• UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Revamped Gauchos Win Back-to-Back Matches in Home Doubleheader https://t.co/jhnkYqqbPZ
    4 hours 57 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    .@UCSB_Baseball pitching staff combines to allow just one ER on Saturday, but Gauchos were narrowly edged out 2-1 b… https://t.co/XXMPf7zJMt
    6 hours 59 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    https://t.co/KqzqgGnFPM https://t.co/5Eb29pejx5
    7 hours 13 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    No. 17 UCSB Splits the Day with Win, Loss in Barbara Kalbus Invitational https://t.co/FjOu7m7yVi
    7 hours 32 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Sweet Senior Night for UCSB After Thrilling Comeback Victory https://t.co/JvMB1rM2PU
    7 hours 32 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    https://t.co/MDKMoaJ0S9 https://t.co/q86tSC4ix0
    8 hours 19 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    https://t.co/7jIxHyvaT4 https://t.co/I1ZzkaW5oM
    8 hours 20 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    King Leads the Way as Gauchos Bounce Back at CSUN, 82-73 https://t.co/xetzeO9GgK
    8 hours 20 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Walk-Off Win Highlights Day Three of Gaucho Classic I https://t.co/YVRwLO1AYO
    8 hours 28 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Gauchos Drop 5-2 Decision Against No. 40 Utah https://t.co/UG0MH8Q465
    9 hours 7 min ago
  • ArtsandLectures twitter avatar
    In a unique evening of Chinese culture, the brilliant pipa master @wumanpipa and #HuayinShadowPuppetBand will perfo… https://t.co/vQVQPQYGp2
    11 hours 10 sec ago
  • ArtsandLectures twitter avatar
    RT @sbseasons: Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour's 27th year in Santa Barbara 2/27-28 https://t.co/fmdyBe2Uxj @sbseasons #SBFilm @Art
    13 hours 17 min ago
  • ArtsandLectures twitter avatar
    RT @carmenmccain: This week, I went to hear #MatthewDesmond @just_shelter speak at UCSB @ArtsandLectures on how evictions are behind much o…
    13 hours 17 min ago
  • ArtsandLectures twitter avatar
    @SRodgerBock @AstroTerry @NatGeoLive @NatGeoBooks @NatGeoPR We’ll have copies for sale at the event through… https://t.co/HLBciQPq9t
    13 hours 18 min ago
  • ucsantabarbara twitter avatar
    RT @jbk14mv10: Saving a wetlands preserve from invasive weeds...pretty nice little Saturday...#GauchosGiveBack https://t.co/TaqsCjx8V3
    15 hours 23 min ago

The Root of Languages

UCSB professor joins elite group of linguistics scholars with prestigious award from the British Academy

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 10:00
Santa Barbara, CA

Comrie_DusinPNG (1024x768) (1).jpg

Bernard Comrie

Photo Credit: 

Courtesy photo

Recognized as a linguistics trailblazer, UC Santa Barbara professor Bernard Comrie is being honored by the British Academy for demonstrating the highest standards of achievement and scholarship. 

Selected for the Neil & Saras Smith Medal, Comrie will be formally decorated at a ceremony Wednesday, Sept. 27, in London. “I certainly wasn’t expecting anything, so when I received the first unofficial notification a few weeks ago I was dumbfounded,” Comrie said. “When I checked the list of previous awardees, I was even more surprised.”

Established in 2013 by Neil Smith, professor emeritus at University College London and a fellow of the British Academy, the medal is awarded annually. Past winners include Noam Chomsky, professor emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and often described as the “father of modern linguistics”; William Labov of the University of Pennsylvania and founder of variationist sociolinguistics; and University of Cambridge professor Sir John Lyons, founding editor of the Journal of Linguistics.

A national body for humanities and social sciences, the British Academy presents awards in several categories. “This year’s winners, be they academics, broadcasters, writers or entrepreneurs, have all demonstrated excellence in their respective fields,” said Professor Sir David Cannadine, president of the academy. “They have blazed new trails through their disciplines, shown dedication of the highest order and, through their work, furthered understanding of what it means to be human.” Among those also being honored is Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

Noting few awards exist for linguistics, Comrie said: “It is always good to know that one’s work is appreciated, though I see this as encouragement for my work in the future and encouragement to younger scholars in the field.”

Comrie specializes on language universals and linguistic typology — studying and classifying languages based on their structural and functional features. Since he joined UCSB’s Department of Linguistics in 2002, his research has focused on interdisciplinary evidence to solve problems in language prehistory. For instance, he said, the Haruai language in highland Papau New Guinea does not closely relate to languages in neighboring geographical areas. With cooperation from population scientists, Comrie found evidence through genetic markers that the people who spoke Haruai migrated sometime in the past from lowland New Guinea.  

Moving forward, Comrie — who joked that at 70 he is “the baby” among previous medal winners — intends to finish analyzing data he’s gathered over decades and write up his findings, including those on the grammar of Tsez, spoken in the North Caucusus near the Black Sea, and Haruai.  

“In addition, I have started work with an Italian colleague, Raoul Zamponi, to analyze traditional languages of Great Andaman in the Andaman Islands of India,” he said. “All of these languages are extinct, though we have documentation of various levels of extent and quality, which were compiled by non-linguists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.” 

Contact Info: 

Jim Medina
(805) 893-5446
jim.medina@ucsb.edu

Topics: