Brigid O’Keeffe: Conversations in the Socialist Future: Esperantist Delegations to the Early Soviet Union – Soros Lectures Session 3

Tivadar Soros Lecture Series: Session 3

“In the 1920s, the Soviet Union welcomed foreign Esperantists to visit the socialist future-in-the-making. As grateful tourists, these guests were expected to spread the good word about Soviet socialism in Esperanto and their national languages. This lecture explores the triumphs and disappointments of this Soviet experiment in Esperantist citizen diplomacy.”

Brigid O’Keeffe is an associate professor of history at Brooklyn College (CUNY) and the author of New Soviet Gypsies: Nationality, Performance, and Selfhood in the Early Soviet Union. She is currently at work on a book project about Esperanto and internationalism in late imperial Russia and the interwar Soviet Union.

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João’s Role: Administrative Assistant

Michael Gordin: The Einstein Language: Finding and Losing Gloro – Soros Lectures Session 2

Tivadar Soros Lecture Series: Session 2

“Max Talmey was one of the most persistent artificers of “model languages” in the early twentieth century, fashioning his final creation, “Gloro”, in part to enable better comprehension of Albert Einstein’s physics. The linkages between Einstein and Talmey illuminate surprising aspects of the revolutions in physics and interlinguistics.”

Michael D. Gordin is Rosengarten Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at Princeton University, where he specializes in the history of modern science. He has published extensively on the history of Russian and Soviet science, and the history of nuclear weapons. His most recent book is Scientific Babel: How Science Was Done before and after Global English (2015).

(Download the Brochure)

João’s Role: Administrative Assistant

Esther Schor: How (not) to Plan a Language: The Endurance of Esperanto – Soros Lectures Session 1

Tivadar Soros Lecture Series: Session 1

“Esther Schor will discuss her new book, Bridge of Words: Esperanto and the Dream of a Universal Language, which argues that while Esperanto is known as a “planned” language, Zamenhof deliberately resisted the exhaustive planning of the language, leaving the users of the language to create it over time. Her book surveys the results of his canny choice both in the subsequent history of the movement, and in the conversations that continue to the present day.”

Esther Schor, Professor of English at Princeton University, is the author of Emma Lazarus, which received a 2006 National Jewish Book Award, and Bearing the Dead: The British Culture of Mourning from the Enlightenment to Victoria. Her essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Times Literary Supplement, and The New Republic, among other publications.

(Download the Brochure)

João’s Role: Administrative Assistant

Announcing the Tivadar Soros Lecture Series

“As an officer in the Austro-Hungarian army, Tivadar Soros spent most of World War I in prison camp in Siberia. As a Hungarian Jew he spent World War II working to assure the survival of his family. He wrote about these experiences in his two autobiographical works. Along the way he learned Esperanto (and wrote in that language) and imbued in his two sons, Paul and George Soros, an enduring and immensely influential sense of internationalism. This lecture series is dedicated to his memory.” – Humphrey Tonkin

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João’s Role: Administrative Assistant

Representations of Gay Men in the Dialogue of Will & Grace: A Corpus Driven Analysis and Social Discussion

By analyzing frequencies and collocates of character-divided subcorpora, this quantitative study describes the corpus-linguistic representation of gay men in Will & Grace. Results derived from these linguistic representations were used to provide evidence for or against proposed sociological theories on the subject.

Will & Grace provides, not a single-dimensional, positive, and socially progressive depiction of gay men, but a multifaceted portrayal that includes, whether intentionally or not, linguistic inequalities that depict homosexuality as not fully accepted or even acceptable. By placing these corpus-linguistic findings in conversation with the sociological studies mentioned, it becomes clearer that Will & Grace was hindered by the writers’ social perceptions about the audience it successfully attracted, in spite of being called a gay sitcom.  (Download the Paper)

João’s Role: Author

Determinants of Adult Narrative Maturity in Brazilian Portuguese Speakers (B.A. Thesis)

Two experiments were carried out map the relationship between adult narrative maturity, age, educational background, and distance from gaze context. As proxies for narrative maturity, this study relied on Epistemic Qualification & Self Correction, Description of Character Emotion, Temporal & Causal Event Segmentation, and Basic Overt Stringing.

Correlations were found between narrative maturity and different adult demographic groups. The correlations found, however, were inconsistent with those previously determined by child development studies.

​Future analysis of variables such as primary narrative tense and the use of active/passive perspectives may provide methods to reconcile the inconsistencies found. (Download the Thesis)

João’s Role: Author

Marinotti, J. (2013). Determinants of Adult Narrative Maturity in Brazilian Portuguese Speakers (Undergraduate Thesis). Columbia University.

Tense and Aspect: Portuguese and Other Romance Languages

Members of the Western Romance Languages share roughly the same verb paradigm descended from Vulgar Latin. They retain the existence of most of the verb tenses found in Latin and share many of the innovations created upon the historical changes through Continental, Italo-Western, and Western Romance. These similarities are clear when comparing the verb paradigms of existent tenses in the languages, but the mere existence of a tense does not prove its usage.

Through a small-scale corpus analysis, it was determined that syntactic and semantic usage of written verb tenses retained a remarkable level of similarity across Portuguese, French, and Spanish.  The spoken usages, however, were significantly different. (Download the paper).

João’s Role: Author

Wakhi Borrowings Register and Written Language

In spite of the rapid pace of lexical borrowings and language change in Wakhi, a language spoken in Wakhan, near the borders of Tajikistan, China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, native speakers indicate that an the language has not developed a native Indo-Iranian higher register. (Download the paper).

João’s Role: Author