UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — Dieter Gunkel, assistant professor of historical linguistics in the Department of Classical Studies at the University of Richmond, has received an $18,000 fellowship from the Center for Hellenic Studies.

Gunkel, who studies how languages develop over time, will spend four months at the Center for Hellenic Studies, a Harvard-affiliated research institution in Washington, D.C. that supports research on the evolution of Greek language and culture and its relationship to the ancient Mediterranean world.

While there, Gunkel plans to explore modern studies of languages similar to Greek, ancient descriptions of the Greek language, and fragments of ancient Greek music.

“Studying ancient music allows us to reconstruct some of the accents, or the ups and downs of speech, that aren’t recorded in writing,” said Gunkel. “This research will help us learn more about how human language works and how it changes over time.”


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Gunkel received his B.A. degree from Middlebury College (2003), Ph.D. from UCLA’s Program in Indo-European Studies (2010), and taught at the University of Munich (2010–2017) before joining the faculty at the University of Richmond in 2017. He has published on the historical linguistics of ancient Greek, Vedic Sanskrit, and Tocharian.

Assistant Professor of Historical Linguistics
Historical and Indo-European linguistics
Greek and Latin linguistics
Metrics and poetics