Umberto Ansaldo


Umberto Ansaldo started his academic path as a student of Chinese language and literature at the University of Venice, Italy, and went on to earn a PhD in linguistics from the University of Stockholm, Sweden. Since then he has been conducting research on languages of East, South, and Southeast Asia with a focus on socio-historical and typological processes. He has also published and edited a number of volumes and articles on Pidgin and Creole languages, their evolution and their historiography. Between 2005 and 2010 Professor Ansaldo led a project that resulted in a comprehensive description and documentation of an endangered contact language known as Sri Lanka Malay. In 2017 he launched the journal Language Ecology with John Benjamins.

In the past two decades Professor Ansaldo has taught at the National University of Singapore, the University of Amsterdam, and the University of Hong Kong, where he now heads the School of Humanities. Besides linguistics he has taught courses on modern Asia, conflict studies, and self-defence, and his most recent interest is in higher education management and academic leadership. In July 2018 he will take up a new post as Head of the School of Literature, Arts and Media (SLAM) at the University of Sydney to focus primarily on these aspects of academia.

Outside of work, Umberto is a keen practitioner of martial arts, which he has studied for over 2 decades. He also travels as frequently as possible, occasionally trying to learn a new language, most recently Japanese.

Keynote Presentation (2018) | Heritage in Language?

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