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Jamin Pelkey

Dr. Jamin Pelkey PhD

Associate Professor
DepartmentDepartment of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
EducationPhD (La Trobe University), MA (Payap University), BA (Montana State University)
Memberships/ServicesYeates School of Graduate Studies
OfficePOD 253E
Phone416-979-5000 ex. 552523
Areas of ExpertiseSemiotics, anthropology of language, C. S. Peirce, historical linguistics, embodied cognition, Ngwi languages

Dr. Jamin Pelkey is Associate Professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures and a core member of the Ryerson-York graduate program in Communication & Culture. He joined the department in 2013 following five years of university lecturing in British Columbia and more than a decade of field experience in the eastern hemisphere--including China, Thailand and Australia. Dr. Pelkey holds a PhD in Linguistics from La Trobe University, Melbourne, funded in full and awarded with merit in 2009. His areas of specialization include philosophy of language, embodied cognition, Tibeto-Burman linguistics, historical linguistics, C. S. Peirce, and semiotics. He is an award winning teacher and researcher with two federal grants, including “Steps to a Grammar of Embodied Symmetry” (SSHRC-IDG #430-2015-01226), two Dean's Awards—for teaching (2015) and research (2018)—the Mouton d’Or Award for best article in Semiotica (2017) and the Ryerson University Early Research Career Excellence Award (2018). He is currently editing Bloomsbury Semiotics, a major reference work in four volumes.

Dr. Pelkey's first two published monographs (esp. Dialectology as Dialectic, De Gruyter 2011) define the Phula ethnolinguistic groups of China and Vietnam, identifying 18 new languages through mixed-methods fieldwork and analysis. His latest research focuses on language evolution and embodied cognition, leading to the publication of his third authored book, The Semiotics of X (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017). He has edited or co-edited ten collections, including Cognitive Semiotics (TAJS, 2019) Applied Brand Semiotics (TAJS, 2018), Sociohistorical Linguistics in Southeast Asia (Brill, 2017), Virtual Identities (PDC, 2016) and The Semiotics of Paradox (Legas, 2015). His recent research is published in collections such as Biosemiotic Perspectives in Language and Linguistics; Meaning, Mind and Communication; and Bloomsbury Companion to Contemporary Peircean Semiotics; and in international journals such as Semiotica, Cognitive Semiotics, The Journal of Literary Semantics, Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, Sign Systems Studies, Reviews in Anthropology, Studies in Language and Diachronica.

In addition to other modes of international scholarship and service, Dr. Pelkey is Vice President of the International Association for Cognitive Semiotics, Executive Member of the International Cognitive Linguistics Association and the Semiotic Society of America, past Editor of the Semiotic Society of America Yearbook series Semiotics, Managing Associate Editor ofThe American Journal of Semiotics, Founding Editor of the Berghahn book series Studies in Linguistic Anthropology and Founding Director of the Ryerson University Meaning Lab.