Jacob L. Mey (born 1926) is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the University of Southern Denmark. Previous appointments include the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, the University of Oslo, Norway, the University of Texas at Austin, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., Yale University, New Haven, Conn., Tsukuba University, Ibaraki, Japan, The National Language Research Institute, Tokyo, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., City University of Hong Kong, J.W. Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, S.P., Brazil, Universidade de Brasília, Brasília, D.F., the University of Haifa and Haifa Technion, Israel, Södertörn University College and Örebro University, Sweden, as well as numerous other institutions of research and higher learning.
(Leo Hoye, Jacob Mey, HE Ziran and Fang Fanquan, in front of the GDUFS library)
Jacob Mey’s research interests concern all areas of pragmatics, with an emphasis on the social aspects of language use, the pragmatic impact of computer technologies, and the pragmatic use of literary devices. Among his publications in these areas are: Pragmalinguistics: Theory and Practice (The Hague: Mouton 1979); Whose language? A study in linguistic pragmatics (Amsterdam & Philadelphia: Benjamins 1985), Pragmatics: An Introduction (Oxford & Boston: Blackwell, 1993; second revised edition 2001). This book has been translated into Japanese and Korean; a Chinese edition has appeared in 2002. Of the second edition, a Korean translation has come out in 2003; Brazilian and Japanese translations are in preparation. His most recent publication in the field is As Vozes da Sociedade (‘The Voices of Society’, in Portuguese; Campinas, S.P.: Mercado de Letras 2002).
As to the computer-related aspects of pragmatics, a recent development is a new field, Cognitive Technology (CT), which Jacob Mey is among the first to have developed. He has written and edited numerous articles and books in the area, co-organized several international conferences, and founded (together with Barbara Gorayska) the International Journal of Cognition and Technology (Amsterdam & Philadelphia: Benjamins; 2002). The main interest of CT is to study the effects of the computer on the human mind, and vice versa, how the mind determines the uses we make of the computer as a tool.
Among Jacob Mey’s other main interests are the theory of literature and poetics. These interests have recently culminated (following many earlier articles) in his book: When Voices Clash: A study in literary pragmatics (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter 2000). His latest publication is ‘Candidum Soracte: Was Horace color-blind?’ (forthcoming, Oslo 2005), a cultural-literary/linguistic study on the Roman poet Q. Horatius Flaccus and his usage of color terms.
Jacob Mey is founder (in 1977, with Hartmut Haberland) and chief editor of the monthly Journal of Pragmatics (Oxford: Elsevier Science). He also edits RASK: International Journal of Language and Communication for the University Press of Southern Denmark. Among his other edited volumes are two readers on Cognitive Technology (1996, 1999), and the 1100-page Concise Encyclopedia of Pragmatics (1998), all published by Elsevier Science, Amsterdam & Oxford. He also edits the Pragmatics Section of the 2d edition of the Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, to be published by Elsevier Ltd., Oxford, in 2005 (14 vols.)
Jacob Mey holds an honorary Dr. Phil. degree from the University of Zaragoza, Spain. He is a member of various professional organizations, such as the Linguistic Society of America, the Copenhagen Linguistic Circle, and the International Pragmatics Association (of which he is a member of the Consultative Board). He is Editor or Member of the Advisory Board of a number of series and journals, such as Pragmatics and Beyond (Amsterdam); Studies in Anthropological Linguistics (Berlin); Discourse and Society (London);Text (Berlin); Language and Literature (Liverpool); Miscelánea (Zaragoza); Psyke & Logos (Copenhagen); Sémantique et Pragmatique (Orléans); Cadernos de Linguagem e Sociedade (Brasília); the new International Journal of Intercultural Pragmatics (Berlin); and others.
Jacob Mey has been married to Inger Mey since 1965, and has six children and four grandchildren. He loves music, gardening, the outdoors, and animals, especially cats. He hates bad weather, pessimists, pests, and bureaucrats. Upon his official retirement in 1996 from the University of Southern Denmark (where he stilll maintains an office), he spends much of his time in Austin, Texas, where his wife is pursuing the Ph. D. degree in anthropology. He is listed in Marquis’ Who’s Who and other standard biographical reference works.
University of Southern Denmark
Institute of Language and Communication
DK 5230 Odense M
Phone: (office) +45 6550 3404/3424
(home) +45 6443 1808
Fax: (office) +45 6593 2483
(home) +45 6443 1816
1100 West 29th Street
Austin, TX 78703-1915
Phone +1 512 476 9767
Fax +1 512 482 0226