American Philosophical Society
Member History

Results:  2 ItemsModify Search | New Search
Page: 1Reset Page
International (1)
Resident (1)
406. Linguistics[X]
1Name:  Dr. Peter Godfrey-Smith
 Institution:  University of Sydney
 Year Elected:  2022
 Class:  4. Humanities
 Subdivision:  406. Linguistics
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1965
2Name:  Dr. Salikoko S. Mufwene
 Institution:  University of Chicago
 Year Elected:  2022
 Class:  4. Humanities
 Subdivision:  406. Linguistics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1947
Salikoko S. Mufwene is the Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor of Linguistics and the College at the University of Chicago, where he also serves on the Committee of Evolutionary Biology, the Committee on the Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science, and the Committee on African Studies. He was conferred the honorary title of Extraordinary Professor of Linguistics at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa for 2018-2021. Mufwene refers to his research as evolutionary linguistics, in which he approaches language evolution from an ecological perspective, finding inspiration in macroecology and population genetics. The research focuses on the phylogenetic emergence of languages, language speciation, and language endangerment and loss (LEL). The interest in speciation started with the emergence of creoles, which he extended to that of other forms of the indigenization of European languages in the colonies. He conceives of languages as communication technologies developed through the exaptation of the hominin anatomy by the brain in response to especially changing population structures. The complexity of languages as technologies can be correlated with that of the mind that produces them and has arisen incrementally over the past half million years or so. The power of the mind itself is the outcome of how the brain itself has evolved concurrently with ongoing changes in the hominin anatomy. Human mental capacity accounts generally for the complexity of the cultures that have emerged in different populations, by contrast with what we know of the cultures of other animals. Mufwene has published over 300 journal articles, book chapters, and book reviews. His many authored and (co-)edited books include: Africanisms in Afro-American language varieties – editor (the University of Georgia Press, 1993); African-American English: Structure, history and use, co- edited with John Rickford, Guy Bailey, & John Baugh (Routledge, included among the linguistics classics of the Publisher); The Ecology of Language Evolution (CUP, 2001—translated into Mandarin and included among the classics of the Commercial Press in linguistics, in China); Créoles, écologie sociale, évolution linguistique: cours donnés au Collège de France durant l’automne 2003 (L’Harmattan, 2005); Polymorphous linguistics: Jim McCawley’s legacy – co-edited with Elaine J. Francis and Rebecca S. Wheeler (MIT Press, 2005); Language Evolution: Contact, competition and change (Continuum Press, 2008); Globalization and language vitality: Perspectives from Africa, co-edited with Cécile B. Vigouroux (Continuum Press, 2008); Iberian Imperialism and Language Evolution in Latin America – editor (the University of Chicago Press, 2014); Colonisation, globalisation, vitalité du français – co-edited with Cécile B. Vigouroux (Odile Jacob, 2014); Complexity in language: Developmental and evolutionary perspectives – co-edited with Christophe Coupé & François Pellegrino (CUP, 2017); Bridging Linguistics and Economics – co-edited with Cécile B. Vigouroux (CUP, 2020); and The Cambridge Handbook of Language Contact, 2 volumes – co-edited with Anna María Escobar (June 2022). Mufwene is the founding editor of the book series Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact (2001-) and has been invited to edit the book series Cambridge Elements in Language Contact (still in preparation). Mufwene is a Native of the now Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly the Republic of Zaïre), where he completed his BA in English Philology at the Université Nationale du Zaïre at Lubumbashi, with Highest Honors, in 1973. He enrolled at the University of Chicago in 1974 for his graduate training and earned his PhD, with distinction, in 1979. His dissertation was in Generative Semantics, perhaps one of the last dissertations in this research paradigm. He went to work at the University of the West Indies, at Mona, Jamaica (Jan 1980 – July 1981); and there he retooled himself to do creole linguistics, focusing first on structures of these new vernaculars and then shifting gradually to the subject matter of their emergence. In September 1981, he moved to the University of Georgia, where, reading literature in both chaos theory and evolutionary biology, he started developing his ecological approach to the emergence of creoles and compared the case of English creoles with that of Indigenized Englishes in former British exploitation colonies of Africa and Asia. Since Dec. 1991, he has been teaching at the University of Chicago and chaired its Department of Linguistics from 1995 to 2001. The growing linguistics interest in LEL prompted him to undertake research on globalization and language. This is an expansion of his ecological approach to language evolution. Focusing on language birth and death, he has questioned the claim that worldwide globalization has been the driver of these evolutionary processes. According to him, worldwide globalization provides remote causes; the real actuators of language speciation and the concurrent LEL are local, produced by the local population structures, including the relevant socioeconomic systems. The approach can explain why the linguistic effects of colonization of the world by Europeans have varied not only between the settlement and exploitation colonies but also from one polity to another, including territories colonized in the same style. In some places, one must also factor in layers of colonization of differing styles such as in South Africa. Mufwene is now revising a book typescript on the subject matter. He is an advocate of decolonial linguistics. Mufwene was a visiting professor at the Université Jean-Moulin, Lyon, France (Fall 1989); the University of the West Indies at Mona (summer 2001); the National University of Singapore (fall 2001); Harvard University (spring 2002); le Collège de France (fall 2003); Université de Paris, Sorbonne (fall 2004); Institut Universitaire de France (April & May 2006); University of São Paulo (June 2009); and Nanyang Technological University (spring 2018); among a few other places. He was a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Lyon, France (Oct. 2011 - June 2011), taught 4 times at the Summer Institute of Linguistic Society of America (1999, 2005, 2015, 2017); and was inducted Fellow of the Linguistic Society of America in 2018. In 2021 colleagues and friends from different disciplines celebrated his interdisciplinary scholarship with a Festschrift titled Variation rolls the dice: A worldwide collage in honour of Salikoko S. Mufwene, ed. by Enoch Oladé Aboh and Cécile B. Vigouroux (John Benjamins).
Election Year