Centre for Languages and Literature

The Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology | Lund University


I am Associate Professor in linguistics. My main research interests are comparative and evolutionary linguistics, grammar, lexicology, and language documentation, in particular on undescribed languages. I have specialized in the production of lexica and handbooks, among others of Tocharian, for which I received a prize from Institut de France in 2008, and Scandoromani, for which I received a prize from The Royal Academy of Gustavus Adolphus in 2009. I am research leader of a team, which builds a geodatabase with lexical and typological data from Eurasia and South America. The database is used for systematic and empirical studies on language diversity, using phylogenetic and phylogeographic models. I have made several research visits at other universities, e.g., as Humboldt fellow at University of Kiel and at SCAS in Uppsala. I have a long-term collaboration with UMR 7528 at EPHE/Sorbonne in Paris. I am also interested in teaching and development of teaching material.


About the research

I have various research interests. My background is in Sanskrit and Comparative Indo-European linguistics but my current focus is on general and historical linguistics. I have been working mainly on Tocharian, an extinct Indo-European language of Chinese Central Asia,My research interest are historical and evolutionary linguistics, dead and moribund languages, language and culture, and language documentation.  Currently, I am research leader for a team that aims to compile big data sets for tracking prehistoric language contact and cultural impact, by means of evolutionary and comparative methods, in the language areas of Europe and the Amazon. I am also a specialist in the extinct language Tocharian, as well as the moribund language Scandoromani. Further, I have worked on Amazonian languages, such as the Tupí-Guaraní language Kamaiurá. I have written several scientific and popular scientific books.


Books (7)
Editorships (3)
Articles (16)
Book chapters (11)
Conference contributions (14)
Working papers (2)
Reviews (1)
Miscellaneous (1)
Supervision at Lund University (1)

Research portal (Lund University)


Other tasks and qualifications


  • Prize, Fondation Collette Caillat de l’Institut de France, for the book "A Dictionary and Thesaurus of Tocharian A, vol 1.", 2008
  • Prize, The Royal Gustavus Adolphus Academy, Uppsala, for the book "Ordbok over svensk romani. Resandefolkets språk och sånger", 2009


  • 2010 Elected member, Society of Science (Vetenskapssocieteten), Lund University.
  • 2006 Elected associated researcher, CNRS/ Sorbonne Nouvelle/ EPHE, Paris.
  • 2004 Elected collegium member, Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul.
  • 2000-2004 Elected board member, Indo-European Society/Indogermanische Gesellschaft.


  • 2014-2017 Board member, Faculty board, Faculty of Humanities and Theology, Lund University
  • 2011-2014 Chair, Research board, Kristianstad University.
  • 2010-2011 Board member, Research board, Kristianstad University.
  • 2009-2012 Chair, Romani Studies Institute.
  • 2008-2010 Board member, Infrastructure Board of the Faculty of Humanities and Theology, Lund University.
  • 2006-2007 Board member, Board of the University Library, Faculty of Humanities and Theology, Lund University.

Gerd Carling

General Linguistics
Centre for Languages and Literature

Contact information

E-mail gerd.carlingling.luse

Phone +46 46 222 99 07

Room SOL:H422a

Visiting address Helgonabacken 12, Lund

Postal address Box 201, 221 00 Lund

Internal post code 20