Ivan Roksandic, PhD (University of British Columbia)

Caribbean Research Institute

Ivan Roksandic Title: Director of the Caribbean Research Institute, Associate Professor
Office: 4CM19
Building: Centennial Hall
Phone: 204.786.9078


Ivan Roksandic (PhD University of British Columbia) is a broadly trained linguist with a background in archaeology, epigraphy, history of script, and mythopoeia. His current research deals with indigenous languages of South America, specifically with Arawakan and Jê families. He is interested in topics such as the spread of Arawakan speech communities across northeastern portion of South America, the problems of onomastics in Macro-Jê languages, and the subdivisions of that language family. Furthermore, combining linguistic and archaeological lines of research, he explores the patterns of successive migrations and colonization of the Caribbean islands and the linguistic heritage of different pre-Colombian ethnic groups as expressed in the toponymy of this region.

His other field of study concerns the influence of, and complex interrelations between, mythology and folk traditions, on one hand, and literature, written history, and cultural heritage, on the other.

Teaching Areas:
Introduction to Linguistics; Morphology; Syntax; Method and Theory in Linguistic Anthropology; Languages of the World; Language Typology; Names and Naming; Comparative Indo-European Linguistics and Mythology; Indigenous Languages of South America.

Recent publications include The Ouroboros Seizes Its Tale: Strategies of Mythopoeia in Narrative Fiction (2010), and Cuban Archaeology in the Caribbean (2016). He is currently working on the Dictionary of Pre-Columbian Place Names in the Caribbean.