Interlinguistics and Esperanto since 2014

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Talk delivered during the Introductory Session of new UvA staff, March 18, 2014, Room 21, Maagdenhuis, Amsterdam.

Talk delivered during the Introductory Session of new UvA staff, March 18, 2014, Room 21, Maagdenhuis, Amsterdam.

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  • 1. Interlinguistics and Esperanto since 2014 Where I come from, what I do here, now and then Federico Gobbo F.Gobbo@uva.nl Amsterdam, Maagdenhuis, 18 maart 2014 1 de 20
  • 2. Where I come from Milano, Paolo Sarpi, autunno 2013 CC BY: $ C Federico Gobbo
  • 3. My academic history in short: early years 1993-8, Master’s thesis in Linguistics about Esperanto University of Turin (Italy); 3 de 20
  • 4. My academic history in short: early years 1993-8, Master’s thesis in Linguistics about Esperanto University of Turin (Italy); 2000-1, Lab Assistant in Digital Humanities (Master MICSU) University of Milan (Italy); 3 de 20
  • 5. My academic history in short: early years 1993-8, Master’s thesis in Linguistics about Esperanto University of Turin (Italy); 2000-1, Lab Assistant in Digital Humanities (Master MICSU) University of Milan (Italy); 2004-5, Research grant in project TIGER (e-learning, national) University of Insubria (Varese-Como, Italy); 3 de 20
  • 6. My academic history in short: early years 1993-8, Master’s thesis in Linguistics about Esperanto University of Turin (Italy); 2000-1, Lab Assistant in Digital Humanities (Master MICSU) University of Milan (Italy); 2004-5, Research grant in project TIGER (e-learning, national) University of Insubria (Varese-Como, Italy); 2005-9, PhD in Computer Science, thesis in Theor. Linguistics University of Insubria (Varese-Como, Italy) 3 de 20
  • 7. My academic history in short: early years 1993-8, Master’s thesis in Linguistics about Esperanto University of Turin (Italy); 2000-1, Lab Assistant in Digital Humanities (Master MICSU) University of Milan (Italy); 2004-5, Research grant in project TIGER (e-learning, national) University of Insubria (Varese-Como, Italy); 2005-9, PhD in Computer Science, thesis in Theor. Linguistics University of Insubria (Varese-Como, Italy) 3 de 20
  • 8. My academic history in short: early years 1993-8, Master’s thesis in Linguistics about Esperanto University of Turin (Italy); 2000-1, Lab Assistant in Digital Humanities (Master MICSU) University of Milan (Italy); 2004-5, Research grant in project TIGER (e-learning, national) University of Insubria (Varese-Como, Italy); 2005-9, PhD in Computer Science, thesis in Theor. Linguistics University of Insubria (Varese-Como, Italy) – ready to go! 3 de 20
  • 9. My academic history in short: last years 2009-10, Post-doc grant in New Texts (blogs, wikis, etc.) University of Insubria (Varese-Como, Italy); 4 de 20
  • 10. My academic history in short: last years 2009-10, Post-doc grant in New Texts (blogs, wikis, etc.) University of Insubria (Varese-Como, Italy); 2011-4, Teaching Language Planning & Planned Languages University of Turin (Italy); 4 de 20
  • 11. My academic history in short: last years 2009-10, Post-doc grant in New Texts (blogs, wikis, etc.) University of Insubria (Varese-Como, Italy); 2011-4, Teaching Language Planning & Planned Languages University of Turin (Italy); 2012, jan-feb, Visiting Professor in Philosophy & Computing Nanjing University (China); 4 de 20
  • 12. My academic history in short: last years 2009-10, Post-doc grant in New Texts (blogs, wikis, etc.) University of Insubria (Varese-Como, Italy); 2011-4, Teaching Language Planning & Planned Languages University of Turin (Italy); 2012, jan-feb, Visiting Professor in Philosophy & Computing Nanjing University (China); 2014, feb (since), Special Chair in Interlinguistics & Esperanto University of Amsterdam 4 de 20
  • 13. My academic history in short: last years 2009-10, Post-doc grant in New Texts (blogs, wikis, etc.) University of Insubria (Varese-Como, Italy); 2011-4, Teaching Language Planning & Planned Languages University of Turin (Italy); 2012, jan-feb, Visiting Professor in Philosophy & Computing Nanjing University (China); 2014, feb (since), Special Chair in Interlinguistics & Esperanto University of Amsterdam 4 de 20
  • 14. My academic history in short: last years 2009-10, Post-doc grant in New Texts (blogs, wikis, etc.) University of Insubria (Varese-Como, Italy); 2011-4, Teaching Language Planning & Planned Languages University of Turin (Italy); 2012, jan-feb, Visiting Professor in Philosophy & Computing Nanjing University (China); 2014, feb (since), Special Chair in Interlinguistics & Esperanto University of Amsterdam – almost just arrived! 4 de 20
  • 15. Another way to look at it: in general...
  • 16. ...and in detail
  • 17. What I do here From my room in Bungehuis, 26 feb 2014 CC BY: $ C Federico Gobbo
  • 18. Special Chair (bijzonder hoogleraar): what is it? If we consider that the FTE (Full-Time Equivalence) EU means: 47 weeks/year of work; 40 hours/week; 8 de 20
  • 19. Special Chair (bijzonder hoogleraar): what is it? If we consider that the FTE (Full-Time Equivalence) EU means: 47 weeks/year of work; 40 hours/week; then: 8 de 20
  • 20. Special Chair (bijzonder hoogleraar): what is it? If we consider that the FTE (Full-Time Equivalence) EU means: 47 weeks/year of work; 40 hours/week; then: 0.20% FTE means approx. 8 hours (=1 day)/week; Chair on behalf of Universala Esperanto-Asocio (Rotterdam); education and research in the area of interlinguistics; education within the Capacity Group of Linguistics, Faculty of Humanities; research carried out at the Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication. 8 de 20
  • 21. Interlinguistics in a nutshell Interlinguistics is the interdisciplinary linguistic field dedicated to studying the role of language in every facet of international communication – including language policy and planning issue, such as (minority) language rights, economics of language (who gains? who loses? how to afford a fair communication, etc.). A special focus is on the theory and practical application of constructed languages, auxiliary languages and planned languages. Esperanto plays a central role in this regard: it is the most developed planned language ever, being spoken by a community for more than 125 years. It survived two World Wars, creating a unique phenomenon offering continuous challenges for theoretical and applied linguists. 9 de 20
  • 22. In practice, how it works Coming back and forth for 1 day/week from Italy is nonsense. Therefore, in order to deliver the courses, I will be here: 1st semester, 1st blok: Interlinguistics (sep-oct); 2st semester, 1st blok: Esperanto (feb-mar); Throughout the year the rest of the work amount is devoted to: research activities (conferences, journal papers, etc.); collaborations in research, education and dissemination too: external, international, e.g., with the University of Liverpool; internal, such as the Exhibition of the Esperanto Book. 10 de 20
  • 23. External: The John Buchanan Esperanto Masterclass A three-day series of workshops and seminars at the University of Liverpool on Esperanto language, literature, and culture. 26th-28th March 2014. Course information This year’s Masterclass is offering sessions in language, literature and culture to give a fascinating glimpse into the ethos and culture of the international language Esperanto from the beginnings of its 127-year history until the present day. No knowledge of Esperanto is required to participate in the language and literature sessions, and each seminar is free-standing making it possible for participants, if desired, to switch between subject areas. All materials will be provided. 11 de 20
  • 24. Students from Amsterdam and Turin go with grants 12 de 20
  • 25. Internal: Esperanto at the University of Amsterdam The pioneer is Sigismundo Pragano, a Rumanian Jew from Bucarest who taught Rumanian and Esperanto soon after the end of the Second World War. Other private docenten came afterwards. Since the 1990s the Special Chair was created. Previous holders have been Marc van Oostendorp (Merteens Institut / Leiden) and Wim Jansen (Professor Emeritus at UvA). Our library has one of the most important collection in interlinguistics (Esperanto but not only) of the entire Europe. So we – i.e., me and the librarians – organised an exhibition in collaboration with ACLC and UEA as well. 13 de 20
  • 26. The opening of the exhibition Publiko, Bibliotheek Bungehuis, 13 maart 2014 c Katalin Kovats (Edukado.net)
  • 27. Some common questions and objections. . . 16 de 20
  • 28. How many speakers of Esperanto are out there? Difficult question. No reliable statistics (there are no ID documents). Tentatively: 1,000 multilingual families speaking (also) Esperanto; 17 de 20
  • 29. How many speakers of Esperanto are out there? Difficult question. No reliable statistics (there are no ID documents). Tentatively: 1,000 multilingual families speaking (also) Esperanto; 10,000 active Esperantists (engaged in the community); 17 de 20
  • 30. How many speakers of Esperanto are out there? Difficult question. No reliable statistics (there are no ID documents). Tentatively: 1,000 multilingual families speaking (also) Esperanto; 10,000 active Esperantists (engaged in the community); 100,000 ‘passive’ Esperantists (not so engaged, but. . . ); 17 de 20
  • 31. How many speakers of Esperanto are out there? Difficult question. No reliable statistics (there are no ID documents). Tentatively: 1,000 multilingual families speaking (also) Esperanto; 10,000 active Esperantists (engaged in the community); 100,000 ‘passive’ Esperantists (not so engaged, but. . . ); 1,000,000 people with a significant contact (followed a course or went to a congress sometimes, but it is a low-priority interest). 17 de 20
  • 32. But English is the de facto international language. . . The dichotomy ‘English vs. Esperanto’ is too semplicistic. Esperanto is not against English, it is for a better multilingual world. Moreover, there are some aspects of Esperanto still interesting now: it provides an alternative globalisation, with a strong network; 18 de 20
  • 33. But English is the de facto international language. . . The dichotomy ‘English vs. Esperanto’ is too semplicistic. Esperanto is not against English, it is for a better multilingual world. Moreover, there are some aspects of Esperanto still interesting now: it provides an alternative globalisation, with a strong network; it gives you a perspective to the world on a neutral ground; 18 de 20
  • 34. But English is the de facto international language. . . The dichotomy ‘English vs. Esperanto’ is too semplicistic. Esperanto is not against English, it is for a better multilingual world. Moreover, there are some aspects of Esperanto still interesting now: it provides an alternative globalisation, with a strong network; it gives you a perspective to the world on a neutral ground; it helps to learn other European languages; 18 de 20
  • 35. But English is the de facto international language. . . The dichotomy ‘English vs. Esperanto’ is too semplicistic. Esperanto is not against English, it is for a better multilingual world. Moreover, there are some aspects of Esperanto still interesting now: it provides an alternative globalisation, with a strong network; it gives you a perspective to the world on a neutral ground; it helps to learn other European languages; it attracts non-ordinary persons, keen to internationalisation, travelling, language love and a sustainable world (in many senses). 18 de 20
  • 36. Last but not least. . . There are some emerging topics in interlinguistics since the year 2000. 1. Hollywood linguistics: languages planned for fiction (Tolkien’s, Klingon, Na’avi, Dothraki) need professional linguists to satisfy fans; 19 de 20
  • 37. Last but not least. . . There are some emerging topics in interlinguistics since the year 2000. 1. Hollywood linguistics: languages planned for fiction (Tolkien’s, Klingon, Na’avi, Dothraki) need professional linguists to satisfy fans; 2. parallels between revitalisation of minority languages and language creation: what can we learn from each other? 19 de 20
  • 38. Last but not least. . . There are some emerging topics in interlinguistics since the year 2000. 1. Hollywood linguistics: languages planned for fiction (Tolkien’s, Klingon, Na’avi, Dothraki) need professional linguists to satisfy fans; 2. parallels between revitalisation of minority languages and language creation: what can we learn from each other? 3. metalinguistic awareness in basic schools through the active creation of a secret language in class by pupils (a pilot experiment by me in a Montessori in Milan, Italy – details available on request). 19 de 20
  • 39. Thank you for your attention! Any questions? For comments and ideas: F.Gobbo@uva.nl Download and share from here: http:/federicogobbo.name/en/2014.html CC BY: $ C Federico Gobbo 2014 20 de 20