Name Card
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Professor Ansaldo, Umberto 洪柏陶



Contact Information
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3917 2872

I joined The University of Hong Kong after having taught and conducted research at The National University of Singapore (2000-2004) and The University of Amsterdam (2004-2009). My interests range from linguistic typology to contact linguistics, Creole Studies and evolution of language. In my work I like to critically examine theories of language and the empirical and ideological problems that derive from strong Eurocentric biases. Between 2004 and 2008 I directed a documentation project on Sri Lanka Malay under the auspices of the Volkswagen Stiftung which resulted in the most comprehensive digital archive of Sri Lanka Malay language and culture available to date. My views on language creation are published in Contact Languages: Ecology and Evolution in Asia. Since 2010, in collaboration with Enoch Aboh (UvA), Lisa Cheng and Rint Sybesma (Leiden), I have been thinking about the notion of ‘isolating’ (or analytic) languages. As of Jan 2013 I hold a GRF grant to develop the notions of simplicity and complexity in language. My work has appeared in Linguistic Typology, Language Sciences, Linguistics, Journal of Pidgin and Creole languages, Biolinguistics and Annual Review of South Asian Languages and Linguistics. 2014 will see two new books appear: Simplicity, complexity and isolating languages (Oxford University Press), and Languages in Contact (Key Topics in Sociolinguistics, Cambridge University Press) with Lisa Lim. I also have an active editorial life with several special issues of journals, edited collections, as well as co-editorship of the Creole Language Library (with Miriam Meyerhoff) and Language Sciences (with Nigel Love). In the past two years I have been involved in higher education management as Associate Dean. I usually teach courses in Sociolinguistics, Language Contact, Diversity and endangerment, as well as war, violence and martial arts. What I enjoy most however is running the weekly Krav Maga (self defense) training at the Flora Ho Sports Center on Friday evenings.

Honours, Awards & Prizes
AwardeesAward DateHonours / Awards / PrizesCategory
2008-04-01Excellent Research Award (for research in 2007): Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication, University of Amsterdam
Research Achievement
2010-10-01Faculty Outstanding Research Award 2010.: The University of Hong Kong, Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Research Achievement
2007-08-01Annuggerah Bahasa Melayu ('Malay language prize'), award for outstanding contribution towards the support and promotion of the Malay language: Conference of Sri Lanka Malays, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Research Achievement
Media Contact Directory
Area of Expertise:
Area of Expertise (EN)Area of Expertise (ZH)
Theory of language
Linguistic diversity
Evolution of language
Contact linguistics
Spoken Languages:
Spoken Language(s) (EN)Spoken Language(s) (ZH)
English, Mandarin, German, Swedish, Italian, French英語、國語、德語、瑞典語、意大利語、法語
Written Languages:
Written Language(s) (EN)Written Language(s) (ZH)
English, Italian, German, Swedish英文、意大利文、德文、瑞典文
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