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Le linguiste s'intéresse à tout ce qui touche à la langue

(Antoine Meillet)

Research Interests

  • Biological bases of human language:  the relations between the communicative abilities of non-human animals and human language; the evolutionary biology of the human language faculty. I'm also a charter member of Project Steve. As part of the inauguration of a new “Reseau thématique” devoted to “langage et communication” at the University of Geneva, I recently (1 October, 2015) gave a public lecture of “The Place of Human Language in the Animal World.” The event is available by clicking on the poster below (lecture starts at 10:30 into the file).  
  • General Linguistic TheoryPhoneticsPhonologyMorphology, Syntax, Semantics; Historical Linguistics; and the History of Linguistics.
  • Languages: Scandinavian (Icelandic, Faroese); Romance (French, Franco-Provençal patois, Rumantsch); Celtic (Breton); Caucasian languages (Georgian, Abkhaz); American Indian languages (Wakashan [Kwakw'ala], Muskogean, Algonquian).

Lingua longa, vita brevis

I've spent a good deal of my time over a number of years developing a view of word structure known as A-Morphous Morphology, which has a variety of implications for several areas of phonology and morphosyntax. It also leads to a theory of clitics (considered to be the analog at the phrase level of affixes and other morphology within words), on which my research was supported for several years by the National Science foundation (grants SBR 95-14682 and BCS 98-76456). A book presenting this theory appeared in the Fall of 2005.

In recent years, I have conducted research on the Surmiran form of Rumantsch with support from the National Science Foundation (BCS-0418410).

I have also taught courses on animal communication, and (more recently) on the evolution of the human language faculty.

As Vice-President of CIPL (the International Permanent Committee of Linguists), I was involved in the organization of the 19th International Congress of Linguists, which took place in Geneva, Switzerland from 22–27 July, 2013.  For more information, see the Congress Website http://www.cil19.org/en/welcome/.

Be kind to bunnies

© Stephen Anderson 2016