2013 Professor Robert L. Trask Lecture

The University of Birmingham, in collaboration with the Basque Institute Etxepare and Euskaltzaindia,The Royal Academy of the Basque Language, is organising the 2013 Professor Robert L. Trask Lecture. We hold the event in memory of Larry Trask (1944-2004), world-class linguist, who became and authority in Basque and historical linguistics and made a sterling work in several areas of expertise.

Our guest lecturer this year will be Mr. Nicholas Gardner, who will be talking to us on the sociolinguistics of the Basque language, in a lecture entitled The Status of Basque: Situation and Prospects. Mr. Gardner (1953) read Languages at Cambridge. He taught English briefly in the Basque Country before moving into the Basque language sector, where has had -as he himself says- "the good fortune to be a collaborator of the outstanding Basque sociolinguist-cum-language-planner of his generation, Mikel Zalbide, in addition to irregular contact with many people involved as academics or practitioners in the field worldwide."

He worked initially on technical dictionnaries and in teacher training, before joining a Basque Government team planning for an increased presence of Basque in education as both subject and teaching medium (in particular, retraining Spanish-medium teachers to work through the medium of Basque, and teacher and student Basque language competence certification). From 2002 to 2007, still as a local government official, he was involved in language planning for the work sphere in both public and private sectors. Since then he has been working on a project on the social history of Basque at the Royal Academy for the Basque Language (Euskaltzaindia), the prime corpus-planning organisation for Basque. He has also been active in providing information abroad on developments in the Basque Country, particularly to other language minorities, especially in Wales.

University of Birmingham 

Arts Building, Lecture Room 2

 Tuesday 5 March 2013, 5.15 pm

All welcome
Wine reception to follow

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