Korean and the Transeurasian languages: similarities that make a difference

More info about this Friday’s talk at SOAS:

Friday, November 20th, 5pm, room G50 (main building)
Dr. Martine Robbeets, University of Mainz
Korean and the Transeurasian languages: similarities that make a difference

Abstract:
The term “Transeurasian” refers a group of geographically adjacent languages, stretching from Japan in the East to Lithuania in the West, that share a significant amount of linguistic properties. It includes at most 5 linguistic families: Japonic, Koreanic, Tungusic, Mongolic and Turkic. The very question whether these five language families descend as daughter languages from one common source is among the most disputed issues of contemporary historical linguistics.

In this presentation we intend to evaluate the evidence in support of genealogical affinity and compare the strength of the evidence with that of well-established language families, such as Indo-European. For this purpose we will discuss sound correspondences, cognate copula and shared verbal morphology.

Speaker Bio:
Martine Robbeets obtained a Master’s degree in Japanese Studies from the University of Leuven in 1996 and an MA in Korean languages and cultures at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands in 1998. From 1998 to 2003 she was appointed as an academic assistant at the department of comparative linguistics in Leiden where she studied the historical relationship between Japanese, Korean, the Tungusic languages, the Mongolic languages and the Turkic languages. In 2003 she completed her Ph.D. on the Altaic affiliation question under supervision of Prof. Dr. F. Kortlandt. In 2004 and 2005 she carried out research in the field of Japanese historical linguistics at the University of Tokyo with the support of the Canon Europe Foundation and the Japan Foundation. From 2006 to 2008 she lectured and researched at the Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz in Germany. As a postdoctoral fellow in Mainz she was hosted by Prof. Dr. Dr. Johanson and supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. From 2007 to 2008 she replaced the head of the general and comparative linguistic department in Mainz, Prof. Dr. W. Bisang. Currently she is working as a research fellow at the department of linguistics in Leuven, funded by a return grant of the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office to promote the reintegration of Belgian researchers having worked abroad.

(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.

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