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Dr. Brent Vine

Episode 78: Dr. Brent Vine

Brent Vine is Distinguished Research Professor, Emeritus at UCLA. He earned a Classical Diploma from Phillips Exeter Academy (1969) and went on to study Classics (AB 1973) and Linguistics (AM 1975, Ph.D. 1982) at Harvard University. He has taught at Phillips Academy (Andover), Yale, Princeton, and UCLA, and has held visiting positions at Texas Tech University and Kyoto University (Japan). For many years, in parallel with his appointment in the UCLA Department of Classics, he served as head of the UCLA Program in Indo-European Studies, where he held the A. Richard Diebold, Jr. Chair of Indo-European Studies.

His published research addresses a broad range of topics in the study of the ancient Indo-European languages and their reconstructed ancestor Proto-Indo-European. Most of this work concerns phonological, morphological, and etymological problems related to the linguistic background of Greek, Latin, and Vedic Sanskrit, with forays into other areas, such as Classical Armenian, Phrygian, Germanic languages, and Old Russian. Some special interests close to Greek and Latin include Mycenaean Greek, Archaic Latin inscriptions (the subject of his first book), and the ancient languages of Italy most closely related to Latin (such as Faliscan, Oscan, and Umbrian). He also enjoys returning to his “roots” in Greek and (especially) Latin literature, where – perhaps not surprisingly for a linguist – he tends to be most interested in questions of language, style, and meter. He has published on Ennius, Plautus, Catullus, and Petronius, and a current research project explores a problem involving prose rhythm in Apuleius. Tying together some of the above strands is a paper (2021) on alliteration in Italic-language curse texts, based on analysis of inscriptional material in Latin, Oscan, and Umbrian.

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