Joshua Katz

Cotsen Professor in the Humanities; Professor of Classics

Joshua Katz

(609) 258–3954


153 East Pyne Building


I am a linguist by training (B.A. Yale, M.Phil. Oxford, Ph.D. Harvard), a classicist by profession, and a comparative philologist at heart. Widely published in the languages, literatures, and cultures of the ancient world, I maintain a number of active research areas, including etymology and Indo-European historical/comparative phonology and morphology.  In my more linguistic work I have proposed or refined sound rules in languages such as Hittite, Greek, Latin, and Tocharian; offered a series of novel explanations for the system of personal pronouns in Proto-Indo-European; and provided new perspectives on the history and prehistory of such words as eel, sphinx, testicle/testimony, and vespers.  Forthcoming papers take on the unexpected form of the word for ‘goddess’ in Homeric Greek, the vexed background of the Ancient Greek pluperfect (with Jay H. Jasanoff), and the literary use of nonce languages (with Michael D. Gordin).  I regularly teach classes in and around linguistics at both the undergraduate and graduate levels: “Greek Dialects,” “Imagined Languages” (with Michael D. Gordin), “Introduction to Historical and Comparative Linguistics,” “Introduction to Indo-European,” “Language at Princeton,” “Old Irish,” “Writing Systems of the World,” etc.

See full bio on the Department of Classics website

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