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DuckLing(uist)s on the Wing: Workshop on the Typology of Amerindian Languages in Peru

For our inaugural post, we hear from our Head of Department Spike Gildea, who’s just back from Peru, where he and some of our other past Duck graduates attended the 2nd Workshop on the Typology of Amerindian Languages: The grammar of the expression of body parts:


I had a delightful time in Lima, Peru, where I saw Tom Payne and several former Duck graduate students, including Sidney Facundes (MA 1995), Alejandra Vidal (PhD 2001), and Pilar Valenzuela (PhD 2003), who co-organized a conference with Roberto Zariquiey (visited March of 2014) on The Grammar of the Expression of Body Parts.

Sadly, we did not get a “Duck photo”, although this one got three fifths of us:


L-R: Pilar Valenzuela, Marianne Mithun (UC Santa Barbara), Spike Gildea & Sidney Facundes (Photo credit: Sidney Facundes)


And in this photo, you can see who was still there right at the end of the conference, including three Ducks in the back row (me, Alejandra half-hidden, and Sidney) plus one in the middle of the second row (Pilar).


(Photo credit: Pilar Valenzuela)

On a less local level, the linguists reading this could play “spot the plenary speakers”: Damian Blasi, Christian Lehmann, and Marianne Mithun, and most of us ought to be able to identify Harald Hammerström, as well.

We ate a lot of body parts from various types of seafood (ah, cebiche), drank unreasonable amounts of liquids distilled from liquids extracted from the bodies of grapes (ah, Pisco), and learned about the semantics (especially metaphorical extensions), syntax (especially inalienable possession, incorporation, and “external possession”), discourse properties, and (of course) diachrony of body part expressions. The is the best job ever!

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