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Curriculum Vitae

CV Prof. Dr. phil. habil. (University Potsdam, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Chair Slavic Linguistics), Prof. h.c. (Russian-Armenian-University Yerevan) Peter Kosta

Peter Kosta (PK) was born September 20, 1955 in Prague, Czechoslowakia, in a German-Jewish-Czech family, the son of the economist and journalist Jiri Kosta (*October, 2nd 1921, as Heinrich Georg Kohn) and the artist Helena Kosta (* Kohoutová February 29, 1932 in Prague). His ancestors include his father (economist and reformer of the spring of Prague under Dubcek), and his grandfather - Oskar Kosta. (1888 - 1973), Dr.Phil, teacher of French and German at the famous Stephansgymnasium Prague, translator, writer and poet (alias Peter Pont), and the uncle, publisher and diplomat, Tomas Kosta

Starting in 1962, PK attended a Czech elementary school in Prague, until he emigrated in 1968, together with his parents via Vienna and Munich to Frankfurt am Main. From 1968 to 1969, he visited in Vienna the JA Comenius High School; from 1970 to 1971 he attended the Classical Pestalozzi-Gymnasium in Munich. Arrived in Frankfurt in 1971, PK finished high school in 1976, including Latinum at the JW Goethe-Gymnasium.

1976-1981: After graduating from highschool, PK began studying Slavic philology, Indo-European linguistics, General linguistics and Musicology at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Department of East-and Extra-European languages and cultural studies. He also passed the exam in ancient Greek (Graecum) at the ​​Gagern-Gymnasium in Frankfurt am Main in 1980.

In 1981, PK graduated with distinction the examen Master of Arts ("very good"). With his first monograph: "A Russian cosmography of the 17th Century: A linguistic analysis of text and facsimile edition ", Munich: Sagner 1982, Specimena of philologiae Slavicae. 40. 

Since 1982, PK has worked a Assistant Professor at the Institute of Phonetics, Indo-European Linguistics and Slavic Philology of the JW Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main where he worked with the specialist for Tocharian A and B, Werner Thomas.

1985: PK made his PhD in 1985, Dr. phil. "Summa cum laude" with a thesis on "Problems of Švejk translations in the West and South Slavic languages. Linguistic studies of translation of literary texts", Munich: Sagner (Specimina philologiae Slavicae Supplement Volume 13.). Gerd Freidhof was his Doctor father.

From 1987 to 1992, Kosta worked as associate professor (Hochschulassistant C1) at the Slavic Department in institutes of Phonetics, Indo-European Linguistics, and Slavic philology. In 1992, he qualified with the habilitation thesis: “Empty categories in Northern Slavic languages: towards an analysis of null subjects and null objects in the Government-Binding Theory” Frankfurt am Main, J.W. Goethe University, venia legend in “Slavic philology with special emphasis on general linguistics”; his supervisors/opponents were Rudolf Růžička (Slavic and General Linguistics, University Leipzig), Günther Grewendorf (General Linguistics, Germanic linguistics, JW Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main), and Gerd Freidhof (Slavic Linguistics JW Goethe University Frankfurt am Main).

In 1992 he received five front list positions out of eight, e.g. number 1 as Professor of Slavic Linguistics and Language History (C4) at the TU Dresden, number 1 at the Free University Berlin, number 1 (unico loco) Humboldt University Berlin, number 1 (unico loco) University of Potsdam, number 2 University of Jena, number 1 University of Leipzig, and number 3 University Oldenburg. At the technical university of Dresden he taught from September 1992 until he received the call from Potsdam and Berlin in March 1993.

In March 1993, he received within a week two calls: one call as C3 professor for Westslavic Languages at the Humboldt University Berlin (HUB) which he rejected, and then one call (unico loco) to the C4 Chair for Westslavic Linguistics at the University of Potsdam which he accepted. In addition, he received offers to the University of Leipzig and others. After he accepted the call as C4 Chair (Ordinarius) in Potsdam, he is teaching here since 1993 and will retire on September 30, 2021. In 2005, his chair was denominated to the chair of Slavic Linguistics.

1993- today PK was also a visiting professor at Princeton University in New Jersey (USA) (in the years 1999 and 2005) and he also received invitations to the Indiana University in Bloomington, to the University of Chicago, to CUNY, NYU, to UCLA, to Sorbonne Paris, to MIT (by Noam Chomsky), to Harvard University, to Uppsala University, to the University of East London, to Oxford and Cambridge, UK, and many East-European Universities (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Russia, Charles University Prague, Czech republic, Warsaw University Poland, Cracowia University Poland etc.).

Recently, his activities have been concentrated around the topic of endangered languages and their protection. He is member of the Committee of Endangered Languages and their Protection of the Linguistic Society of America since 2010. In 2017, he has been invited scholar at the University of Adelaide, South-Australia by the director of the Linguistics Department Robert Amery and Ghil’ad Zuckermann, whose major research is the protection and registration of so-called dreaming beauties, the languages of the Aborigines (Barngarla and Kaurna). His interest in languages of Euroasia and Asia concentrates on Kasakh (a turkic language in Kasakhstan) and Armenian.

October 2019

Peter Kosta is an author and editor of numerous monographs and edited volumes, the editors of major science series on linguistics, his oeuvre includes more than 300 articles. PK is on the board of a number of important scientific journals such as, for example, Zeitschrift für Slawistik (Mouton de Gruyter), Journal of Slavic Linguistics (Bloomington). He is also a member of many scientific organizations. His numerous invitations as invited speaker and his expertise in PhD committees and habilitation committees and as an expert in the evaluation of Research Projects is known around the world.

Awards & Achievements

January, 18th, 2021

Award of the Assembly of the Kazakh People with the highest medal in Kazakhstan "Meyirim" - "Mercy" for the unification and support of the scientific work of the Kazakh people.

October 2nd, 2019

Award: "Professor honoris causa" awarded by the Scientific Council of the Russian-Armenian University of Erevan, Armenia due to my involvement in research and teaching in the field of Biolinguistics, Comparative Slavic Philology and Russian Studies by the Rector of the University (decision of the Science Council of the Russian-Armenian University, Erevan, Armenia, September 30st, 2019)

Apr 2013
Award: Member of the Assessment committees Board European Union FP7 Brussel

January 2013-July 2015 
Grant: DFG Network Urban Voices

October-December 1999
Grant: DFG Travel Grant Itinerary UQAM, Montréal, Princeton University, University of Chicago, Indiana University Bloomington 

Scholarship: DFG Grant Visiting Fellow Princeton University  

Award: Member of the Soros Foundation Research Support Scheme (RSS)  

Sep 1993- 2003
Grant: DFG Grant Member of the  Graduate School Economy and Complexity of Language 

March 1993
Award: Unico loco First Position University Potsdam and Humboldt University Berlin, Slavic Linguistics 

January 1990-April 1990
Grant: DFG Grant 1990 Academy of Science Moscow, Institute of Russian Language - Habilitation grant  

Award: PhD Dissertation summa cum laude J.W.Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Germany (Doktorfather Prof. Dr. Gerd Freidhof, PhD committee Prof. Dr. Bodo Zelinsky and Prof. Dr. Olexa Horbatsch)

Award: MA Thesis with distinction (26 years old) 
Eine russische Kosmographie aus dem 17. Jahrhundert : sprachwissenschaftliche Analyse mit Textedition und Faksimile / Peter Kosta. Book Published München : O. Sagner, 1982. Description 471 p. ; 21 cm. (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. Manuscript. Cod. Slav. 13.) Series Specimina philologiae Slavicae ; Bd. 40 Notes ("Textedition" and "Faksimile" in Russian; commentary in German.) Bibliography: p.140-149. Comparative linguistic and philological Analysis of Russian vernacular texts between 1300-1700 Mediaval Russian. ISBN 3876902002 (pbk.)

Surveying activities

ACQUIN, ZEvA, DAAD, DFG, George Soros Foundation Open Society Institute, European Commission FP7 Brussels, Volkswagen Foundation, Fulbright Commission, National Science Foundation, FWF (Fund for the Promotion of Scientific Research, Austria), Swiss National Science Foundation for the Promotion of Scientific Research, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Austrian Academy of Sciences: Apart (Austrian Programme for Advanced Research and Technology), Czech Academy of Sciences (Grantová agentura)

His language skills include active Czech and German (bilingual), Russian, Ukraine, Belorussian, Polish, Slovak, Lower Sorbian/Upper Sorbian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian, Slovenian, Old Church Slavonic; furthermore, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, and Dutch; French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese; Japanese, Cantonese and Mandarin; Finnish and Hungarian; and some Polynesian and Austronesian languages of the Aborigines: Barngarla, Kaurna (South-Australia) and Maori (Cook Islands Maori). In addition, the passive language skills come from Armenian, Kazakh, Ancient Greek, Latin, Sanskrit, Vedic, Hittite, Old Irish, Tocharian, Lithuanian and other languages.