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Eminent linguist Prof. Peter Trudgill with the title of doctor honoris causa of KUL
Professor Peter Trudgill from Great Britain - one of the world's most outstanding sociolinguists and dialectologists - received an honorary doctorate from the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin on 24 May. As remarked in her laudation by Prof. Magdalena Charzyńska-Wójcik from the KUL Institute of Linguistics, “the passion and dedication of prof. Trudgill to the issue of language equality goes far beyond academic work, and his unprecedented commitment to promoting language awareness is a continuing source of inspiration.”
Welcoming the special guests of the event, the Rector KUL, Fr. prof. Mirosław Kalinowski, emphasized in his message that “it wouldn’t be possible, among the honorary doctors of the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, to miss out prof. Peter Trudgill, who is a well-deserved and world-renowned linguist, lecturer, co-creator of scientific life, a member of numerous scientific societies.”
The Rector of KUL also noted that the scientific achievements of prof. Peter Trudgill are impressive and his research work inspiring, having the value of a model and a document. In his assessment, Fr. prof. Miroslaw Kalinowski, further said: “His work on language makes us aware of how unusual and complex each act of communication is, including the seemingly simple one, and how many phenomena from the past and present are revealed in it.”
“Whether we like it or not, the observation made more than two thousand years ago in the courtyard of the high priest Caiaphas has timeless value: "Your word betrays you" (Mt 26:73). It reveals much of the unique spiritual and intellectual mystery of man's identity, the history of his life, as well as the intentions and ideas that shape and direct his fate.” The Rector KUL pointed this out, adding that prof. Trudgill "continually emphasizes that language is alive, and therefore fragile and requires care and nurturing, as well as the most accurate study."
The resolution of KUL Senate on the award of honorary doctorate to prof. Peter Trudgill was read by the vice-rector for education, Dr. habil. Ewa Trzaskowska, prof. KUL. In the resolution, the Senate of the Catholic University of Lublin announced that prof. Trudgill is a world-renowned scholar who "directed the study of dialects on a new track by combining it with sociolinguistics" and described him as a great authority, "tirelessly promoting an attitude of sensitivity to linguistic differences" and "demanding for the dignity and right of the human person to be faithful to the language learned from the family home.”
Laudation in honor of prof. Peter Trudgill was delivered by his friend, Dr. habil. Magdalena Charzyńska-Wójcik, prof. KUL, who works in the Department of History of English Language and Translation Studies at KUL. She said: "Peter Trudgill is one of the most distinguished sociolinguists and dialectologists in the world. His achievements are admired by anyone who has come into contact with these areas, and his knowledge has given him such a strong and unquestioned position in sociolinguistics and dialectology that the name Trudgill has become synonymous with the field.”
Furthermore, she said: “His scientific achievements could be shared by, not one, but ten recruited researchers. The the passion and dedication of prof. Trudgill to the issue of language equality goes far beyond academic work, and his unprecedented commitment to promoting language awareness is a continuing source of inspiration.” She also added that Peter Trudgill is not only a researcher, but also a traveler, a connoisseur of life in its many guises, and a sports enthusiast.
Prof. Peter Trudgill, who after the ceremony gave a lecture at KUL entitled "Sociolinguistics and value judgments in linguistics", was born on November 7, 1943 in Norwich. The researcher was educated at King's College, Cambridge and at the University of Edinburgh, where in 1971 he defended his PhD in linguistics with a dissertation that was the first study of an urban dialect in Great Britain.
The scientist pointed out during the lecture that “as linguists, we are compelled to the sad conclusion that in many contemporary societies there is a widespread lack of respect for linguistic diversity, which seems to occur most often where it could be least expected: among the intelligentsia, creators of culture, journalists, politicians and opinion-forming circles.”
The ceremony, which gathered many representatives of the world of science and culture, was graced by the performance of the Choir of the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin under the baton of Dr. habil. Grzegorz Pecki, prof. KUL. Numerous congratulatory letters were also sent to the honored researcher from Great Britain, among others, from the hierarchies of the Catholic Church, as well as from representatives of the central and local government authorities.
Prof. Peter Trudgill, who is a co-founder of modern dialectology and sociolinguistics, wrote almost 50 books and several hundred scientific articles; he is a member of many prestigious academic associations and scientific committees gathering the world's best researchers. It is also worthy to note that he has lectured at over one hundred universities on six continents. He devoted his entire professional life not only to theoretical considerations and in-depth study of the language, but also to the active promotion of the concept of linguistic equality.
In recognition of his contribution to the development of linguistics, Prof. Peter Trudgill was awarded the highest academic honorary doctorate by six universities: Uppsala University, University of East Anglia Norwich, La Trobe University in Melbourne, University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Patras University in Greece and the University of Murcia.