The Summit (KILS) is dedicated to 175th anniversary of Jan Baudouin de Courtenay, famous linguist and Kazan University employee.
The online event has gathered over 500 participants from Russia, United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Austria, Norway, China, Turkey, Iran, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Ukraine, and Belarus. It's co-organized by Kazan Federal University, Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Russia, Institute of Language Studies and Institute of Linguistics Studies (both are parts of the Russian Academy of Sciences).
The opening ceremony was joined by Rector of KFU Ilshat Gafurov, Chairman of the Russian Presidential Council on Russian Language Vladimir Tolstoy, Director of the Institute of Language Studies Andrey Kibrik, Director of the Institute of Linguistics Studies Yevgeny Golovko, Deputy Secretary General of the Permanent International Committee of Linguists (CIPL) Camiel Hamans, Director of the Science of Learning and Educational Technology Lab (Arizona State University) Danielle McNamara, and Director of the Institute of Philology and Intercultural Communication Radif Zamaletdinov.
«Linguistics is facing a completely new level of digitization – a challenge posed by life itself during this pandemic; and this challenge has determined one of the major trends for the next few years – development of digital linguistics,» said Rector Gafurov.
Kazan Federal University and Institute of Language Studies will host the 21st International Congress of Linguists (ICL) in 2023. Ilshat Gafurov and Andrey Kibrik will serve as co-chairmen.
Mr. Kibrik noted in his welcome address for this year's summit, “It's good that Kazanian colleagues decided to host this sort of a rehearsal for the future congress. We have much to do scientifically and organizationally for the ICL 2023 to be held on an appropriate level. This year's summit is dedicated to Baudouin de Courtenay – a prominent figure in the history of linguistics. His works from the late 19th century are still influential, even in contemporary contexts. And maybe, they are still not fully understood.”
Danielle McNamara confessed that Leo Tolstoy, a towering representative of Russian classical literature, is her favorite author, “As an alumna of the University of Kansas, I find something in common between the cities of Kansas and Kazan. I visited Kazan several years ago. And I am very glad that this summit gives us a platform to meet other researchers of language.”
During the plenary session, Radif Zamaletdinov drew attention to the problems of indigenous languages, “Currently, 153 languages are spoken in Russia. It's a challenge to preserve them, because there are many dialects, it's hard to find native speakers, and there is a number of nomadic ethnic groups. Before the end of the 21st century, a third to a half of the world's languages may become extinct. We have a chance to deter that and help ethnic groups preserve their languages. Each language going extinct is a loss for humankind.” Dr. Zamaletdinov's message is especially pertinent for the Republic of Tatarstan, where indigenous people speak Tatar language, the largest ethnic minority language in Russia.
KILS 2020 – official website
Source text: Alina Minnevalieva
Photo: Alexander Kuznetsov
Translation: Yury Nurmeev