An interview with Professor George Babiniotis, Professor of Linguistics, Former Rector of the University of Athens

Professor George Babiniotis, Emeritus and Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Athens and former Rector (2000-2006) of the University, joined us recently at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Nafplio, Greece,  for a lecture on “Monolingualism versus linguistic polymorphy: the meaning of the mother tongue”. The lecture, which was part of the Events Series 2016 organized by the Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece, was supported by the Municipality of Nafplio and was a huge success, with a hundred of people visiting the Vouleutikon hall at Nafplio in order to hear the professor share his expertise on this interesting topic.
CHS had the chance to sit down with prof. G. Babiniotis during this visit, to discuss with him on a number of different topics and areas of interest, including the Center’s long running cooperation with the historic Society for the Promotion of Education and Learning (“Philekpaideutiki Etaireia”) and the Arsakeia Schools , his take on the importance of linguistics and humanities, and the etymology of kleos, such an important word in the ancient Greek tradition. Watch the video interview below (English subtitles are available):

Prof. G. Babiniotis is a pioneer in his field. He introduced contemporary linguistics at the University of Athens (theory of language, linguistic analysis, contemporary grammar, syntax, semantics, stylistics, and language teaching). By teaching thousands of students for over forty years at the University, he has influenced significantly the development of linguistics in Greece in academia and at all levels of education. His communication with speakers of modern Greek through his broadcasts and articles on language in the press, public appearances and lectures (most recently his classes at the Free University at the “Stoa tou Bibliou” in Athens), and mainly his eight dictionaries of the Greek language, comprehensive contemporary grammar, and other publications have been pivotal to his influential work.
Being the President of the Philekpaideutiki Etaireia for many years, his entire work reflects his conscious choice in two areas: language and education. Professor Babiniotis has researched, studied, and analyzed the Greek language and its diachrony, highlighting in Greece and abroad its continuity, universality, and cultivation. Utilizing the methods and principles of contemporary linguistics, he has emphasized language teaching in education and the relation of linguistics to literature.