Indiana University Bloomington
Arts and Sciences News at Indiana University Bloomington

Valdman Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Society of Pidgin and Creole Linguistics honors IU linguist

Posted: Monday, February 6, 2012

Albert Valdman

At the annual meeting of the Society of Pidgin and Creole Linguistics in January 2012, Rudy Professor Emeritus Albert Valdman was presented with the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to the field of creole studies. The SPCL is an international scholarly association regrouping world-wide specialists of pidgin and creole languages. Professor Valdman is the founder and director of the Indiana University Creole Institute, and he retired from the Department of French and Italian and the Department of Linguistics in 2004. He also received a lifetime achievement award from the Haitian Studies Association in 2009.

The SPCL award recognizes the important contribution of the IU Creole Institute to research on French-based creoles, especially those of Louisiana and Haiti, and to the preparation of teaching and lexical resources for these languages. Most instructional programs in Haitian Creole in the United States, including that of the State Department Foreign Service Institute, use materials prepared by the Creole Institute. Several former Creole Institute research assistants now lead Haitian Creole programs across the nation; for example, Ben Hebblethwaite (PhD French, 2007) at the University of Florida, Nicolas André (MA French, 2008) at Florida International University, Tom Klingler (PhD French, 1992) at Tulane University, Marc Prou at the University of Massachusetts, and Jacques Pierre at Duke.

In addition to his work with the Creole Institute, Professor Valdman has taught at Harvard, the University of the West Indies, and the University of Nice (France). He has been the recipient of Guggenheim, NATO-NSF, Mellon, Fulbright and Senior Fulbright Research fellowships, holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Neuchâtel, and in 2008 was received into the Ordre des francophones d'Amérique by the government of Quebec Province in Canada for his work to foster an increased understanding of the use of the French language in North America.

Valdman's research and professional interests span a broad range of areas in applied and descriptive linguistics, in addition to his obvious contributions to pidgin and creole studies. His research fields include second language acquisition, foreign language teaching, sociolinguistics and French linguistics. He is founder and editor of the journal Studies in Second Language Acquisition (Cambridge University Press).

<< Back to List