[Lingtyp] Video interview/oral history with James A. Matisoff

Randy J. LaPolla randy.lapolla at gmail.com
Wed Jul 11 01:53:26 EDT 2018


Hi All, (sorry if you get this more than once!)
The next in our series of video oral histories of senior linguists on the YouTube channel “Linguistics Videos” is of James A. Matisoff, Professor Emeritus of the University of California, Berkeley, and a major figure in the development of Sino-Tibetan studies.

Part 1:

https://youtu.be/ElnEt6XTkHQ <https://youtu.be/ElnEt6XTkHQ>


Part 2:

https://youtu.be/v2SMFrQfsvQ <https://youtu.be/v2SMFrQfsvQ> 


Part 3:

https://youtu.be/ZwST1ghIDoY <https://youtu.be/ZwST1ghIDoY>


Playlist with all three videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElnEt6XTkHQ&list=PLEtFvGfLk90meu8VCDJj00JZWbQ4fPgse <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElnEt6XTkHQ&list=PLEtFvGfLk90meu8VCDJj00JZWbQ4fPgse> 

Other sets we have on the same channel currently are of Jeffrey Heath and Geoffrey Benjamin. Here is the link for the channel as a whole: 
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClCOag0Y5va45AedwsB6xng <https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClCOag0Y5va45AedwsB6xng> (scroll to the side to see all the videos available). We hope to have at least three more soon!

I should explain that I was inspired to do these video interviews/oral histories of senior people in the field by similar ones done by anthropologists (e.g. Marry Haas: Mary Haas interview - YouTube <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwab3RfDaWw>) and a great series from the 1970’s in philosophy (e.g. one of two with John Searle: https://youtu.be/jOlJZabio3g <https://youtu.be/jOlJZabio3g>). There is also this interview with Jack Goody: https://youtu.be/ITRrAbns5D0 <https://youtu.be/ITRrAbns5D0> .
I am a big fan of personal histories as a way of understanding the history of the field as well as understanding what motivates people to do what they did, and think the way they did, or the circumstances that led to them doing what they did. I teach a course on the development of linguistics since the early 19th century, and go into the individuals and why they did what they did, and why they morphed into different schools (e.g. Romanticists morphing into Neogrammarians, Neogrammarians morphing into Structuralists, etc.). It was of course very different in the past, when there were no computers and no shortcuts, so research was time-consuming, but the scholars got a very good understanding of their data as a totality rather than just doing some concordances of a database and seeing only bits of the data. So I have tremendous respect for the earlier generation of scholars, and hope to make their legacy more available.

Randy
-----
Randy J. LaPolla, PhD FAHA (羅仁地)
Professor of Linguistics and Chinese, School of Humanities 
Nanyang Technological University
HSS-03-45, 14 Nanyang Drive | Singapore 637332
http://randylapolla.net/
Most recent book:
https://www.routledge.com/The-Sino-Tibetan-Languages-2nd-Edition/LaPolla-Thurgood/p/book/9781138783324


> Begin forwarded message:
> 
> From: %Carly Elizabeth Rachelle Jaques <cjaquest at ntu.edu.sg>
> Subject: RE: Post videos?
> Date: 11 July 2018 at 9:13:54 AM SGT
> To: "James A. MATISOFF" <matisoff at berkeley.edu>
> Cc: "randy.lapolla at gmail.com" <randy.lapolla at gmail.com>
> 
> OK! Posted for all of your adoring fans. Use the links below if you would like to share with anyone.
> 
> please take care,
> 
> -Carly
> 
> Part 1:
> 
> https://youtu.be/ElnEt6XTkHQ <https://youtu.be/ElnEt6XTkHQ>
> 
> 
> Part 2:
> 
> https://youtu.be/v2SMFrQfsvQ <https://youtu.be/v2SMFrQfsvQ> 
> 
> 
> Part 3:
> 
> https://youtu.be/ZwST1ghIDoY <https://youtu.be/ZwST1ghIDoY>
> 
> 
> Playlist with all three videos:
> 
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElnEt6XTkHQ&list=PLEtFvGfLk90meu8VCDJj00JZWbQ4fPgse <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElnEt6XTkHQ&list=PLEtFvGfLk90meu8VCDJj00JZWbQ4fPgse> 
> 
> 
> 
> From: James A. MATISOFF [matisoff at berkeley.edu <mailto:matisoff at berkeley.edu>]
> Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 4:22 AM
> To: %Carly Elizabeth Rachelle Jaques
> Cc: randy.lapolla at gmail.com <mailto:randy.lapolla at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: Post videos?
> 
> Hi Carly,
> 
> Yes, let 'em roll!
> 
> Thanks a million!
> 
> Jim
> 
> On Mon, Jul 9, 2018 at 5:55 PM, %Carly Elizabeth Rachelle Jaques <cjaquest at ntu.edu.sg <mailto:cjaquest at ntu.edu.sg>> wrote:
> Hello!
> 
> I just wanted to know if it is ok with you both to go ahead and make the videos public?
> 
> Take care!
> 
> -Carly 
> 
> Sent from my iPhone
> 
> 
> **Disclaimer** The sender of this email does not represent Nanyang Technological University and this email does not express the views or opinions of the University.
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> James A. Matisoff
> Professor of Linguistics, Emeritus
> University of California, Berkeley

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