzants /at/ uni-leipzig.de

Conference organization

Education and Academic Qualifications

  • 2018 – Habilitation (the second thesis/degree) in General Linguistics, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Cologne (Habilitation thesis: “The Diachronic and Diatopic Variation of Partitives. Baltic, East Slavic and Some Related Languages);
  • 2012 – Ph. D., University of Bergen (“Aspects of non-prototypical subjects: synchrony, diachrony and areality) in General Linguistics;
  • 2011 – Dr. phil., University of Cologne (Das Kausativ im Tocharischen) in Historical-Comparative Indo-European Linguistics (thesis: magna cum laude / disputatio: summa cum laude);       
  • 2005 - M.A. in Indo-European Comparative Historical Linguistics and Classical Philology (Ancient Greek), University of Cologne.

Professional Assignments

  • Post-doc (Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter), ERC Advanced Grant Project Usage-based explanations of grammatical Universals, Department of English, University of Leipzig (2016-2020)
  • Post-doc (Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter), (principal investigator), TriMCo Project, Department of Slavic Studies, University of Mainz (2015-2016). (I had to quit this fantastic project prematuraly but I continue my work for this project in terms of collaboration)
  • Post-doc, ZIF-Marie-Curie, (Akademischer Mitarbeiter), Zukunftskolleg (Cluster of Excellence), Department of Linguistics, University of Konstanz (2013-2015), with my own project "The Diachronic Typology of Differential Argument Marking";
  • Research Fellow (mokslo darbuotojas), Project: "Valency, Argument Realisation and Grammatical Relations in Baltic", University of Vilnius (2012-2015);
  • PhD stipendiat, University of Bergen, (March 2011 – September 2012)
  • PhD research fellow at the project "IECASTP", University of Bergen, (August 2008 to March 2011)
  • Lecturer (Lehrbeauftragter) in Lithuanian Linguistics at the Institute of Linguistics, University of Cologne (2006-2007) 
  • Participation at the Project "Incipitarium liturgischer Hymnen in ostslavischen Handschriften des 11. bis 13. Jahrhunderts“, Bonn, Patristische Kommission, NRW Akademie der Wissenschaften (2004-2005);
  • Junior Researcher at the Institute of Lithuanian Language, Department of Grammar (2005-2015)


  • Scholarship from the Norwegian University Center in St. Petersburg (Russia) (19.09.2011-30.11.2011).
  • K. Būgos scholarship from the Lithuanian Ministry of Education (2008)
  • Graduated Scholarship ("Graduiertenstipendium") of the University of Cologne, Subject of Research "Das Kausativ im Tocharischen", (2005-2007)

List of Publications

Forthcoming articles

§    More on Perfect and Resultative in Tocharian. Submitted to Thomas Jügel & Robert Crellin (eds.), The Indo-European Perfect. CILT. Amsterdam/New York: John Benjamins. (in print)

§    The Discriminatory Function of Case in DOM and the Problem of Weak Universals. To be published in: Schmidtke-Bode, Karsten, Natalia Levshina & Susanne M. Michaelis (eds.), Typology, functional motivations and diachrony. [Conceptual Foundations of Language]. Berlin: Language Science Press. (accepted)

§     Postclassical Greek. An Introduction. In: Rafiyenko, D. & I. Seržant (eds.), Contemporary Approaches to Postclassical Greek. Trends in Linguistics series. Berlin/New York: De Gruyter (to be submitted, together with D. Rafiyenko).

§     The Development of Prepositional Phrases from the Archaic into Byzantine Period. A corpus-based approach (to be submitted, together with D. Rafiyenko)

§      Analyzing Latgalian vocalism - a usage-based, statistical approach.


Published papers


  (2018) Witzlack-Makarevich, Alena & Ilja A. Seržant 2017: Differential argument marking: Patterns of variation. In: Seržant, I. A. & A. Witzlack-

             Makarevich (eds.), Diachrony of differential argument marking. [Studies in Diversity Linguistics]. Berlin: Language Science Press. 1-40.


  (2017) Diachrony and typology of Slavic aspect: What does morphology tell us? (together with Björn Wiemer). In: Bisang, Walter & Andrej

             Malchukov (eds.), Unity and diversity in grammaticalization scenarios. [Studies in diversity linguistics 16] Berlin: Language Science Press.


  (2017) Lexikalisierte Reduplikationsbildungen im Tocharischen. In: Hajnal, Ivo, Daniel Kölligan & Katharina Zipser (eds.), Miscellanea

             Indogermanica. Festschrift für José Luis García Ramón zum 65. Geburtstag. [Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Sprachwissenschaft]. Insbruck.    


  (2016)  The Perfect/Resultative in Tocharian. In: T. Maisak, V. A. Plungian, & K. Semenova (eds.), The Typology of the Perfect.
              Investigations into the Theory of Grammar
. Issue VII. Acta Linguistica Petropolitana Vol. XII, part 2. St.-Petersburg: Nauka. 237-288

  (2016) Nominative Case in Baltic in the Typological Perspective In: Argument Structure in Baltic, eds. Axel Holvoet & Nicole Nau [Valency,

             Argument Realization and Grammatical Relations in Baltic, 3]. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 137-198. 

  (2016)  External possession and constructions that may have it, Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung STUF 69(1), 131-169. [In: Non-Central

              Usages of Datives. Guest-edited by Gabriele Diewald.]

  (2016) Differential Argument Marking with the Latvian Debitive: a Multifactorial Analysis (together with Jana Taperte). In: Argument    

             Structure in Baltic, eds. Axel Holvoet & Nicole Nau [Valency, Argument Realization and Grammatical Relations in Baltic, 3].

             Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 199-258.

  (2015) Dative experiencer constructions as a Circum-Baltic isogloss. In: P. Arkadiev, A. Holvoet, B. Wiemer (eds.), Contemporary Approaches to

             Baltic Linguistics. De Gruyter. 325-348.

  (2015) Independent partitive as a Circum-Baltic isogloss, Journal Language Contact 8, 341-418.

  (2015) An Approach to Syntactic Reconstruction. In: Carlotta Vitti (ed.), Perspectives on historical syntax. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.


  (2015) Categorization and Semantics of Subject-like Obliques: a Cross-linguistic Perspective. In: Helasvuo, M. L. and T. Huumo (eds.), Subjects in

             Constructions – Canonical and Non-Canonical. [Constructional Approaches to Language]. Amsterdam & Philadelphia, PA: John 

             Benjamins. 175-203.

  (2014) Quantification. In: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics. General Editor: Georgios K. Giannakis. Brill Online,

             Reference. BRILL. 

  (2014) The Independent Partitive Genitive in North Russian. In: Seržant, I. A. and B. Wiemer (eds.), Contemporary Approaches to Dialectology:

             The area of North, Northwest Russian and Belarusian vernaculars, Slavica Bergensia 13. Bergen: John Grieg AS. 270-329.

  (2014) Björn Wiemer and Ilja A. Seržant, East Slavic Dialectology: Achievements and Perspectives of Areal Linguistics. In: Seržant, I. A. and B.

             Wiemer (eds.), Contemporary Approaches to Dialectology: The area of North, Northwest Russian and Belarusian vernaculars, Slavica 

             Bergensia 13. and Typology. Bergen: John Grieg AS. 11-80.

  (2014) The Independent Partitive Gentive in Lithuanian. In: Holvoet, Axel and Nicole Nau (eds.), Grammatical Relations    

            and their Non-Canonical Encoding in Baltic. [Valency, Argument Realization and Grammatical Relations in Baltic, 1]. Amsterdam/Philadelphia:              John Benjamins. 257-299.

  (2014) Ilja A. Seržant and Valgerður Bjarnadóttir. Verbalization and non-canonical case marking of some irregular verbs in *-ē- in Baltic and

             Russian. In: Judžentis, Artūras, Tatyana Civjan and Maria Zavyalova (eds.), Balai ir slavai: dvasinių kultūrų sankritos / Балты и славяне:  

             пересечения духовных культур. Vilnius: Versmės. [Proceedings of the international conference, dedicated to the academian Vladimir 

             Toporov, The Balts and Slavs: Intersections of Spiritual Cultures.] 218-242.

(2014) “Convergence in the Baltic-Slavic Сontact Zone. Triangulation approach” (together with Björn Wiemer and Aksana Erker), In: Congruence in Contact-Induced Language Change, ed. by Besters-Dilger, Juliane / Dermarkar, Cynthia / Pfänder, Stefan / Rabus, Achim. De Gruyter. 15-42.

(2013) Rise of Canonical Subjecthood. In: Seržant, I. A. and L. Kulikov, The Diachrony of Non-canonical Subjects. SLCS 140. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 283-310.

(2013) Rise of Canonical Objecthood by the Lithuanian Verbs of Pain, Baltic Linguistics 4, 187-211.

(2013) The Diachronic Typology of Non-canonical Subjects. In: Seržant, I. A. and L. Kulikov, The Diachrony of Non-canonical Subjects. SLCS 140. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 313-360.

(2012) Morphosyntactic properties of the partitive genitive in the subject position in Ancient Greek, Indogermanische Forschungen 117, 187-204

(2012) The so-called possessive perfect in North Russian and the Circum-Baltic area. A diachronic and areal approach. Lingua 122, 356-385.

(2012) Pragmatics and Semantics of the bare Partitive Genitive in Ancient Greek. Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung STUF 65(2), 113-136.

(2011) Die Entstehung der Kategorie Inagentiv im Tocharischen. In: T. Krisch, T. Lindner, M. Crombach, S. Niederreiter (eds.), Indogermanistik und Linguistik im Dialog. Akten der XIII. Fachtung der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft vom 21. bis 27. September 2008 in Salzburg: Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag. 527-537.

(2010) Phonologische Isoglossen des Hochlettischen, Nord-Ost-Litauischen, Nord-West-Russischen und Weißrussischen, Baltic Linguistics 1, 193-214.

(2009) Tempus und Aspekt im ältesten Russisch-Kirchenslavischen, untersucht an den Texten des Gottesdienstmenäums für Dezember“. In: Bibel, Liturgie und Frömmigkeit in der Slavia Byzantina. Festgabe für Hans Rothe zum 80. Geburtstag, herausgegeben von Dagmar Christians, Dieter Stern und Vittorio S. Tomelleri, München 2009, 309-328.

(2008) Относительная хронология процессов палатализации прабалт. *k в латышском. Ареальная интерпретация, Voprosy Jazykoznanija 2008 (1), 121-129. (The relative chronology of the palatalization processes of Proto-Baltic *k in Latvian. Areal interpretation.)

(2008) Die idg. Wurzeln *kelh1- „etw. bewegen“ und *kelh3- „sich erheben“, Indogermanische Forschungen 113, 59-75.

(2007) Контакты древнерусского и латышского языков в области фонетики. IN: Ареальное и генетическое в структуре славянских языков. Материалы круглого стола. РАН Институт Славяноведения. (Eds.) V. V. Ivanov, P. M. Arkadjev. 2007. 90-101. (Language contacts between Old Russian and Latvian in the domain of phonetics)

(2007) Die Bedeutung und Etymologie der tocharischen A Wurzel tsän-, Historische Sprachforschung 120 [2007], 105-114.

(2006) Daži latviešu prosodiskās sistēmas aspekti, Baltu Filoloğija XV(1/2), 2006, 95-110. (Some aspects of the prosodic system of Latvian)

(2006) Vermittlungsrolle des Hochlettischen bei den altrussischen und litauischen Entlehnungen im Lettischen, Acta Linguistica Lithuanica 55, 89-105.

(2005) Относительная хронология основных фонетических изменений в истории верхнелатышского диалекта, Acta Linguistica Lithuanica, 53 [2005], 39-90. (The relative chronology of the main phonetic changes in the history of High Latvian dialect)

(2005) Возражения к статье Росинаса „Dar dėl adesyvo kilmės aiškinimo, Acta Linguistica Lithuanica 53 [2005], 101-6. (Objections to Rosinas’ article “On the development of the adessive case”)

(2004) Einige Bemerkungen zur Geschichte des Illativs, Baltu Filoloğija XIII(1) [2004] 113-121.

(2004) К вопросу об образовании адессива, Acta Linguistica Lithuanica 50 [2004], 49-57. (On the development of the adessive case)

(2004) Zur Vorgeschichte des Inessivs im Urostbaltischen, Acta Linguistica Lithuanica 50 [2004], 59-67.

(2003) Intonationen in den suffixalen und Endsilben im Lettischen. Synchronie und Diachronie, Baltu Filoloğija XII(1) [2003], 83-123.




(2013) Review: Вячᴇᴄлᴀʙ Вᴄ. Иʙᴀнов (отв. ред.), Пᴇᴛᴘ М. Аᴘкᴀдьᴇв (сост.), Исследования по типологии славянских, балтийских и балкан-
ских языков (преимущественно в свете языковых контактов).Санкт-Петербург: Алетейя, 2013. / Vʏᴀᴄʜᴇsʟᴀv Ivᴀɴov & Pᴇᴛᴇʀ
Aʀᴋᴀᴅɪᴇv, eds., Studies in the Typology of Slavic, Baltic and Balkan Languages (with primary reference to language contact).
St Petersburg:
Aletheia, 2013. 368 pp.ɪsʙɴ 978-5-91419-778-7, Baltic Linguistics 4, 221-243.

(2012) Review: D a n i e l P e t i t: Untersuchungen zu den baltischen Sprachen. Brill’s Studies in Indo-European Languages & Linguistics. Vol. 4. Brill: Leiden, Boston. Historische Sprachforschung.

(2008) Review: N. Ostrowski, N o r b e r t O s t r o w s k i. Studia z historii czasownika litewskiego. Iteratiwa. Denominatiwa. Historische Sprachforschung 121, 308-320.



(2014) Das Kausativ im Tocharischen, LINCOM Studies in Indo-European   Linguistics 44, München: LINCOM

Editorial work (editor-in-chief):


(2013) Seržant, I. A. and L. Kulikov (eds.), The Diachronic Typology of Non-canonical Subjects. Studies in Language Companion Series 140. Amsterdam/Philadelphia. John Benjamins.

(2014) Seržant, I. A. and B. Wiemer (eds.), Contemporary approaches to dialectology: The area of North, Northwest Russian and Belarusian vernaculars. Slavica Bergensia 13. Bergen: John Grieg AS.

(2018) Seržant, I. A. & A. Witzlack-Makarevich (eds.), Diachrony of differential argument marking. [Studies in Diversity Linguistics 19], Language Science Press.

(2018+) Rafiyenko, D. & I. Seržant (eds.), Contemporary Approaches to Postclassical Greek. Trends in Linguistics series. Berlin/New York: De Gruyter (in preparation).


Member of the Editorial Board

Eitan Grossman, Ilja Seržant & Alena Witzlack-Makarevich (eds.), Valency and transitivity in contact: theoretical and empirical issues. Special issue Journal of Language Contact.