Ancient Language, Modern Theory

Sam Zukoff, postdoctoral associate of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will give a free, public lecture on “Reduplication in Ancient Greek” at 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 20, in ARH, Room 120. Light refreshments will be served.

Zukoff’s work draws from ancient Indo-European languages — Greek, Sanskrit, Gothic, Hittite, etc. — and tries to explain their patterns of sound and word forms in light of contemporary theory.

Reduplication is the process of doubling part or all of a word. An example from English is “itsy bitsy,” where “bit” takes on a diminutive suffix “-sy” and “-itsy” is copied and placed on the left. In Greek and Sanskrit, reduplication is used in conjugating verbs, and interesting problems arise from the interaction of reduplication and other phonological processes.

Zukoff's visit is sponsored by the Linguistics Concentration, Department of Classics, and Academic Affairs.

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