Mark R.V. Southern
His research and teaching interests spanned the fields of Linguistics, Classics, Literature, Near Eastern Studies, and Religion. He specialized in historical and Indo-European linguistics, language contact and sociolinguistics, Greek and Latin linguistics, the pre-Islamic Middle East, and Sanskrit. He also commanded some competency in a wide range of languages, including Ancient Greek, Latin, Sanskrit, Hittite, Old Persian, Classical Armenian, Yiddish, Hebrew, Norse, Old English, Frisian, Old Saxon, Old Irish, Breton, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian.
Life and education
Mark Southern was born in Cambridge, England on March 3, 1961 to Eric and Elda (Moore) Southern, and distinguished himself early as a prestigious King's Scholar at Eton College. He graduated from Balliol College, Oxford, with an Honors B.A. in Classics in 1983. He worked for Bain Management Consultancy London, England before pursuing his passion for language, learning and teaching Princeton University in 1985. From 1986 to 1989, he attended Harvard University as an Exchange Scholar in Linguistics. He earned his doctorate in Germanic Languages and Literatures from Princeton University in 1997. He married, converted to Judaism and had two daughters. On March 15, 2006, at age 45, he died at his home in Middlebury, Vermont.
Before coming to Middlebury College in 2003 where he served as a Visiting Assistant Professor of German and Linguistics, Mark served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Texas, Austin; as Assistant Professor of German and Linguistics in the Department of Modern Languages at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin; and as a Teaching Fellow in Arts and Literature at Harvard University. While at the University of Texas, he held concurrent appointments at UT's Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Center for Asian Studies and held concurrent memberships in the Foreign Language Education Program, the Department of Asian Studies, and the Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures.
Known for his passionate teaching style and intellectual dynamism, he acquired a devoted following among his students. At UT, he won the Jean Holloway Award for Excellence in Teaching and was selected as Fellow to the Wakonse-South Conference on College Teaching. He also received the President's Associates Teaching Excellence Award, and was included in Who's Who Among America's Teachers.
- Southern, Mark (2005). Contagious Couplings: Yiddish shm- and the Contact-Driven Transmission of Expressives. ?: Praeger. p. 374. ISBN 0-275-98087-1.
- Southern, Mark (1999). Sub-grammatical Survival: Indo-European Movable s and Its Regeneration in Germanic. ?: Institute for the Study of Man. p. 394. ISBN 0-941694-72-0.
His History of the German Language is under consideration at Cambridge University Press. He also published widely in scholarly journals and gave papers at numerous conferences.