Bernd Heine

Bernd Heine ( born May 25, 1939 in Morag ) is a German linguist and Africanist.


Bernd Heine held from 1978 to 2004 the Department of African Studies at the University of Cologne held. His main areas of research and teaching are the African linguistics, sociology of language, theory of grammaticalization and language contact. The grammaticalization, which deals with the laws of grammatical changes, and to which he has so far contributed seven books and numerous articles, it is considered his main contribution.

Youth and Education

In 1944 his parents fled because of the Russian invasion of East Prussia to Austria and later moved to Bavaria before they settled in 1948 in Leverkusen, Germany. From 1949 to 1959 Heine visited the district -Lucas -Gymnasium in Opladen. He then studied at the universities of Cologne and Hamburg. In 1967 he was in Cologne for the Dr. phil. PhD, 1972, the Habilitation took place in African trade.

Professional Development

From 1968 to 1969 he was an assistant at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Cologne, 1969-1972 Lecturer and from 1975 to 1978 Visiting Professor at the University of Nairobi. In 1978 he became professor of African studies at the University of Cologne.

In the course of his scientific work, he has a total of 25 trips for the purpose of field research in Ghana, Togo, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Namibia, as well as lecture tours to Ethiopia, Australia, Brazil, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Namibia, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Sweden, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Tanzania and the United States carried out.

Guest professorships led him 1994/1995 at the La Trobe University, Melbourne, 1999/2000 to the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, USA, 2002, Dartmouth College, USA, in 2005 at the University of Graz, Austria and 2005 / 2006 pratique at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in Wassenaar, The Netherlands, in 2006 at the University of Hamburg, in 2007, the École des hautes études ( Centre de Recherches sur l' Asie Orientale Linguistiques " CRLAO " ), Paris, in 2007 the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro between 2008 and 2009 to the Foreign Languages ​​University, Tokyo, Japan, and in 2009 to the University of Chonnam, Korea.

Heine had been invited as a speaker of 33 international conferences. Overall, his life's work includes 33 books and about 120 journal articles in the fields of linguistics, socio - linguistics, linguistic history and grammaticalization. He is co-editor and member of the scientific advisory board of 17 journals or book series.


His awards include membership in the Executive Council, International Africa Institute, London. In 1986 he became Hans Wolff Memorial Lecturer at Indiana University, USA, in 1990 Raymond Dart Memorial Lecturer at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. In 1990 he received the Kenya Kiswahili Association Award in Nairobi, 1994, he was a Fellow of the Australian Research Council, 1995 of the Republic of Tanzania was the National Kiswahili Council awarded. In 1995 he was August Klingenheben Memorial Lecturer at the University of Leipzig in 1996 and a Fellow of the British Academy. From 1997 to 2000 he was president of the Committee for the World Congress of African Linguistics, and he was appointed a full member of the North Rhine- Westphalian Academy of Sciences in 1999. In 2009 he was honored by the Evolutionary Linguistics Association, Brussels, Belgium with the Lifetime Achievement Award.


  • Ulrike Claudi and Friederike Hünnemeyer: Grammaticalization. A conceptual framework. University of Chicago Press, Chicago IL, inter alia, 1991, ISBN 0-226-32516-4.
  • As editor with Elizabeth Closs Traugott: Approaches to grammaticalization. 2 vols. John Benjamins, Amsterdam et al, 1991; Volume 1: Focus on theoretical and methodological issues ( = typological Studies in Language Vol 19, 1. ). ISBN 1-556-19404-8;
  • Volume 2: Focus on types of grammatical markers ( = typological Studies in Language Vol 19, 2. ). ISBN 1-556-19405-6.