1963-1968 English and Romance Philology at the Universities of Munich and Montpellier (France)
1968 State Exam in English and French
1968-1970 University of Cambridge, research student (Magdalene College) – supervisors: Professors John Stevens and J. A. W. Bennett
1971 University of Munich, Dr. phil. (Ph.D.) – supervisor: Professor Helmut Gneuss – dissertation: Religiöse Dichtung im englischen Hochmittelalter (Religious poetry in medieval England) (publ. Munich, 1973)
1964-1971 holder of a scholarship from the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes
1971-1977 Assistant Professor (Assistent) at the University of Munich
1977 Dr. phil. habil. (Habilitation, professorial thesis) – professorial thesis: Categorial Grammar and Word-Formation (publ. Tübingen, 1982)
1977-1978 Associate Professor (Wissenschaftlicher Rat und Professor) at the University of Bochum
1978-2008 Full Professor at the University of Bonn
since 2008 Professor Emeritus
Academic Posts and Duties
since 1978 head of department (in rotation), subdean for foreign students, member of numerous committees, secretary of the Medieval Centre at the University of Bonn etc.
1978-1988 associated member of the Special Research Unit (Sonderforschungsbereich) on Central Asia at the University of Bonn
since 1995 Honorary Professor at the University of Nukus (Karakalpakistan, Uzbekistan)
since 1999 member of the Nordrheinwestfälische Akademie der Wissenschaften (North-Rhine Westphalian Academy of Sciences).
1990 Visiting Professor at Harvard University (Department of Comparative Literature and Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations)
1995 Directeur d’études invité at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris
2007 Visiting Professor (Forchheimer Fellow) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies)
2009 Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Department of Comparative Literature)
2011 Carl Schurz Memorial Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (English Department + Institute for Research in the Humanities)
Editor of the journal Anglia (Tübingen) and of the book series Buchreihe der Anglia (Tübingen) (until 2004)
Editorial board member of the journals Études mongoles et sibériennes (Paris), Rivista di Cultura Classica e Medioevale (Rome), Millî Folklor (Ankara), Oral Tradition (Bloomington, IN), and Anglo-Saxon (Aberdeen).