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Island Voices 2017 - Séamus Mac Mathúna

Start Date: 17 November 2017

End Date: 17 November 2017

Time: 1pm - 2pm

Venue: Tower Museum

Address: Union Hall Place, Derry~Londonderry, BT48 6LU

Admission: FREE

Telephone: 028 7137 2411

Email: [email protected]

Northern Europe is a place of unique cultural and linguistic diversity, a confluence of languages and identities of predominantly Celtic and Germanic origin. This talk will explore the historical and contemporary linguistic landscape of the region, detailing the Indo-European origins of the various language families and looking at how the language map of Northern and Western Europe may evolve in the future. This talk will also explore the connections and divisions between languages i.e. what distinguishes language families from each other (e.g. Celtic and Germanic), and in contrast, how mutually intelligible are languages in the same family tree?, i.e. Germanic (English and Scots); Celtic (Gaelic and Welsh); and in the Scandinavian context, North Germanic (Norwegian, Swedish and Danish).

Séamus Mac Mathúna is Professor Emeritus of Irish and Celtic Studies, Ulster University, having previously held Lectureships at the University of Uppsala, Sweden, and NUI Galway. He took his undergraduate degree at Queen’s University, Belfast, and carried out postgraduate studies in Indo-European, Old Norse and Linguistics at the University of Zürich, Switzerland, and the University of Iceland, Reykjavík. He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy (Vice-President 2009-13), Corresponding Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and Distinguished Senior Research Fellow, Ulster University. President of Societas Celto-Slavica, he is editor of Studia Celto-Slavica, Consultant Editor of Studia Celtica Upsaliensia, and the author and editor of many books and academic articles on subjects ranging from Comparative Celtic and Irish linguistics and literature to aspects of Nordic languages and cultures.