Steve Dworkin receiving his honorary doctorate

Professor Emeritus of Romance Linguistics and Spanish Steve Dworkin was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Université de Lorraine in recognition of his many contributions to the Dictionnaire Étymologique Roman project, and for his many contributions to the field of Romance historical linguistics.

Dworkin joined RLL in 1979 and taught for 40 years. He served as a professor of Romance linguistics and focused on Spanish historical linguistics. He was chair of the department from 1998-2003. Some of Dworkin’s highlighted classes include History of the Spanish Language, Medieval Spanish, New World Spanish, and Spanish Structures. 

“I enjoyed working at RLL immensely,” Dworkin said. “I met many interesting people and learned a lot about areas outside my own field of interest. I have absolutely no regrets having spent almost all of my working life at Michigan.” 

The Dictionnaire Étymologique Roman is a project to produce an online etymological dictionary of the entire Romance Language family. It is an international project with over 60 collaborators. Every member of the group is a specialist in a certain language area. Some with broader training also choose to work across the languages. Dworkin writes articles for the dictionary in addition to revising the articles of others. 

Dworkin’s nomination for this honorary degree came as a surprise to him. He only learned of the nomination when he received a phone call from his colleague and sponsor from France. 

“I am very pleased – it was very gratifying to be recognized by my fellow colleagues in a European project,” Dworkin said. “I find it satisfying to be recognized for my efforts.”

Dworkin currently works on research regarding the development of the Spanish vocabulary.