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Dr Daniel Abondolo
16 Taviton Street
Tel: 020 7679 8761 (internal 28761)
  • Associate Professor
I read Ancient Greek, Sanskrit and anthropology at Yale, then studied Uralic and general linguistics with Robert Austerlitz at Columbia in New York, before joining SSEES in 1987. My doctoral dissertation was on Hungarian inflectional morphology. I have published books and articles on versification, poetics, shamanistic language, comparative and typological linguistics, and written a Finnish language textbook. My book, Vowel Rotation in Uralic: an Ob-Ug[r]ocentric View (1996), examines the reconstructable Uralic lexicon from the viewpoint of Khanty and Mansi, the two languages whose relatedness to Hungarian has the deepest roots. I wrote A Poetics Handbook (2000) because I felt there was no introduction to poetic features of texts that was general enough to cover Europe as a whole, yet specific and diverse enough to include real-language examples drawn not just from English.
Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary

The language of poetry; the poetry of lexicogrammar; non-arbitrary aspects of the linguistic sign; Hungarian versification; morphophonology, particularly of languages in the north Eurasian typological continuum; the lexicons of Hungarian, Finnish, Komi, and Nivkh; what is meant by translation; nonsense.

My recent article on the prose style of Dezső Szabó will appear in the second volume (2013) of Central Europe. I have submitted a 10,000-word srtcile on the Uralic languages to Oxford Handbooks Online

Teaching Summary

I teach and contribute to a wide variety of undergraduate and MA courses in Hungarian and comparative literature, linguistics, culture (including vampires), and East European literature and cinema. Two of my more popular undergraduate courses are Language and Society and How Words Work. The former explores the variability and diversity of languages as causes and effects of societal variability and diversity. The latter is run as a workshop in which we reverse-engineer pieces of art made of language (poems, songs, videos, adverts, catch-phrases) to see how they work. I have recently supervised or co-supervised postgraduate research students writing on verbal aspect in the Homeric poems; metre and chronology in the work of César Vallejo; the rhetoric of Hungarian linguistic purism; Pomak; and Italian and English translations of byliny. Recent PhD students have written on translation and nonsense; István Örkény and Daniil Kharms; the novels of M. Babits in the light of their English counterparts; Peircean approaches to a semiotics of translation; and the role and representation of Budapest in Hungarian literature.

Academic Background
1985 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Linguistics Columbia University
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