Workshop on Meaning – Robert Leonard, Ph.D.

Harrison White and Corinne Kirchner, co-organizers of the “Workshop on Meaning: Language and Socio-cultural Processes” are pleased to announce: Robert Leonard, Ph.D. Chair, Department of Comparative Literature and Linguistics, Hofstra University “Testing Linguistic Theory In Surprising Places: Food Behavior in a Swahili City-State and a Federal Extortion Case in a Texas Court”

Abstract: What do those real-world settings have in common? Answer: Both involve meaningful behaviors, and both have been studied as systems of meaning by Robert Leonard. Leonard has conducted field research for seven years in Swahili-speaking Africa, observing the organization of meaning in and outside of language. In recent years, as a sought-after Forensic Linguist, he has applied linguistic theory in hotly-contested court situations where the shape of people’s lives depended on his conclusions, as we will hear about an accused oilman in the Texas case.


Monday February 23, 2009

4.00-6.00pm at Fayerweather Hall 411.

All are welcome.

Light refreshments will be served.

RSVP appreciated, to: Anna Zamora (


SAVE THE DATE: Mon., March 23: Sally McConnell-Ginet, Cornell U.

For papers related to R. Leonard’s 2/23/09 presentation, check on the ISERP website.

2 Responses

  1. Thanks for posting this. Maybe it should go under Alumni. My BA, MA, MPhil and PhD are from Columbia, the last three in…Linguistics. Bill Labov taught me Intro to Ling in the College, I worked with Joe Malone at Barnard, was prepared to do sociolinguistic fieldwork in Kenya and Thailand by Labov, did my actual dissertation with William Diver. Keep up the good fight. Columbia needs Linguistics!

  2. Thanks for reading the blog! I’ve posted your information on the Alumni page of the website.

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