Dr. Maria Flaksman

Assistentin am Lehrstuhl Prof. Dr. Ursula Lenker


Seminare und Übungen zur historischen Sprachwissenschaft und mittelalterlichen Literatur


Department für Anglistik und Amerikanistik
Schellingstr. 3 (RG)
80799 München

Raum: R 159
Telefon: +49(0)89 2180-3387

siehe LSF (bei Fehlermeldung bitte in LSF einloggen)

Weitere Informationen

Research interests

  • Old English language
  • History of the English language
  • (Historical) lexicology and lexicography
  • Word-formation
  • Etymology and language change
  • Language iconicity
  • Onomatopoeia and sound symbolism
  • Other Germanic languages: Gothic and Old Icelandic
  • Language universals
  • Language origin and evolution


  • 2017-18 Icelandic as a second language, BA program (University of Iceland, Reykjavik), Old Icelandic, History of Icelandic, Icelandic Manuscripts – MA programme;
  • 2015 PhD degree (University of St. Petersburg), thesis: ‘English imitative vocabulary in diachrony’, academic advisor – Prof. Dr. Olga Brodovich;
  • 2012-13 Otto Friedrich University of Bamberg, Germany (research stay, Chair of English Linguistics, academic curator – Prof. Dr. Gabriele Knappe);
  • 2009 Technical University Dresden, Germany (German Language and Culture); semester abroad;
  • 2005-10 St. Petersburg Electrotechnical University, School of Humanities; Magister degree (equals MA) in English Linguistics and Intercultural Communications.

Professional experience

  • 2021 Otto Friedrich University of Bamberg (Dep. of English Linguistics), guest lecturer;
  • 2019-21 Friedrich-Schiller University Jena (LS für Indogermanistik), PostDoc, lecturer;
  • 2010-19 St. Petersburg Electrotechnical University (Faculty of Humanities, Foreign Languages Dept.), 2010- assistant, 2015- lecturer, 2016-19 Associate Professor;
  • 2014-17 St. Petersburg Institute of Foreign Languages (Dep. of English Philology), lecturer;
  • 2010-11 Private university ‘Academy of Liberal Arts’, St. Petersburg (School of Linguistics), lecturer.

Research Grants and Awards

  • 2019-21 Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship (project Evolution of imitative lexicons: a historical-comparative analysis of onomatopoeia in Germanic languages)
  • 2017-18 Icelandic Governmental Scholarship (Icelandic as a Second language)
  • 2012-13 German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholarship ‘Immanuel Kant’, project English imitative vocabulary with atypical phonetic development
  • 2009 Georgius-Agricola-Stipendium des Freistaates Sachsen (Germany)

Publications (selected)


  • Флаксман, М.А., Л.О. Ткачева, Ю.Г. Седелкина [и др.]. Фоносемантика: Опыт междисциплинарного исследования. М.: ООО «Издательство «Мир науки», 2022 [Flaksman, M. A., Tkacheva, L. O., Sedelkina, Yu. G., Lavitskaya, Yu. V., et al. (2022) Fonosemantika: opyt mezhdistsiplinarnogo issledovaniia [Phonosemantics: an interdisciplinary approach]. Мoscow: Mir nauki]
  • Флаксман М.А. Звукоизобразительная лексика английского языка в синхронии и диахронии. СПб.: Изд-во СПбГЭТУ «ЛЭТИ», 2015. 199 с. [Flaksman, M. (2015). English iconic lexicon in synchrony and diachrony. St. Petersburg. SPbSEU ‘LETI’ Univ. Press. 199 pp.]
  • Флаксман М.А. Словарь английской звукоизобразительной лексики в диахроническом освещении. СПб.: НОУ ВПО «Институт Иностранных языков», Изд-во РХГА, 2016. 201 с. [Flaksman, M. (2016). A dictionary of English iconic words on historical principles. St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg Institute of Foreign Languages and RHGA Univ. Press. 201 pp.]

Edited volumes

  • Flaksman, M.A. & O.I. Brodovich (eds.). (2016). Anglistics of the XXI century, vol. 2. Phonosemantics. St. Petersburg: ANCO. ISBN 978-5-4416-0030-9

Articles and book chapters (selected)

  • Tkacheva, L., Flaksman, M., Sedelkina, Y., Lavitskaya, Y., Nasledov, A.; Korotaevskaya, E. (2023) Neural Indicators of Visual and auditory Recognition of Imitative Words on Different De-Iconization Stages. In Brain Sciences 13 (4): 681
  • Flaksman, Maria (2022). Echoes of the past: Old English onomatopoeia. In Sara Lenninger, Olga Fischer, Christina Ljungberg and Elżbieta Tabakowska (eds.) Iconicity in Cognition and across Semiotic Systems [Iconicity in Language and Literature 18], John Benjamins Publishing Company. P. 331–350.
  • Flaksman, M. (2021). Old onomatopoeia: what etymological dictionaries tell us about sound imitation in extinct languages. In Hans Van de Velde & Fredric Dolezal (eds.), Broadening Perspectives in the History of Dictionaries and Word Studies. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, P.135-159.
  • Flaksman M.A. (2021). Stanislav Voronin’s universal classification of onomatopoeic words: a critical approach (Part 2). In Discourse, 7(1). P. 92-102. DOI:
  • Flaksman, M. (2020). Pathways of de-iconization: How borrowing and regular sound changes obscure iconicity. In: Operationalizing iconicity. Iconicity in Language and Literature. Eds. Pamela Perniss, Olga Fischer and Christina Ljungberg. John Benjamins Publishing Company. P. 75-103.
  • Flaksman M.A. (2020). Stanislav Voronin’s Universal Classification of Onomatopoeic Words: a Critical Approach (Part 1). In Discourse, 6(4): 131-149.
  • Flaksman, M.A. (2020). Phono-iconic words in Icelandic: problems of translation. In Vestnik of Moscow State Linguistic University (Humanities), 5 (834). P. 223-235.
  • Flaksman, M.A. (2019). From IE *u̯e- to English window: on age and number of imitative words in English. In: Indo-European linguistics and classical philology XXIII (Joseph M. Tronsky memorial Conference). Ed. by Nikolai N. Kazansky. Part II. St. Petersburg: Nauka. P. 1066-1075.
  • Flaksman, M.A. (2019). Sound imitative words in Beowulf. In: Discourse, 5 (3). P. 99-111.
  • Flaksman, M. (2018). Onomatopoeia and regular sound changes. In: Siberian Federal University Journal: Humanities & Social Sciences. P. 1-11.
  • Flaksman, M. (2017). Iconic treadmill hypothesis – the reasons behind continuous onomatopoeic coinage. In: Dimensions of Iconicity [ILL 15], Eds. Bauer, M., Zirker, A., Fischer, O., and Ljungberg Ch. John Benjamins Publishing Company, P. 15-38.
  • Flaksman, M. (2017). Onomatopoeic words in Gothic: iconic elements in Wulfila’s translation of the New Testament. In Deutsch als Bindeglied zwischen Inlands- und Auslandsgermanistik [Beiträge zu den 23. GeSuS-Linguistik-Tagen in Sankt Petersburg, 22.-24. Juni 2015, Sprache und Sprachen in Forschung und Anwendung, Band 5], Eds. Nefedov, S., Grigorieva, L., Bock B. Hamburg: Verlag Dr. Kovač, P. 183-190.

Conference papers and talks

  • 2023 Heidelberg, Germany. International Conference on Historical Linguistics (ICHL26), 4-8 Sept. 2023. Talk: Lost in Translation: Onomatopoeic Words in Old English Glosses
  • 2023 Athens, Greece. 56th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, 29 Aug. - 1 Sept.2023. Convenor of the workshop: Onomatopoeia and sound symbolism. Talk: Onomatopoeia in phonaesthemic groups: An interplay between iconicity and systematicity
  • 2023 Cologne, Germany. 45. Jahrestagung der DGfS, 7-10 March 2023. Talk (invited speaker): Fighting a losing battle: onomatopoeia vs sound changes
  • 2023 Munich, Germany. Historical English Word-Formation Symposium, 17-18 February 2023. Talk: Conveying sound: Onomatopoeic word-formation in Old English
  • 2022 Kanazawa, Japan (online). EVOLANG-2022. Joint Conference on Language Evolution (JCoLE), 5-8 September, 2022
    Talk: Integrative brain activity in process of visual and audial recognition of imitative words on different de-iconization stages (with Liubov Tkacheva, Yulia Lavitskaya, Yulia Sedelkina, Elizaveta Korotaevskaya, and Andrei Nasledov)
  • 2022 Sorbonne University, Paris, France, ILL13: Iconicity in Language and Literature, 31 May-2 June 2022 Paris (France), talk: Semantic De-Iconization of Onomatopoeic Words
  • 2022 York University, Toronto, Canada, and Nagoya University, Japan (online), Workshop on Typology of Ideophones (WTI-2022), June 24-25, 2022, talk-1: A transient border between imitative interjections/ideophones and content words; talk-2 (co-author Natalia Noland): Behind the scenes of the Iconicity Atlas project: semantic and phonosemantic typology of imitative words and ideophones
  • 2022 P.J. Šafárik University, Košice, Slovakia, Onomatopoeia (workshop), Word-Formation Theories IV / Typology and Universals in Word-Formation V (23-26 June), talk: Universality of onomatopoeic words decreases with de-iconization
  • 2022 Bucharest/Amherst (online), Workshop Jabberwocky Words in Linguistics, 11-12th February 2022, talk: Structured chaos: Recurrent patterns in occasional onomatopoeia
  • 2022 Tübingen (online), Workshop The diachrony of word class peripheries at 44. Jahrestagung der DGfS, 23-25 February 2022, talk: Imitative words as parts of speech: a diachronic approach
  • 2022 Moscow (online), Research Seminar LINGUA GOTICA: New approaches organized by Russian Academy of Sciences, 5 April 2022, talk: Sound imitation in Gothic: A fragmentary picture.
  • 2022 Vienna (online), International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE-11), 11-14 April 2022, poster: Parallels in historical development of English, Icelandic, and Russian onomatopoeic words 
  • 2021 La Rioja, Spain (online), 11th International Conference on Historical Lexicography and Lexicology (ICHLL-11), June 16-18, 2021, talk: Imitative words in Old Norse;
  • 2021 Athens (online), Workshop Iconicity in Prosaic Lexicon at 54th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE 2021), 30 August – 3 September 2021, talk: Hidden Iconicity: De-Iconization of Russian and English Imitative Lexicons
  • 2020 Birmingham, UK (online), UK Cognitive Linguistics Conference (UKCLC 2020), 27-29 July, 2020, talk: From scratch: Universal patterns in occasional onomatopoeia;
  • 2019 Lund, Sweden, The 12th International Symposium on Iconicity in Language and Literature (ILL 12), the theme: “Iconicity in Cognition and across Semiotic Systems”, 3-5 May 2019, talk-1: Echoes of the past: Old English onomatopoeia, talk-2 [co-author Dr. Natalia Noland]: Universal vs. language specific: iconicity across languages;
  • 2019 Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, The 10th International Conference on Historical Lexicography and Lexicology (ICHLL-10), 12-14 June 2019, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, Talk: Old Onomatopoeia: What etymological dictionaries tell us about sound imitation in extinct languages;
  • 2018 Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy, The 9th International Conference on Historical Lexicology and Lexicography: From Glosses to Dictionaries (ICHLL-9). Università degli Studi di Genova Dipartimento di Lingue e Culture moderne, June, 20th-22nd 2018, Talk: A diachronic dictionary of onomatopoeia: challenges of compiling;
  • 2017 Brighton, UK, The 11th International Symposium on Iconicity in Language and Literature, University of Brighton April 6-8, 2017, Talk: De-iconization pathways: evidence from modern and ancient Germanic languages;
  • 2015 Tübingen, Germany, The 10th International Symposium on Iconicity in Language and Literature, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, March 26-28, 2015, Talk: De-iconization as a vehicle of onomatopoeic coinage: a case for iconic treadmill.

Classes taught at LMU

  • Old English Prose
  • Old English as a Germanic language
  • Introduction to Etymology
  • Introduction to Linguistics
  • Old English Charms and Riddles
  • Anglo-Saxon Historical Record
  • Aelfric's Lives of Saints

Other responsibilities
  • Editorial assistant for Anglia
  • Co-Organizer of the XXIII. Studientag Englisches Mittelalter 2023 (see link)
  • webpage of the department