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"Global Language Hot Spots" by Professor Paul Hopper

Cost: free



Description Conflicts in today's world frequently involve language, sometimes as just one factor in a general ethnic conflict and sometimes as the central issue. Yet few people, including news reporters, have any knowledge about the historical and political differences among languages that may play a significant role in national and ethnic tensions. In this talk I'll pick out a number of "hot spots" in which language is involved and discuss the ways that historical relationships among the languages influence the nature of the dispute. The talk will be illustrated with slides showing maps and diagrams.


About the Speaker

 Paul J. Hopper is an American linguist of British birth. He currently holds the Paul Mellon Distinguished Chair of the Humanities at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. His Ph.D., in Linguistics, is from the University of Texas, having studied at the University of Reading, England, and at the University of Erlangen. He has been Visiting Professor of Linguistics at the University of Köln and Directeur d'Études at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, the Sorbonne, Paris. In 2001 he was awarded the Medal of the Collège de France. He has been a Fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation (1985) and was the Hermann and Klara Collitz Professor of Comparative Philology, at the Linguistic Society of America Linguistics Institute at UCLA in 1984. His publications include works on Germanic and Indo-European linguistics, Malay and Indonesian, grammaticalization, and discourse analysis. In 1973 he proposed the glottalic theory regarding the reconstruction of the Proto-Indo-European consonant inventory, in parallel with James Makken and V. V. Ivanov. He later also became known for his theory of emergent grammar (Hopper 1987), for his contributions to the theory of grammaticalisation and other work dealing with the interface between grammar and usage.

Selected publications

(1973) Glottalized and murmured occlusives in Indo-European. Glotta 7: 141-166.

(1987) Emergent grammar. Berkeley Linguistics Society 13: 139-157. (Online - [1])

(1993) Grammaticalization. (with Elizabeth Closs Traugott) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


For further information regarding Professor Hopper’s visit, please contact Dr. Dudley Reynolds (dreynolds@cmu.edu) at Carnegie Mellon University Qatar.


Event Sessions

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