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The following speakers are confirmed for ICL20:


Nicholas Evans

Professor Nicholas Evans
Australian National University

Nicholas (‘Nick’) Evans works on languages of Australia and New Guinea. His central research focus is the diversity of human language and what this can tell us about the nature of language, culture, deep history, and the possibilities of the human mind. He is especially interested in the ongoing dialectic between primary documentation of little-known languages, and induction from these to more general questions about the nature of language. His book Dying Words: Endangered Languages and What They Have to Tell Us sets out a broad program for the field’s engagement with the planet’s dwindling linguistic diversity. Among his current projects are fieldwork on languages of Southern New Guinea, a large comparative project on The Wellsprings of Linguistic Diversity, and a crosslinguistic project on how different grammars support social cognition.

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Rebecca Grollemund

Professor Rebecca Grollemund
University of Missouri

Rebecca Grollemund is an Assistant Professor in the departments of English and Anthropology at the University of Missouri (MO). She received her Ph.D in Linguistics in Lyon, France in 2012. She did her postdoctoral fellowship in Reading (UK) from 2012-2016 in the Evolutionary Biology group where she learned to classify languages with statistical methods. She specialized in Linguistics, African languages, Historical Linguistics and Phylogenetic Methods.

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Al Mtenje

Professor Al Mtenje
University of Malawi

Al Mtenje is a Professor of African Linguistics at the University of Malawi. He is an internationally recognized scholar of African Linguistics particularly in the area of Tonology. He has published extensively in reputable international Linguistics journals and has recently co-authored a book with Laura Downing titled The Phonology of Chichewa which has been published by Oxford University.

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Salikoko Mufwene

Professor Salikoko Mufwene
University of Chicago

Mufwene’s current research is on language evolution from an ecological perspective, including the phylogenetic emergence of languages, language speciation, and the differing impacts of colonization and globalization on language vitality. He has authored three books: The Ecology of Language Evolution (CUP, 2001), Créoles, écologie sociale, évolution linguistique (l’Harmattan, 2005), and Language Evolution: Contact, competition and change (Continuum Press, 2008). He has (co-)edited several other books (including Iberian Imperialism and Language Evolution in Latin America, University of Chicago Press, 2014) and authored about 250 essays on the above topics and others. He is the founding editor of Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact.

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Loraine Obler

Professor Loraine Obler

Loraine Obler is known for her book opening up late-twentieth century neurolinguistics study of bilingualism, The Bilingual Brain: Neuropyschological and Neurolinguistic Aspects of Bilingualism (with M. Albert, 1978) as well as her research on cross-language study of aphasia (e.g., Menn and Obler, 1990, Agrammatic Aphasia: A Cross-Language Narrative Sourcebook). In the 1970s she and Martin Albert initiated an influential long-term study of language changes associated with aging in the Language in the Aging Brain Laboratory they have co-Pi’ed at the Harold Goodglass Aphasia Research Center of the Boston University School of Medicine and the VA Boston Healthcare Center.

This century she has published further on these topics and on cognitive and brain-based underpinnings of language in healthy aging, dementia and bilinguals. She is currently working with colleagues Higby, Kovelman and Gjerlow on revising Language and the Brain (Obler and Gjerlow, Cambridge University Press, 1999) to incorporate neurolinguistic knowledge of brain networks in and well beyond the classic “language regions” of the left hemisphere, findings contributed by the substantial neuroimaging literature of the past two decades.

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Professor David Pesetsky
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

David Pesetsky is Ferrari P. Ward Professor of Linguistics and MacVicar Faculty Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he currently heads the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy. He received his B.A. from Yale in 1977, and his Ph.D. in linguistics from MIT in 1983. Before coming to MIT as a professor in 1988, he taught at the University of Southern California (1982-1983) and at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (1983-1988). Pesetsky's research focuses on syntax and the implications of syntactic theory for related areas such as language acquisition, semantics, phonology and morphology. Several of his publications concern the structure of Russian, an language of special interest. Most recently, he has begun a collaborative investigation into the syntax of music and its relation to the syntax of language. His most recent research investigates the nature of clause size, and the notion of finiteness in particular.
His publications include the books Zero Syntax (1994) and Phrasal Movement and its Kin (2000), Russian Case Morphology and the Syntactic Categories (2014), the co-edited volume Is the Best Good Enough: Optimality and Competition in Syntax (1996), and numerous published papers. He was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2010, and a Fellow of the Linguistic Society of America in 2013, and has served on several panels for the National Science Foundation (USA). In 2013 he was awarded the title of Professor honoris causa by the University of Bucharest.

Abstract to follow

Jane Stuart Smith

Professor Jane Stuart-Smith
University of Glasgow

Jane Stuart-Smith studied Classics at University College London and then the MPhil, and DPhil in Comparative Philology and General Linguistics (Oxford), before taking up her position at Glasgow, where she is now Professor and Director of the Glasgow University Laboratory of Phonetics. Jane’s research interests and publications focus on the factors and mechanisms underpinning language variation and change, from interaction and broadcast media, to social and ethnic identities, and their connections with speech and sound systems.

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Professor John R. Rickford
Stanford University

John R. Rickford is Professor of Linguistics at Stanford University. He is also Courtesy Professor in Education and J.E. Wallace Sterling Professor there. His primary interest is sociolinguistics or the study of language in society, including the relation between language variation and ethnicity, social class and style; language change, and the linguistic and sociohistorical forces that shape it; pidgin and creole languages, especially Caribbean English Creoles and the Gullah language of the South Carolina and Georgia Sea Islands; African American Vernacular English; and the application of linguistics to the understanding and solution of educational problems, including the teaching of reading and writing to "at risk" students.

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Jef Verschueren

Professor Jef Verschueren
Antwerp University

Ph.D. in Linguistics, University of California at Berkeley. Professor of Linguistics, University of Antwerp, Belgium. Founder and Secretary General, International Pragmatics Association (IPrA; Main interests: theory formation in linguistic pragmatics (broadly conceived as the interdisciplinary, cognitive, social, and cultural science of language use), intercultural and international communication, and language and ideology. Recent publications include the annually updated Handbook of Pragmatics (Benjamins; co-edited with Jan-Ola Östman), Debating Diversity: Analysing the Discourse of Tolerance (Routledge, 1998; co-authored with Jan Blommaert), Understanding Pragmatics (Edward Arnold / Oxford UP, 1999), Ideology in Language Use: Pragmatic Guidelines for Empirical Research (Cambridge UP, 2012).

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Mantoa Motinyane-Masoko
University of Florida

Mantoa Motinyane (Smouse) received her MA and PhD from the University of Florida, in Gainesville, USA and a BA (Hons) from UCT. Dr Motinyane is currently the Head of African Languages in the School of Languages and Literatures. She teaches African Linguistics to both undergraduate and graduate students with the focus on morpho-syntax and sociolinguistics in general. In addition, Mantoa supervises Speech and Communication Disorders students whose focus is on the Milestones of Early Communication Development. She has published a number of articles on child language development, critical discourse analysis as well as multilingualism in the workplace.

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Ass Prof. Mark de Vos
(Deputy Dean of Humanities – Teaching and Learning)

With an degree in Journalism, I worked for a short time at Wedge Projects (Civil Engineering, Project training and management) in Pretoria before moving on to an administrative post at Tshwane University of Technology. I received an M.Phil. in Linguistics at Tromsoe university in Norway before being granted an AIO position at Leiden University in the Netherlands where I obtained my doctorate in generative syntax with. My Phd was entitled “Pseudo-coordination in English and Afrikaans”. Since then I have made my academic home at Rhodes University in South Africa where I am Associate Professsor, currently Deputy Dean of Humanities and also President of the Linguistics Society of Southern Africa. My research interests include Afrikaans language, Minimalist syntax, Information structure and the CI interface, pseudo-coordination, and the psycholinguistics of literacy studies.



Ass Prof. Sally Hunt
Southern African Applied Linguistics Association

Sally Hunt is an Associate Professor in Linguistics and English Language at Rhodes University, and the Chair of the Southern African Applied Linguistics Association (SAALA). Her teaching and research in Applied Linguistics focuses mostly on the combination of (Critical) Discourse Analysis and Corpus Linguistics, with a particular emphasis on the representation of gender, and identity more broadly. She is involved in reviewing for several journals including Gender and Language, and Corpora.


Rajend Mesthrie

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