Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Department of South Asia Studies
820 Williams Hall, Box 6305
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305
Phone: (215) 898-7475
Fax: (215) 573-2138

Date of Birth: February 19, 1938 Citizenship: US Married, one child


Antioch College: German, French B.A. 1960
Universität Freiburg: (Freiburg/Brsg., Germany)   1957-58
Annamalai University: (Tamilnadu, South India)   1965-66
University of Chicago: Linguistics (Slavic, Dravidian) M.A. 1966
University of Chicago: Linguistics (Dravidian) Ph.D. 1969

Positions Held

  • 1966--67 Lecturer, Anthropology Department, U. of California, Davis
  • 1967--73 Asst. Prof.; 1973--78 Assoc. Prof.; 1978--95 Professor, Department of Asian Languages, University of Washington
  • 1982--87 Chair, Department of Asian Languages, University of Washington
  • 1994-5 Director, The Language Center, University of Washington
  • 1995-2000 Henry R. Luce Professor of Language Learning Department of South Asia Regional Studies, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1995-2000 Director, Penn Language Center, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2002-2005 2005 Director, Pedagogical Materials Project, South Asia Language Resource Center
  • 2007- Professor Emeritus of Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
  • Fellowships, Awards, Grants

    Professional Memberships.

    Linguistic Society of America; International Linguistic Association; Dravidian Linguistic Association; Linguistic Society of India; American Anthropological Association

    Professional Offices Held

    Chair Language Committee, South Asia Regional Council, AAS 1974--76
    Chair Language Committee, American Institute of Indian Studies 1978--80
    Trustee American Institute of Indian Studies 1979--83
    Member South Asia Council, Association for Asian Studies 1982--85
    Vice-President International Association of Tamil Research 1987--89
    Member Language Advisory Committee, SEASSI 1991--95
    Chair Language (Advisory) Committee, SEASSI 1993--95


    Books and Monographs

  • Selected Articles
  • Pedagogy and Teaching Materials
  • Invited Talks and Keynote Addresses
    1. "Language Rights and Language Policy in a Multilingual World." Keynote Address, University of California Language Minority Rights Institute, San Francisco, May 2005.

    2. "What can the study of Language Policy contribute to South Asian Linguistics?" Keynote Address, South Asia Language Analysis Roundtable, University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaigne, September, 2005

    3. "Language Policy, Diglossia, and Linguistic Register: What happens when L-variety languages try to modernize?" Keynote Speech for Workshop on Language Planning as a Political Process: Views on South and Central Asia, Stockholm, September 28, 2006

    4. "When Language Policies Fail: The Problem of Implementation" Talk to International Linguistics Association, New York, March 11, 2006

    5. When is an endangered language not an endangered language?: The case of Kannada" Talk at Georgetown University Round Table, March 2006.

    6. "Language Teaching and Language Policy: Challenges facing Portuguese in the 21st Century" Colloquium on “Políticas e Práticas de Internacionalização da Língua Portuguesa” Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, April 13, 2007.

    7. "Primordialism revisited: Language and Symbolic Politics" Asch Symposium, U. of Pennsylvania, April 3, 2007
    last modified 10/2/2011