The following was published in UChicago News on May 27, 2022.
Renowned University of Chicago linguist Salikoko S. Mufwene has been elected to the American Philosophical Society, the oldest learned society in the United States.
Mufwene is among the 37 new members honored this year from a wide variety of academic disciplines. The 2022 class was announced May 25.
The Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Linguistics and the College, Mufwene is one of the leading names in the world on the emergence of creoles and on globalization and language.
His current research centers on evolutionary linguistics, which he approaches from an ecological perspective. He focuses on the phylogenetic emergence of language and how languages have been affected by colonization and worldwide globalization, particularly through the indigenization and speciation of European languages in the colonies.
Among his many honors, Mufwene received fellowships at the Linguistic Society of America (2018) and the Institute for Advanced Study in Lyon (2010‒11) and was awarded a “médaille” du Collège de France in 2003. His first and seminal book, The Ecology of Language Evolution, has been translated in Mandarin. He is the founding editor of the book series Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact (since 2001). One of his latest publications is the two-volume Cambridge Handbook of Language Contact (June 2022), the first of which is devoted to the role of population movement and contact as actuators language change.