The Centre For Research and Documentation on World Language Problems (CED)

(CED) was founded in 1952, as a specialized branch of the Universal Esperanto Association (UEA) under the direction of Ivo Lapenna, to promote the scholarly study of Esperanto “and its diverse applications in all spheres of life”; to ensure the compilation and editing of reliable documentation on Esperanto; and to support efforts to present the facts about Esperanto to international organisations, scholarly and specialist associations, and the public.

In the 1960s, this research into Esperanto widened to include the field of international language policy and language planning. Under the auspices of CED, the journal La Monda Lingvo-Problemo [The World Language Problem] was founded, later becoming Language Problems and Language Planning, which for decades has been one of the leading scholarly journals in that field.

In the middle of the 1970s, CED went through an organizational reform which led to several new initiatives, first under the guidance of Jonathan Pool, and later for many years with Humphrey Tonkin as its director. The bulletin Novaĵletero por Interlingvistoj, edited by Ulrich Lins, aimed to build connections and collaboration among scholars of Esperanto studies and interlinguistics, and in 1977 the tradition began of holding an Esperanto studies conference as part of the annual World Esperanto Congress. The newsletter was transformed into Informilo por Interlingvistoj from 1983 on, with Ryszard Rokicki as its first editor (1983-1990), then Detlev Blanke (1992-2015). The current editor is Angela Tellier.

In 1996 Mark Fettes, then the Secretary-General of UEA, organized the first Nitobe Symposium in connection with the World Congress in Prague. That proved to be a successful attempt to foster dialogue and collaboration on language policy among Esperanto speakers, researchers, civil servants, politicians, and language activists, and there followed further symposia in 1999 (Berlin), 2004 (Beijing), 2005 (Vilnius), 2007 (Tokyo), kaj 2013 (Reykjavik), focused on various aspects of contemporary international languague policy.

In 1999, Christer Kiselman launched the journal Esperantologio/Esperanto Studies, with a run of eight issues stretching to 2018. The journal brought together original studies on the linguistic, historical, literary, psychological, sociological and political aspects of Esperanto, and also book reviews. Now edited by Orlando Raola and Humphrey Tonkin, the series is continuing under the auspices of CED.

In 2006, the US-based Esperantic Studies Foundation, under Tonkin’s leadership, collaborated with CED to establish a program of small grants (up to $2000) por scholarly activites and publications in Esperanto studies and interlinguistics. The grants are awarded by an international three-person committee.

In 2020, CED was reorganized, with the establishment of a large Advisory Board appointed by the Executive Board of UEA, among whose members the new director, Mark Fettes, recruited a small steering committee with responsibility for five action areas:

  1. Esperanto studies and interlinguistics – Guilherme Moreira Fians (Esperanto studies conferences, the journal Esperantologio/Esperanto Studies);
  2. Language policy, primarily in international/multilateral contexts – Michele Gazzola (LPLP, Nitobe-simpozioj);
  3. University programs of study (on Esperanto and related subjects) – Angela Tellier (primarily coodination of projects to support such programs and encourage their spread);
  4. Libraries/collections – Orlando Raola (as a top priority, UEA’s Hodler Library; in addition, cooperation among Esperanto libraries/collections in general);
  5. Terminology science – so far unfilled (UEA’s relations with TermNet, Infoterm; training in terminology science).

A new website for CED is under construction. Observers with an interest in one or more of CED’s activities are welcome to join its mailing list by sending a message to the address  ced-konsilantaro+subscribe@groups.io.

The CED Advisory Board presently includes Xavi Alcalde, Irene Caligaris ,Renato Corsetti, Mark Fettes, Guilherme Moreira Fians, Michele Gazzola, Federico Gobbo, Kimura Goro, Alessandra  Madella, Mélanie Maradan, A Giridhar RAO, Orlando E Raola, Ida Stria, Angela Tellier, Humphrey Tonkin and Bernhard Tuider.

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