LEWISBURG, Pa. — James Lavine, associate professor of linguistics at Bucknell University, will give the annual Class of 1956 Lecture Wednesday, March 26, at 7 p.m. in the Gallery Theatre of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell.
The lecture, "Defective Syntax," is open to the public without charge.
In the lecture, Lavine will discuss very general questions of what it means to know a language. He will show that much of what we say is the result of defective syntax, or the failure of the syntactic component to map meaning faithfully.
"The empirical domain of the talk concerns the (not so) simple matter of the meaning of intransitive verbs," said Lavine. Data will be drawn from English, Dutch, German, Italian, Turkish, Japanese, Hindi/Urdu, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, and (Turkic) Sakha.
Established by the Class of 1956 as a graduation gift to the university, the lectureship is awarded during Commencement ceremonies to a member of the faculty in recognition of inspirational teaching.
Honored for linguistics
Lavine, who joined the Bucknell faculty in 2001, was honored for his work to revive the linguistics program; his citation read, in part, "Students praise his infectious enthusiasm and love for the subjects he teaches, his accessibility, and his interest in their learning process.
The program coordinator for linguistics at Bucknell, Lavine teaches courses in all areas of linguistics, as well as Russian and numerous other Slavic languages. His research focuses on the syntax and morphology of the Slavic and Baltic languages.
Lavine holds his degrees in theoretical linguistics and Slavic languages from Princeton University, and a master's degree in Russian area studies from Harvard University.
He has published in The Journal of Linguistics, Journal of Slavic Linguistics, Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics, the Proceedings of the Chicago Linguistics Society, the Generative Linguistics in Poland series, the Prague Bulletin of Mathematical Linguistics, and elsewhere. He has served as guest-editor for the Journal of Slavic Linguistics and co-edited the 2005 volume of Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics.
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Posted March 11, 2008