Mitch Green from The University of Connecticut Teaching 2019

AUA Hosts Third Yerevan Academy for Linguistics and Philosophy

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YEREVAN, Armenia – The third annual Yerevan Academy for Linguistics and Philosophy (YALP) was successfully held at the American University of Armenia (AUA) on July 22-August 2. YALP is an annual intensive summer school of analytic philosophy and theoretical linguistics organized by four scholars: Dr. Daniel Altshuler, a linguist from Hampshire College, and philosophers Dr. Ned Markosian from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Susanna Melkonian-Altshuler from the University of Connecticut and Dr. Arshak Balayan from AUA. 

YALP was launched in the summer of 2017 with over 50 participants from 7 countries. Since then the number of countries represented by both participants and faculty has steadily grown. This year YALP had 60 participants from more than 10 countries including Armenia, the U.S., the UK, Finland, Spain, Switzerland, Russia, Turkey, Iran, Georgia, India and Estonia. During the two-week program, students chose from 9 linguistics and 8 philosophy courses. Courses were taught by 17 professors from leading universities in the U.S. and Europe

The purpose of YALP is to contribute to the development of analytic philosophy and theoretical linguistics in Armenia and the region. The organizers hope to achieve the stated purpose through various mechanisms. One of these is offering short intensive courses on issues that do not get in-depth attention by universities in Armenia. Examples include Discourse Semantics, Computational Linguistics, Philosophy of Language, the Philosophy of Wittgenstein, Super Linguistics, Zulu and the Metaphysics of Time. Another mechanism that organizers utilize is building bridges among international and Armenian students, as well as between international and AUA scholars. YALP organizers hope that this annual intensive international summer school will provide additional opportunities for students to develop their knowledge and skills, as well as motivate them to apply to doctoral programs in philosophy or linguistics abroad, including programs in the U.S. and Europe. 

The organizers hope to raise funds to support travel and accommodation costs of international faculty and participants and to enhance community building activities as part of the summer school experience. So far many international students from Africa, China, India and other (Southasian) countries, who have shown interest in participating in YALP, have not been able to travel to Armenia primarily because of related costs and absence of financial assistance. 

To date, YALP has been made possible by its organizers and the international faculty who volunteer their time and cover their expenses themselves. YALP does not charge tuition or other fees for participation. AUA has generously hosted YALP since its inception in 2017 and supported its activities in numerous ways. The YALP organizers are determined to continue searching for donors that recognize the significance of analytic philosophy and theoretical linguistics and would support the continuation of this annual international summer school. 

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.