Universiteit Leiden

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Chams Bernard

Guest researcher

Dr. C.B.A.S. Bernard MA
+31 71 527 2125

Chams Bernard is a guest researcher at the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics.

More information about Chams Bernard


My PhD research focusses on contacts between the Tocharian and Iranian languages. It is part of the NWO project “Tracking the Tocharians” under the supervision of Michaël Peyrot. The Tocharian languages are attested through Buddhist manuscripts found in the Tarim Basin in Northwest China, dating from ca. 500-1000 CE. The Iranian languages form a family by themselves, including not only Persian, but also Kurdish, Pashto and both modern and ancient Eastern Iranian languages as far east as China. Tocharian and Iranian both belong to the Indo-European language family, but are within this family not especially closely related. Yet, at a later stage, the Tocharian languages have been heavily influenced by several Eastern Iranian languages, notably in the lexicon. Through close analysis of the Iranian loanwords in Tocharian, it is my goal to establish which Iranian varieties have influenced Tocharian at which stage. This will probably provide insights into the prehistory of the Tocharian as well as the Eastern Iranian languages.

Fields of interest

My interests are historical linguistics, with a focus on (Indo-)Iranian linguistics; Central Asia from a historical and a linguistic perspective; loan and contact phenomena, especially in Central Asia and in the Iranian world; Turfan studies (Iranian, Tocharian, and other languages).

Other interests

Besides Indo-European, I am fascinated by the history of the Afro-Asiatic language family, in particular by Semitic and Berber. I further have a great philological interest in Scots language and literature, and in many aspects of oral literature, especially songs, in both Scots and Iranian. In general linguistics, I am interested in phonology and semantics.

Curriculum vitae

2017-pres. : PhD student at the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (LUCL; supervisors: Prof. Alexander Lubotsky and Dr. Michaël Peyrot)

2014-2016: Master in Indo-European linguistics, typology and comparative grammar, École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris (with high honours)

2012-2014: Bachelor in Linguistics, Université Paris III-Sorbonne Nouvelle

Guest researcher

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Univ Centre for Linguistics
  • LUCL diversen


  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Univ Centre for Linguistics

Work address

Reuvensplaats 3-4
2311 BE Leiden


  • No relevant ancillary activities
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