Inscrição minicurso "Colonization, Globalization, and Language: An Evolutionary Approach"

Inscrição minicurso "Colonization, Globalization, and Language: An Evolutionary Approach"
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Ministrante Salikoko Mufwene
Native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Salikoko S. Mufwene is the Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor of Linguistics and the College, Professor on the Committee on Evolutionary Biology, on the Committee on the Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science, and on the Committee on African Studies. His current research is in evolutionary linguistics, which he approaches from an ecological perspective, focused on the phylogenetic emergence of language and on how languages have been affected by colonization and world-wide globalization, especially regarding the indigenization of European languages in the colonies and language birth and death. He brings into all this fresh African, Africanist, and creolist perspectives, having published a great deal in African and creole linguistics.
The colonization of extra-European territories over the last half-millennium by Europeans has expanded the geographical span of globalization and made the latter phenomenon even more complex. The post-medieval colonial ventures have also increasingly intensified long-distance travel and brought genetically and linguistically unrelated populations in contact with each other, inserting them in the new population structures they have generated in the colonies. One of the consequences of this last leg of the Indo-European dispersal is that several languages have been affected by various structural changes that fostered speciation, with the emergence of diverse new language varieties, such as Brazilian Portuguese and American English. Some of the new colonial offspring of the same European languages have been disenfranchised with the labels creole and pidgin, for reasons that have more to do with the races of their speakers than with how they emerged. However, these varieties teach us a great deal about language change, language speciation, and language shift, and language endangerment and loss, processes that are all driven by competition and selection in specific contact and interactional ecologies. Comparisons with epidemiology, where horizontal transmission (the counterpart of learning in culture) matters more than vertical transmission will help us better understand how languages have normally evolved. Language evolution must be understood not only in terms of structural changes but also from the point of view of language vitality. In the latter respect, the languages that have prevailed (albeit by pyrrhic victory) have as much to tell us as those that have been displaced or driven to extinction. Much of the course will involve comparisons of creoles (and pidgins) with other languages in the history of humans. I will elaborate positions articulated especially in my books The Ecology of Language Evolution (Cambridge UP, 2001) and Language Evolution: Contact, Competition and Change (Continuum Press, 2008). More recent publications will be shared with the class.
Data e Hora: 
07, 08, 09, 13 e 14 de março de 2023
Instituto de Letras