Linguistics Mini-Courses


MAY 21 – MAY 25, 2012

MacMillan Room 115


Course 1, 10AM - 12PM:

Dying Languages: What World Linguistic Diversity Means for Us 

 Anthony Woodbury, University of Texas at Austin

 Among the world’s 7000 language, more than half are poised for extinction in the next century. How does it happen? What does it matter? Does a culture disappear when a language dies? What is the scientific and humanistic significance, if any, of the wide differences in sound and grammar that we encounter in the world's languages? Are oral and written literatures in a language lost even when they are translated? This course delves into the work of language activists and documentary linguists—some speakers themselves—as they document endangered languages, identify what is special about them, and use them to ask questions about cognition, social behavior, human origins, literary expression, and more.

See the course website.



Course 2, 2PM - 4PM:

Language Structure, Learning, and Change: Research on Signed and Spoken Languages

Elissa Newport & Ted Supalla, University of Rochester


These courses are free and open to the public.