Dear linguists,

Here’s wishing you a delightful spring break, wherever you’re going (or staying)! For your reading pleasure, here’s an overview of upcoming events:

  • March 26-27: The Trace Foundation: “Minority Languages in Today’s Global Society: Perspectives on Language Standardization.” The lecture will focus on Tibetan, Kurdish, and Hungarian.
  • March 26: Professor Julia Hirschberg, Computer Science at Columbia: “Knowing When to Speak: Turn Management in Spoken Dialogue Systems”
  • March 31: Professor Ann Seghas on Nicaraguan sign language:  “Social Scaffolding for Language Genesis: Why Nicaraguan Sign Language Emerged When, Where and How it Did”
  • April 1: Professor Robert Remez on voice recognition: “I would know that voice anywhere! The role of phonetic sensitivity in the perceptual identification of talkers.”
  • April 30: “Workshops on Meaning: Language and Socio-cultural Processes”, co-sponsored by the Columbia Linguistics Society, presents Dr. William Labov.

More details to come…


Michael Dreyfuss on Occitan

This Friday  (2/5) at 4pm in 709 Hamilton, we will have a presentation from Columbia alumnus, CLS founding member, and Fulbright scholar Michael Dreyfuss. He did research this past year in France on the Occitan language.

“The Occitan language and its revival through bilingual primary school education”
Michael Dreyfuss
Friday Feb. 5 at 4pm in 709 Hamilton

Michael will talk about the Occitan language and the revival effort for Occitan in the bilingual primary school system, the calandretas. Occitan is a Romance language, closely related to Catalan, that is primarily spoken in regions of Southern France and parts of northern Spain and Italy.


Stay tuned for more event announcements, including a talk on Bengali (sponsored by Club Bangla), a collaboration with the Philosophy Forum, and with the series “Workshop on Meaning: Language and Sociocultural Processes”

New Russian conversation class

For those of you who would like practice speaking po-Russki, a new Russian conversation class/circle is starting up, led by a new teacher named Olga Dobrunoff. It’ll meet three Fridays a month starting this Friday (tomorrow) in room 709 Hamilton at 2:30pm. You don’t have to register, just come when you can to chat!

12/11: “A Preview of a Book-in-preparation: The Birth and Death of European Languages of Literacy”

The Institute for Social and Economic Research & Policy (ISERP) is holding a workshop on Thursday, December 11th.

Harrison White and Corinne Kirchner, co-organizers of the institute’s Workshops on Meaning series, are pleased to present a talk by Joshua Fishman, Ph.D, Distinguished University Research Professor Emeritus (Yeshiva University) and Visiting Professor of  Education and Linguistics (Stanford University, NYU, and CUNY Graduate Center).

All are welcome, and light refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP to Anna Zamora (aez2104@columbia.edu), project coordinator.

For more information on this event and the Workshop series, visit ISERP’s website.

Event location and time:

Columbia University International Affairs Building
420 118th Street, NYC – Room 801

Thursday, December 11th, 2008