CULTURE

A busy visit for Noam Chomsky

Renowned linguist and political theorist Noam Chomsky is in the country this week: He is at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki today to speak at the Generative Linguistics in the Old World (GLOW) international congress at noon and later, at 8 p.m., he will deliver a lecture on «After Iraq» at the ceremonies’ hall. On Wednesday he will arrive in the capital to receive an honorary doctorate from the Philosophical School of the University of Athens, and, on Thursday, he will talk at the Evgenidio Planetarium at 387 Syngrou Avenue at 7.30 p.m. Wednesday’s Athens University ceremony will take place at 7.30 p.m. in the big events hall, located at 30 Panepistimiou, and the opening address, concerning Chomsky’s life and work, will be given by the dean of Athens University, Professor Georgios Babiniotis, followed by the heads of the philology department, D. Theophanopoulou, and the philosophical school, T. Pelegrinis. Chomsky’s work is significant and varied. He has taught modern languages and linguistics at MIT since 1955 and has had a marked impact on mid-20th century linguistics theory. His writings are considered pivotal in the development of modern language theories, especially in the area of syntax. However, the 75-year-old professor is also widely respected as a truly radical critic of the new world order, with a long bibliography of books and a list of fiery lectures concerning American foreign policy, global corporate politics, human rights, globalization and political-military issues around the world. According to the MIT website, Chomsky was born on December 7, 1928 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he attended the local University of Pennsylvania as an undergraduate and graduate and where he received his PhD in linguistics in 1955. During the years 1951 to 1955, Chomsky was a junior fellow of the Harvard University Society of Fellows, during which time he completed his doctoral dissertation on «Transformational Analysis.» The major theoretical viewpoints of the dissertation appeared in the monograph «Syntactic Structure,» which was published in 1957. This formed part of a more extensive work, «The Logical Structure of Linguistic Theory,» circulated in mimeograph form in 1955 and published in 1975. Chomsky joined the staff of MIT in 1955 and in 1961 was appointed full professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics (now the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy.) From 1966 to 1976 he held the Ferrari P. Ward Professorship of Modern Languages and Linguistics. In 1976 he was appointed institute professor. His books and essays have been published in many languages around the world. Several are also published in Greek, the most recent being 2002’s «American Power and the New Mandarins,» translated by Nikos Raptis (Scripta Publications). The same publishers have also circulated in Greek Chomsky’s work from 1996 «Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media,» 1999’s «The New Military Humanism: Lessons from Kosovo,» «A New Generation Draws the Line: Kosovo, East Timor and the Standards of the West» (2001) and «The Common Good,» published in 2002.