Brigitte Pakendorf: “Scientists have to study endangered languages”

  • 30 May 2016
  • 694

Brigitte Pakendorf: “Scientists have to study endangered languages”

Photo: Michil YAKOVLEV / from the archive of NEFU Newsroom

Brigitte Pakendorf, Professor of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, specialist of Siberian and African languages, gave a course of lectures in “Typology of Siberian languages” for teaching staff and young scientists of North-Eastern Federal University on May 23.

Having worked for several years in Yakutia, professor has perfectly mastered the Russian language, she told about the features of the study of the Even language. "I research scientific works of the famous linguist Clavdia Novikova and the works of other linguists who described the grammar of this language. I try to meet with native speakers ​​and note their stories. Despite the fact that the Even language was sufficiently studied and described, when you start to analyze it, you find out new interesting dialects that are not fully understood", shared Brigitte Pakendorf.

German professor notes that every language and dialect have a lot of information for scientists. "Languages ​​of Indigenous Peoples need to be studied. It is important to know how the human language works, what are the difference and similarities between dialects, said Brigitte Pakendorf. - All the wealth of the people, which is in the language, can disappear, there will be nothing left of the whole nation. Therefore it is very important to study those languages ​​that are endangered".

The main research focus of Brigitte Pakendorf is on interdisciplinary approaches to prehistoric language and population contact using both fine-grained molecular anthropological data as well as detailed linguistic investigations. Professor’s workshop was organized within the frameworks of the International Conference on Altaic Studies, which was held on May 27 at NEFU.

Author: Olga SAVVINOVA, NEFU Newsroom

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