Ives Goddard, senior linguist in the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution, will present "Endangered Languages: What?s Really at Stake?" on Thursday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in Jonasson Hall, lower level of Melrose Hall.
Goddard, a noted anthropological linguist specializing in the Algonquian languages of native North America, will speak about the importance of linguistic diversity for understanding the organization of human thought.
"The accelerating loss of linguistic diversity not only impoverishes our shared experience as humans but also threatens to destroy the very possibility of understanding the roots of human language and how human cognition works," Goddard said.
Goddard has been a central player in the development of the Smithsonian?s authoritative and multi-volume "Handbook of North American Indians." He holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from Harvard University, and served as assistant and associate professor of linguistics there before joining the Smithsonian in 1976. He has conducted major fieldwork on the Munsee and Unami languages, and since 1990, has focused study on the Meskwaki language.
Most recently, Goddard collaborated with Tom Love, Linfield professor of anthropology, to decipher the origin and meaning of the word "Oregon," which has stumped researchers for generations. Their findings, linking the name to New England Mohegan Indians and Major Robert Rogers, an English army officer, were published in a paper, "Oregon, The Beautiful," in the Summer 2004 Oregon Historical Quarterly available online at www.ohs.org/publications/index.cfm.
The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, call 503-883-2504.