Inaugural Lecture To Be Held by UT Professor of Finno-Ugric Languages, Gerson Klumpp

On 22 March at 4.15 pm UT Professor of Finno-Ugric Studies, Gerson Klumpp will hold his inaugural lecture entitled "On Ideophonic Predication" in University Assembly Hall. The lecture is in English and everyone are most welcome.

Ideophonic (also onomatopoeic, descriptive, mimemic etc.) expressions are often perceived as less arbitrary representations of extralinguistic phenomena than other linguistic signs, in that they imitate directly or synaesthetically acoustic, visual, motoric, and other sensations.

Ideo-phones are an interesting part of human language as they may be regarded as transformations of extralinguistic sounds into units of language. This transformation requires at least two pro-cesses. First, the adaptation of a "wild" sound string into a "tamed" one, fitting the articulati-on pecularities of a given language. And second, the integration of a sound string into speech, i.e. into the word stock and/or into the syntactic mechanisms of a language. The lecture gives a systematic account of grammatical strategies applied in ideophonic predication, based main-ly on data from Komi, a European Uralic language.

Gerson Klumpp received his PhD at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich in 1999. He contributed to the study of Kamas, an extinct Samoyed language of Southern Siberia. In his dissertation on the verbal system of Kamas he focused on the grammaticalization of aspectual auxiliaries in a language contact scenario. The study was awarded a prize by the Societas Ura-lo-Altaica.

His further research interests include the explanatory power of information structu-ral categories in accounting for morphosyntactic problems like differential object-marking, especially for hitherto unpredicted object marking patterns in Uralic languages, as e.g. dia-lectal case-variation, or zero marking of referential objects. He devoted a larger study to the topic, which he is currently preparing for edition. G. Klumpp taught Uralic philology in Mu-nich for many years, and served as replacement professor in Hamburg in 2008/2009. In au-tumn 2011 he joined Tartu university as a DORA Professor of Finno-Ugric Studies.

Additional information: Kady Sõstar, public relations specialist, tel. +372 737 5685, e-mail:

Anneli Miljan
UT Press Officer
+372 737 5683, +372 515 0184