Summary of guest lectures by Axel Holvoet, professor of University of Warsaw and University of Vilnius, in the universities of Latvia

030On April 16-19 in University of Latvia, University of Rēzekne and University of Liepāja it was possible to attend guest lectures of Axel Holvoet, the professor of the University of Warsaw and University of Vilnius, on various issues related to syntax: on vocative of the Latvian language (from the point of view of syntax and morphology), on the subject determination problem in Latvian and general syntax, on debitive mood of the Latvian language from the syntax point of view, as well as the Latvian language structures with possessive dative (from the syntax and semantic point of view). A. Holvoet is working in the field of Slavistics, Baltistics and general linguistics, with a focus on historical and synchronic syntax morphosyntax and language typology, where professor’s extensive knowledge of languages is of great importance.

Professor offered the topics for his lectures according to the student interests of each university. Lectures were attended by both philology students of the universities, i.e., prospective bachelors, masters and PhD students, and their lecturers and other linguists.

Those, who attended lectures in the University of Latvia and the University of Liepāja were able to participate in opening celebration of the book by A. Holvoet “Basics of general syntax” (“Vispārīgās sintakses pamati”, Rīga : LVA, 2012)  issued by the Latvian Language Agency. The author of the book presented the audience with creation process of the original book, informed the audience that the idea of ​​writing such a book occurred, giving lectures in Lithuania at Salos Linguistics summer school. Latvian translator of the book L. Sirmule and scientific editor Dr. philol. I. Lokmane were grateful for the successful co-operation with the author during the translation process of the edition. During the preparation period of the edition particular difficulties arouse coining of syntax terms and selection in the Latvian language, which was also the biggest challenge in this translation. Meanwhile, the lecturers of Latvian universities repeatedly stressed the need for this new translation in the syntax study process.

By publishing A. Holvoet’s book “Basics of General Syntax ” (A. Holvūts „Vispārīgās sintakses pamati”), the Latvian Language Agency continues the tradition – translate linguistic editions and offer them to a wide range of readers and audience. So far, the series include translations of the following books: Dž. Ē. Džozefs „Valoda un politika”, Rīga : Zinātne, 2008 (J. E. Joseph “Language and politics”), H. Fāters „Ievads valodniecībā”, Rīga : Zinātne, 2010 (H. Vater “Einführung in die Sprachwissenschaft”) and B. Spolskis „Valodas pārvaldība”, Rīga : Zinātne, 2011 (B. Spolsky “Language Management”). In 2011 a German linguist H. Vater also delivered guest lectures in the universities of Latvia.

The Latvian Language Agency thanks all who participated in organizing the guest lectures, as well as designing and publishing the book.

Photos from Professor Axel Holvoet guest lectures in the universities of Latvia (photos from the LLA archive).