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REF NO.: 6

SUBJECT: Memorial linguistics professor receives highest scholarly honour

DATE: Sept. 12

Memorial University linguistics professor Dr. Vit Bubenik [boob-eh-hick] has been elected to the Royal Society of Canada (RSC). This is considered the highest honour that can be attained by scholars, artists and scientists in Canada.
Also known as the Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada, the RSC was founded in 1882 to honour scholars of exemplary achievement. In citing Dr. Bubenik’s accomplishments, the RSC referred to him as “a master of several Humanities disciplines: Classics, Indology, Slavic, Semitic, Medieval Studies, Comparative and Historical Linguistics, who has added a new dimension to such studies.”
Dr. Bubenik has studied a remarkable range of languages, and is an expert on the origins of modern languages, how these have diverged from common anscestors, and what the divergences tell us about history, culture and the movement of people.
Dr. Bubenik has written several monographs. The Structure and Development of Middle Indo-Aryan Dialects and A Historical Syntax of Late Middle Indo-Aryan both investigate the evolution of modern Indic languages from Sanskrit.

The Phonological Interpretation of Ancient Greek and Hellenistic and Roman Greece as a Sociolinguistic Area also offered new insights on ancient languages. Based on the massive body of Ancient Greek inscriptions uncovered in the 19th and 20th centuries, these works established that linguistic idiosyncrasies recorded on long-buried stones can yield important new information on life and languages of the past.

Dr. Bubenik also co-authored two volumes with Memorial professor emeritus Dr. John Hewson. Tense and Aspect in Indo-European Languages (1997) and From Case to Adposition: The Development of Configurational Syntax in Indo-European Languages (2006) have been hailed as major contributions to the study of Indo-European languages, and are recognized for their emphasis on the importance of historical linguistic study.
In addition to his expertise in Indo-European languages, Dr. Bubenik also works with Semitic languages. This fall he is teaching a course in Modern Arabic at Memorial, while his current SSHRC-funded project investigates the morphology and syntax of Akkadian and Aramaic.
Dr. Bubenik is among 78 new RSC Fellows, along with one Foreign Fellow and one Specially Elected Fellow, who have been elected to serve, and who will be inducted into RSC’s ranks on Nov. 17 in Edmonton, Alberta.
The RSC undertakes a wide range of activities to promote learning and research in the arts and sciences. It also organizes international exchanges and visiting scholar programs with similar national academies, and promotes Canadian participation in projects and conferences around the globe.

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For further information, please contact Leslie Vryenhoek, communications co-ordinator, Faculty of Arts, Memorial University of Newfoundland, at 737-8292, or


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