Updates

Symposium on Language, the Sustainable Development Goals, and Vulnerable Populations

The Study Group on Language and the United Nations, an independent group of scholars and practitioners working on matters related to the international use of language, convened a symposium on Language, the Sustainable Development Goals, and Vulnerable Populations at the Church Center for the United Nations, 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, on 11 and 12 May 2017. Its goal was to examine the implications of language for the treatment of vulnerable populations and their centrality in the development, implementation, and successful completion of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs were established by the United Nations General Assembly as the basis for the UN’s development agenda for the period 2015-2030.

The symposium was attended by some 110 academics, diplomats, NGO representatives and UN officials, and was sponsored by a number of organizations, including the Center for Applied Linguistics, the Centre for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems and its journal Language Problems and Language Planning, and the Universal Esperanto Association (an organization in consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council and associated with the UN Department of Public Information). Financial support was provided by the Center for Applied Linguistics and the Esperantic Studies Foundation.

João authored the Symposium’s Final Report (publication pending)

João’s Roles: Rapporteur, Administrative Assistant

Ulrich Lins: Is Esperanto dangerous? – Soros Lectures Session 4

Tivadar Soros Lecture Series: Session 4

“As speakers of a ‘dangerous language’, the adepts of Esperanto were harassed and persecuted. The fate of Esperanto can be seen as a barometer to measure the degree to which regimes tolerate the desire for direct person-to-person international communication. After the fall of Fascism and Stalinism, conditions were becoming favourable for Esperanto. But the language still is in a very weak position compared to national languages, because it relies on a sentiment that is itself weak: spontaneous internationalism.”

Ulrich Lins received his doctorate at the University of Cologne, Germany, with a dissertation on Japanese nationalism. For thirty years he worked for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). His book Dangerous Language (2016), written originally in Esperanto, has also appeared in German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Lithuanian translation.

João’s Role: Administrative Assistant

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.

(Download the Brochure)

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

Ling – An Acceptability Judgement Questionnaire WebApp

João created Ling, a WebApp, to facilitate gathering acceptability judgements in syntax and semantics. The app is currently tailored for use in Portuguese, but future developments will include multilingual interfaces.

Future developments will also feature a linguist-to-linguist judgement queue, allowing researchers to quickly and easily gather judgements from peers.

João’s Roles: Author, Web Master, Programmer

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

(Download the Series Brochure)

João’s Role: Administrative Assistant

Portuguese Essentials (1st Ed.) – Fluent City

Portuguese Essentials and Level 1 Portuguese were designed to incorporate interactive, fun, communicative, and practical activities not normally found in any other foreign language books. By following these books, students will not only start speaking Portuguese, but will also learn valuable cultural and linguistic skills in preparation for their next trip to a Portuguese-speaking country, meeting future in-laws, understanding what Portuguese-speaking friends, coworkers, or clients are saying, or preparing to reach their own personal linguistic goals.
João’s Roles: Co-Author, Voice Actor

Xochmitl, V. P., Coelho, P., Marinotti, J. P., & Severino, D. (2016). Portuguese Essentials, (1st ed.). New York: Fluent City.

Xochmitl, V. P., Coelho, P., Marinotti, J. P., & Severino, D. (2016). Level 1 Portuguese, Common Ground for Uncommon Experiences (1st ed.). New York: Fluent City.

Mitochondrial Genomes of Anopheles ( Kerteszia ) (Diptera: Culicidae) From the Atlantic Forest, Brazil

Mitochondrial genome sequences are widely used as molecular markers for phylogenetic studies of mosquito species complexes, such as the Anopheles albitarsis complex. Except for a few studies that employed a limited number of nuclear or mitochondrial loci to address the genetic structure and species status of Anopheles cruziiAnopheles bellator, and Anopheles homunculus, little is known about genetic markers that can be employed in studies focusing on Kerteszia species. The complete mitochondrial genomes of seven specimens of An. bellatorAn. cruziiAn. homunculus, and Anopheles laneanus were sequenced using long-range polymerase chain reaction and Illumina sequencing. The mitochondrial genomes varied from 15,446 to 15,738 bp in length and contained 37 genes (13 protein-encoding genes, 2 rRNA genes [12S rRNA and 16S rRNA] and 22 tRNA genes), and the AT-rich control region, as all do other Anopheles mitochondrial genomes sequenced to date. Specimens from four populations of An. cruzii showed differences in codon composition. (link to article)
João’s Role: Co-Author

Oliveira, T.M.P. et al. (2016) “Mitochondrial Genomes of Anopheles (Kerteszia) (Diptera: Culicidae) From the Atlantic Forest, Brazil.” Journal of Medical Entomology.

Symposium on Language and the Sustainable Development Goals

The Study Group on Language and the United Nations, an independent group of scholars and practitioners on matters related to the international use of language, convened a symposium on Language and the Sustainable Development Goals at the Church Center for the United Nations, 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, on 21 and 22 April 2016. Its goal was to examine the importance of issues of language in the formulation, implementation, and successful completion of the Sustainable Development Goals. The symposium was sponsored by a number of organizations, including the Center for Applied Linguistics, the Center for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems and its journal Language Problems and Language Planning, and the Universal Esperanto Association (an organization in consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council and associated with the UN Department of Public Information). Financial support was provided by the Esperantic Studies Foundation.

João edited the Symposium’s Final Report (PDF) (or buy on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles).

João’s Roles: Rapporteur, Panel Chair, Administrative Assistant

Marinotti, J. (2017). Symposium on Language and the Sustainable Development Goals. Final Report (H. Tonkin, Ed.). New York, NY: Mondial. ISBN:1595693394