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LINGUIST List 27.2210

Sat May 14 2016

Featured Linguist: Johan Rooryck

Editor for this issue: Anna White <awhitelinguistlist.org>

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Date: 14-May-2016
From: LINGUIST List <linguistlinguistlist.org>
Subject: Featured Linguist: Johan Rooryck
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Dear LINGUIST List Readers,

We are pleased to present you our next featured linguist, Johan Rooryck, for Fund Drive 2016.

Please support the LINGUIST List editors and activities with a donation:

http://funddrive.linguistlist.org/

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I have always been fascinated by the variety and structure of languages. My father greatly contributed to my lifelong passion ­for linguistics by instilling in me a deep love and appreciation for Latin — he had taken a degree in Classics before pursuing a career in Law. In high school in Belgium, I was lucky to have had inspiring and demanding language teachers as well. Through the study of Latin, I learned to rigorously reflect on language and its structure from an early age.

At the University of Leuven, I studied what was then known as ‘Romance philology’, a combination of literary and linguistic studies of Romance languages. During the first year, I received an introduction to linguistics from a somewhat eccentric and unconventional professor, Karel van den Eynde, a former Bantuist and structural linguist. His teaching style consisted of defiantly throwing linguistic puzzles at his students, challenging us to come up with an analysis. Only a few years later did I discover that most of these puzzles came straight out of Henry Allan Gleason’s 1961 Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics. It was around this time that I decided that the study of language would be my professional future.

I wrote my MA dissertation on ellipsis and gapping. Two years later, part of this MA dissertation turned into my very first scholarly article published in Linguistic Analysis in 1985. I received a four-year stipend from the Belgian National Science Foundation to pursue a PhD at the University of Leuven. In 1987, I defended my PhD on infinitival complementation in French. My dissertation dealt with issues at the syntax-semantics interface. It examined the interpretation of the empty subject of infinitives, a topic known as control. This fascination with the relation between syntax and semantics would become an enduring one in all of my research.

(...)

Read more:

http://blog.linguistlist.org/fund-drive/featured-linguist-johan-rooryck/




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