Dr Daniel Abondolo
Reader in Hungarian
020 7679 8761
020 7679 8722
I read Ancient Greek, Sanskrit and anthropology at Yale, then studied Uralic and general linguistics with Robert Austerlitz at Columbia in New York, before joining SSEES in 1987. My doctoral dissertation was on Hungarian inflectional morphology. I have published books and articles on versification, poetics, shamanistic language, comparative and typological linguistics, and written a Finnish language textbook. My book, Vowel Rotation in Uralic: an Ob-Ug[r]ocentric View (1996), examines the reconstructable Uralic lexicon from the viewpoint of Khanty and Mansi, the two languages whose relatedness to Hungarian has the deepest roots. I wrote A Poetics Handbook (2000) because I felt there was no introduction to poetic features of texts that was general enough to cover Europe as a whole, yet specific and diverse enough to include real-language examples drawn not just from English. My recent article on an eerily Shakespearian poem by Attila József appeared in the November 2006 issue of Central Europe; my article on Hungarian bird names appeared in the November 2007 issue.
The language of poetry; the poetry of lexicogrammar; non-arbitrary aspects of the linguistic sign; Hungarian versification; morphophonology, particularly of languages in the north Eurasian typological continuum; the lexicons of Hungarian, Finnish, Komi, and Nivkh; what is meant by 'translation'; nonsense.
Teaching and supervision
I teach and contribute to a wide variety of undergraduate and MA courses in Hungarian and comparative literature, linguistics, culture (including vampires), and East European literature and cinema. Two of my more popular undergraduate courses are 'Language and Society' and 'Linguistics and Verbal Art'. The former explores the variability and diversity of languages as causes and effects of societal variability and diversity. The latter is run as a workshop in which we reverse-engineer pieces of art made of language (poems, songs, videos, adverts, catch-phrases) to see how they work. I currently supervise or co-supervise eight postgraduate research students, who are writing on verbal aspect in the Homeric poems; metre and chronology in the work of César Vallejo; the rhetoric of Hungarian linguistic purism; Pomak; translation and nonsense; orthography design for endangered languages; Hungarian political discourse analysis; and Italian and English translations of byliny. Recent PhD students have written on István Örkény and Daniil Kharms; the novels of M. Babits in the light of their English counterparts; Peircean approaches to a semiotics of translation; and the role and representation of Budapest in Hungarian literature.
I am currently writing up a paper on Dezső Szabó that I gave in January 2006 at the 'Personalities of the Right' seminar series organized by the SSEES Centre for the Study of Central Europe; I am also working on the (un)translatability of a Hungarian joke. Two stimulating conferences in Budapest in 2008, one on cultural currents in C15-C16 Hungary, one on simple strophic patterns in Medieval European metrics, will lead to two proceedings papers.
This page last modified
Tuesday 25 May 2010.