Claus Peter Zoller

Image of Claus Peter Zoller
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47 22858039
Room 385 PAM
Available hours Wednesdays 11 - 12
Visiting address Niels Henrik Abels vei 36 P. A. Munchs hus 0371 Oslo
Postal address Postboks 1010 Blindern 0315 Oslo

Academic Interests

Hindi literature and linguistics, languages of the Western Himalayas and North Pakistan, performance traditions of North India and Pakistan, Romani linguistics.


HIN1110, HIN1120, HIN2110 , HIN4010, HIN4011, SAS3000, SAS4011

Selection of projects

  • The Hindi Database Project
  • Romanifolkets språk
  • Bangani and languages of north-west South Asia
  • A grammar of Indus Kohistani (North Pakistan)
  • A collection of fairy tales from Indus Kohistan (North Pakistan)

Educational background

  • Study of classical and modern Indology, anthropology and German studies
  • PhD with a thesis on an Indo-Tibetan border language
  • Habilitation with a thesis on language and stylistics of a Himalayan oral epic


  • Employment as assistant and then associate professor at the Universities of Heidelberg and Frankfurt
  • Representative of the Heidelberg South Asia Institute in New Delhi
  • Several scholarships and research projects in India and Pakistan funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and by the German Research Foundation (DFG)


  • South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg
  • Department of Indology, University of Würzburg
  • South Asia Institute, University of Texas in Austin
  • Computational Linguistics R & D, Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies, Jawahar Lal Nehru University, New Delhi
  • Department of Linguistics, Delhi University, Delhi
  • National School of Drama, New Delhi
  • Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi,
  • Doon Library & Research Centre, Dehra Dun (India)
Tags: Hindi, South Asia, India, Rituals

Selected publications

  • 2018b. “Pagan Christmas: Winter feast of the Kalasha of the Hindu Kush” and the true frontiers of ‘Greater Peristan’. In: Acta Orientalia 79: 163–377:

  • 2018a. A little known form of untouchability in the Central Himalayas. In: Lutz Edzard, Jens W. Borgland and Ute Hüsken (eds.), Reading slowly: A Festschrift for Jens E. Braarvig, pp. 475–488. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

  • 2017b. Traditions of transgressive sacrality (against blasphemy) in Hinduism. In: Acta Orientalia 78: 1–162:

  • 2017a. Northern India after and before the arrival of Indo-Aryan. In: B. K. Joshi and Maheshwar P. Joshi (eds.), Unfolding central Himalaya: The cradle of culture, pp. 1–45. Doon Library and Research Centre: Dehradun, and Almora: Almora Book Depot.

  • 2016b. Proto Indo-European – Indo-Aryan – Himalayan Aryan languages: New perspectives on some old questions. Dehradun: Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh.

  • 2016a. Outer and Inner Indo-Aryan, and northern India as an ancient linguistic area. In: Acta Orientalia 77: 71–132:

  • 2015. The story of Prince Bahrām and Giant Kaṇḍák. In: Anna Aurelia Esposito, Heike Oberlin, B. A. Viveka Rai, Karin Juliana Steiner (Hrsg.), “In ihrer rechten Hand hielt sie ein silbernes Messer mit Glöckchen …” “In her right hand she held a silver knife with small bells …”: Studien zur indischen Kultur und Literatur – Studies in Indian Culture and Literature, pp. 397–412. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.

  • 2014c. Together with Ram Prasad Bhatt and Heinz Werner Wessler. Fairy lore in the high mountains of South Asia and the hymn of the Garhwali fairy ‘Daughter of the Hills’. In: Acta Orientalia 75: 79–166:  

  • 2014b. A South Asian perspective on the Burushaski controversy. In: Indian Linguistics 75 (3-4): 101–132.

  • 2014a. Die Pɔṇḍuaṇ: Ein mündliches Mahābhārata Epos aus dem Garhwal Himalaya. Wiesbaden: Harrasowitz Verlag.

  • 2011b. Pahari (in Russian). In G. A. Zograph, T. I. Oranskaia, L. I. Kulikov, P. K. Pandey (eds.), Languages of the world: The New Indo-Aryan languages (Jazyki mira: novye indoarijskie jazyki). Moscow: Academia. 2011: 195–218. 

  • 2011a. Bangani (in Russian). In: G. A. Zograph, T. I. Oranskaia, L. I. Kulikov, P. K. Pandey (eds.), Languages of the world: The New Indo-Aryan languages (Jazyki mira: novye indoarijskie jazyki). Moscow: Academia. 2011: 219–261.

  • 2010. Aspects of the Early History of Romani. Acta Orientalia 2010: 71, 243-312.
  • 2009. Genitive Marking of Subjects in West Pahari. Acta Orientalia 2008:69, 121-151.
  • 2007. Is Bangani a V2 Language? European Bulletin of Himalayan Research 2007:31, 83-141.
  • 2007. Himalayan Heroes. In Brückner, Heidrun, Hugh van Skyhawk and Claus Peter Zoller (eds.), The Concept of Hero in Indian Culture; pp. 237-274. New Delhi: Manohar.
  • 2005. A Grammar and Dictionary of Indus Kohistani. Volume 1: Dictionary. Trends in Linguistics, Documentation 21-1. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • 2004. Kabir and ritualized language. Acta Orientalia 2004:65, 33-68.
  • 2001. On the relationship between folk and classical traditions in South Asia. European Bulletin of Himalayan Research 2001:20-1, 77-104.
  • 1999. An Indian myth on the creation of death and life. In Schömbucher, Elisabeth and Claus Peter Zoller (eds.), Ways of Dying: Death and its meanings in South Asia; pp. 205-232. New Delhi: Manohar.
  • 1999. 'My mother an Apsara, the father a Kshatriya, my uncle the son of a Gandharva': Humour in the oral poetry of the Himalaya. In Oesterheld, Christina and Claus Peter Zoller (eds.), Of Clowns and Gods, Brahmans and Babus: Humour in South Asian Literatures; pp. 169-181. New Delhi: Manohar.
  • 1997 Heroic Ballads and the Biography of a Woman: On Coping with Conflicts in the Western Garhwal Himalaya. In Stellrecht, Irmtraud and Matthias Winiger (eds.), Perspectives on History and Change in the Karakorum, Hindukush, and Himalaya; pp. 473-497. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag.
Published June 24, 2010 12:28 PM - Last modified Aug. 14, 2020 3:50 PM