Prof. Greenberg received his MA at the University of Chicago (1984) and PhD at UCLA (1990), both in Slavic linguistics. With the guidance of mentors Henrik Birnbaum, Pavle Ivić, Ronelle Alexander, and Alan Timberlake, he studied Slavic (historical) accentology and dialectology. In 1988 to 1990 with a Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Fellowship and a grant from the US Dept. of Education he conducted fieldwork in Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Croatia) and Hungary, focusing on phonological and word-prosodic variation in Prekmurje, Porabje, and Međimurje village dialects. During this time, which coincided with the fall of socialism in Eastern Europe, he became engaged in issues of language planning in the reorganization of Yugoslavia and other-post socialist states. His research and teaching work continues to focus on diachrony and diatopy, as well as sociolinguistics. His research synthesizes techniques and learning from multiple disciplines to find novel ways of understanding and reconstructing language history, employing the comparative method, supplemented by sociolinguistics, geolinguistics, cognitive linguistics. His work mostly focused on Slavic languages and languages in contact with them (Romance, Germanic, Finno-Ugric).
He has worked at the University of Kansas as a faculty member since 1990 and was promoted to (Full) Professor of Slavic Languages & Literatures in 2000, when he was also elected to chair of the Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures (2000–2011). He has held several administrative positions at the University of Kansas, including Acting Associate Dean for Humanities (2012), Chair-Receiver for the Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures and is currently the founding Director, School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures, University of Kansas (2014– ). He has held numerous prestigious fellowships, including from the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Council of Learned Societies, American Philosophical Society, US Department of Education, the Swiss Science Foundation, and the Moravian-Silesian Regional Research Fund. In 2017 he was elected to the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts as a Corresponding Member.
Among his prominent and recent publications are books: The Sociolinguistics of Slovene (as editor) (= Int’l Journal of the Sociology of Language, vol. 124, 1997); A Historical Phonology of the Slovene Language (= Historical Phonology of the Slavic Languages, vol. 13) (Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Carl Winter, 2000); A Short Reference Grammar of Slovene (= LINCOM Studies in Slavic Linguistics 30) (Munich: Lincom, 2008); articles/chapters: “Slavic” in The Indo-European Languages (London: Routledge, 2017); “Introduction” to Bibliography of Slavic Linguistics (Leiden: Brill, 2015); “The Slavic Area: Trajectories, Borders, Centres, and Peripheries in the Second World” in Globalising Sociolinguistics: Challenging and Expanding Theory (London: Taylor & Francis, 2015). Editorial work: he was co-founder and co-editor (with Marko Snoj) of Slovenski jezik / Slovene Linguistic Studies (1997–2011) as well as Slavia Centralis (with Marko Jesenšek). In addition, Prof. Greenberg has published extensively and collaboratively on open-access issues with a focus on global equal-access to research for readers and researchers.
In addition to serving as General Editor (with René Genis) of the Encyclopedia of Slavic Languages and Linguistics (Brill, est. date of publ. 2019), he serves on the editorial boards of the journals Književni jezik (Sarajevo), Naučnaja periodika: problemi i rešenija (Moscow), Voprosy onomastiki (Moscow, Ekaterinburg), Croatica et slavica iadertina (Zadar). He serves on national and international boards including Center for Urban Language Teaching and Research, Georgia State University (Atlanta); Association for Department of Foreign Languages (New York); Gabriel Al-Salem Foundation (Florida, USA and Almaty, Kazakhstan).
In addition to his academic pursuits, Prof. Greenberg plays classical guitar, Russian seven-string guitar, and renaissance lute as a soloist, duet partner, and in ensembles in the US and Europe.
Teaching interests: Structure and history of Russian and other Slavic languages, Old Church Slavic, language and identity/nationalism, sociolinguistics; Russian, Czech, Slovene, BCMS language.
- Historical linguistics
- Indo-European linguistics
Research interests: Reconstruction of Common Slavic, Indo-European; dialectology; sociolinguistics; phonetics, esp. pitch-accent systems; language and identity/nationalism; Western South Slavic languages (Slovene, Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian).
- Historical linguistics
- Indo-European linguistics
2014 article: (Corresponding author with 31 co-authors): Bottlenecks in the Open-Access System: Voices from Around the Globe
2013 article: (with A. Townsend Peterson and Ada Emmett) Open Access and the Author-Pays Problem: Assuring Access for Readers and Authors in a Global Community of Scholars. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 1(3): 1–8.
2013 article: (with Zbyněk Holub) A Circum-Pannonian Word-Prosodic Parallel: Paroxytonic Accent in the South-West Bohemian Dialect. Jezikoslovni zapiski 19/2. Ljubljana: Fran Ramovš Institute for Slovene Language, Scientific Research Centre, Slovenian Academy of Arts & Sciences.
2012 article: (with Marko Snoj) O jeziku slovanskih prebivalcev med Donavo in Jadranom v srednjem veku (pogled jezikoslovcev) / On the Language of the Medieval Slavic Population in the Area between the Danube and the Adriatic (from a Linguistic Perspective). Zgodovinski časopis / Historical Review , vol. 115, 66/3–4 (146): 276–305.
2011 video presentation: (with A. Townsend Peterson and Ada Emmett) What is an Open Access Policy? Why should Purdue faculty care?.
2011 essay: (with Ada Emmett) The Scholarly Communication Problem. Why Open Access is Necessary: A Transatlantic Perspective. Hall Center Communiqué, Spring 2011: 20–25. Translations: Croatian (Slobodni filozofski), Romanian (Vatra), Serbian (Danas and Pančevačko čitalište), Slovene (Delo), Ukrainian (Бібліотечний форум України)
2010 chapter: PIE Inheritance and Word-Formational Innovation in Slavic Motion Verbs in ‑i‑. New Approaches to Slavic Verbs of Motion. Studies in Language Companion Series, vol. 115, V. Hasko and R. Perelmutter (eds.). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
2010 chapter: The Illyrian Movement: A Croatian Vision of South Slavic Unity. Handbook of Language and Ethnic Identity: The Success-Failure Continuum in Language Identity Efforts, vol. 2, Joshua A. Fishman and Ofelia Garcia (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2009 article: Prekmurje Grammar as a Source of Slavic Comparative Material. Slovenski jezik / Slovene Linguistic Studies 7: 29–44.
2008 book: A Short Reference Grammar of Slovene. LINCOM Studies in Slavic Linguistics 30. (Munich: LINCOM).
2007 article: Phonetic Evidence for the Development of the "Acute" Tone in Slavic. Tones and Theories: Proceedings from the International Workshop on Balto-Slavic Accentuation: 95–108. (Zagreb: Filozofski fakultet).
2007 article: [with Joseph Schallert] The Prehistory and Areal Distribution of Slavic *gъlčěti 'Speak'. Slovenski jezik / Slovene Linguistic Studies 6: 9–76.
External: IREX, Franklin Research Grant (American Philosophical Society), Fulbright, NEH
Internal: Hall Center for the Humanities