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Louis Blois, Becky Brumpton

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1 Louis Blois, Becky Brumpton

2 Vowelless Language "There are languages which don't use vowels, such as Arabic", Paridaan remarked. "What would happen if we omitted to write all the vowels?“ "I don't think that would be a good idea", Glynis said. "Just think of all the CNFSN it would cause, not being able to tell the difference between Bread and Beard. And although TWLV would be unambiguously TWELVE and TWNT would be TWENTY, there are NMBRS that would be CNFSBL.“ What is the smallest whole number that could be mistaken for another whole number?

3 The UK Linguistics Olympiad… …is a competition for school & college students …is organised by a committee of university academics and school & college teachers …is run in school/college ( schools can enter anyone still at school - no lower age limit) … has three levels: Foundation (aimed at years 7-8), Intermediate (years 9-11) and Advanced (years12-13) ….has two rounds: Round 1 in schools, in February. UKLO send out the questions and organise the marking (with the help of some HE student volunteers, including students at Huddersfield University!) (For fuller information, history etc. see

4 About the olympiad In 2013, over 300 schools and around 2,000 students took part (more than in any other English-speaking country) A number of round 1 students are selected to attend round 2 which takes place in one location, usually in March A small number of round 2 students (4 this year) are selected to enter the international competition in Stockholm, Washington, or Manchester! (travel and expenses are covered by UKLO )

5 How to offer LO? STARTERS – problems ready-made to get folks thinking: Here is an English sentence with a nonsense verb in it: “After the monster had shunk its prey, it dragged it back into its cave.” Fill in the other forms of this verb in the following sentences: “She used to _______________ groundhogs." "Now she _____________ possums for a living." “When she was in Texas, she ___________ thirty-three possums in one day.” “Then she took us possum-________ in the Cascades.” Are there any other solutions? Give all possible solutions, sorted by how likely they are to be correct, and explain your answer.

6 Why offer LO? Links to English Language!  Analytical thinking: ‘problems’ are based on the ‘Linguistic Methods’  Analytical skills: ‘problems’ rely on identifying, describing & evaluating ‘patterns & exceptions’ Differentiation – ‘foundation’ (to y11) + ‘advanced’ (y12-13) level problems; “stretch & challenge”, problems reveal surprising abilities! ‘high level’ skills – ‘pattern recognition’, ‘grouping’, connections across subjects/disciplines; new ways of thinking about language UCAS/Oxbridge – gives good Personal Statement The UKLO needs English Language students…

7 Why offer LO? Students love it! Become more inquisitive/enthusiastic about language  Minimal delivery – (surprisingly) ‘heads down’ commitment!  Natural pair/group work – works better together! Everyone gets the chance to test & develop strategies…

8 Try the LO?  Analytical thinking: ‘problems’ are based on the ‘Linguistic Methods’…  Analytical skills: ‘problems’ rely on identifying, describing & evaluating ‘patterns & exceptions’…  pair/group work…  Trying out strategies… The best way to get to know the LO, is to have a go at a few problems…

9 What’s wrong with this machine translation? Annie Jones sat angry-legged on her Uncle John's facade porch; her favourite rag doll clutched under one supply. The deceased afternoon sun polished through the departs of the giant oak tree, casting its flickering ignite on the cabin. This entranced the child and she sat with her confront changed upward, as if hypnotized. A stabilize hum of conversation flowed from inside the cabin. "Ellen, I'm really happy that you arrived to church with us today. Why don't you spend the night here? It's buying awfully deceased and it will be dark ahead you construct it house."

10 Correct the machine translation! Annie Jones sat angry-legged on her Uncle John's façade porch; her favourite rag doll clutched under one supply. The deceased afternoon sun polished through the departs of the giant oak tree, casting its flickering ignite on the cabin. This entranced the child and she sat with her confront changed upward, as if hypnotized. A stabilize hum of conversation flowed from inside the cabin. "Ellen, I'm really happy that you arrived to church with us today. Why don't you spend the night here? It's buying awfully deceased and it will be dark ahead you construct it house."

11 Why did the machine get it wrong? Annie Jones sat cross-legged [angry-legged] on her Uncle John's front [façade] porch; her favourite rag doll clutched under one arm [supply]. The late [deceased] afternoon sun shone [polished] through the leaves [departs] of the giant oak tree, casting its flickering light [ignite] on the cabin. Thisentranced the child and she sat with her face turned [confront changed] upward, as if hypnotized. A steady [stabilize] hum of conversation flowed from inside the cabin. "Ellen, I'm really happy that you came [arrived] to church with us today. Why don't you spend the night here? It's getting [buying] awfully late [deceased] and it will be dark before [ahead] you make [construct] it home [house]."

12 ‘We are all molistic...’ Jane is molistic and slatty. Jennifer is cluvious and brastic. Molly and Kyle are slatty but danty. The teacher is danty and cloovy. Mary is blitty but cloovy. Jeremiah is not only sloshful but also weasy. Even though frumsy, Jim is sloshful. Strungy and struffy, Diane was a pleasure to watch. Even though weasy, John is strungy. Carla is blitty but struffy. The salespeople were cluvious and not slatty. 1. Which of the following would you be likely to hear? Meredith is blitty and brastic. The singer was not only molistic but also cluvious. May found a dog that was danty but sloshful. 2. What quality or qualities would you be looking for in a person? blitty weasy sloshful frumsy

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14 Strategies Patterns & exceptions? System? Patterns: The new adjectives are either linked by ‘ands’ or ‘buts’, so are either similar or opposite They are either ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ (‘polarity’) Exceptions: “Strungy and struffy, Diane was a pleasure to watch.” - the anchor - the one clear exception, where adjectives (‘strungy’ and ‘struffy’) are identified as positive! System: If ‘X and Y’ means two adjectives have the same ‘polarity’ and ‘X but Y’ if they have opposite polarity, we can work out which are which

15 Strategies - patterns, exceptions & systems Jane is molistic and slatty. Jennifer is cluvious and brastic. Molly and Kyle are slatty but danty. The teacher is danty and cloovy. Mary is blitty but cloovy. Jeremiah is not only sloshful but also weasy. Even though frumsy, Jim is sloshful. Strungy and struffy, Diane was a pleasure to watch. Even though weasy, John is strungy. Carla is blitty but struffy. The salespeople were cluvious and not slatty. 1. Which of the following would you be likely to hear? Meredith is blitty and brastic. The singer was not only molistic but also cluvious. May found a dog that was danty but sloshful. 2. What quality or qualities would you be looking for in a person? blitty weasy sloshful frumsy

16 Strategies - patterns, exceptions & systems Jane is molistic and slatty. Jennifer is cluvious and brastic. Molly and Kyle are slatty but danty. The teacher is danty and cloovy. Mary is blitty but cloovy. Jeremiah is not only sloshful but also weasy. Even though frumsy, Jim is sloshful. Strungy and struffy, Diane was a pleasure to watch. Even though weasy, John is strungy. Carla is blitty but struffy. The salespeople were cluvious and not slatty. 1. Which of the following would you be likely to hear? Meredith is blitty and brastic. The singer was not only molistic but also cluvious. May found a dog that was danty but sloshful. 2. What quality or qualities would you be looking for in a person? blitty weasy sloshful frumsy

17 Strategies - patterns, exceptions & systems Jane is molistic and slatty. Jennifer is cluvious and brastic. Molly and Kyle are slatty but danty. The teacher is danty and cloovy. Mary is blitty but cloovy. Jeremiah is not only sloshful but also weasy. Even though frumsy, Jim is sloshful. Strungy and struffy, Diane was a pleasure to watch. Even though weasy, John is strungy. Carla is blitty but struffy. The salespeople were cluvious and not slatty. 1. Which of the following would you be likely to hear? Meredith is blitty and brastic. The singer was not only molistic but also cluvious. May found a dog that was danty but sloshful. 2. What quality or qualities would you be looking for in a person? blitty weasy sloshful frumsy

18 ‘We are all molistic...’ ‘Positive’: brastic cloovy cluvious danty frumsy struffy strungy ‘Negative’: blitty molistic slatty sloshful weasy ‘blitty and brastic’? ✖ ‘...molistic...also cluvious’? ✖ ‘danty but sloshful’? ✓

19 ‘We are all molistic...’ ‘Positive’: brastic cloovy cluvious danty frumsy struffy strungy ‘Negative’: blitty molistic slatty sloshful weasy Which qualities would you look for? ‘blitty’? ‘weasy’? ‘sloshful’? ‘frumsy’? ✓

20 ‘We are all molistic crocodiles...’ The Molistic problem… … makes a great way into discussing adjectives, modification, conjunctions and ‘attitudes & values’ The Crocodile Bardi problem… … makes a great way into discussing lexis, and ‘prepositions…!’ Again, the strategy is just a question of patterns & exceptions’: identifying the ‘anchor’ - the thing you know - then finding the system’… ✓

21 Crocodile Bardi Here is a diagram of a scene showing a bird, a cat, a child, a woman, a dog, a man, a horse and a kangaroo. Both you and a speaker of Bardi are standing at the bottom of the diagram, facing the scene; that is, "right" is your right, and "in front of" is closer to the bottom of the page. Pair the English words 1-13 with one word each from the list of 13 Bardi words, A-M. To get you started, 1=H and 2 = D. 1birdAaarlgoodony 2childBaamba 3catCalaboor 4dogDbaawa 5horseEbaybirrony 6kangarooFboorroo 7manGbornkony 8womanHgarrabal 9next toIiila 10behindJjoorroonggony 11in front ofKminyaw 12to the left ofLoorany 13to the right ofMyaawarda Here are some Bardi sentences describing the diagram: (1) Aamba bornkony yaawardon. (2) Baawa joorroonggony garrabalgoon. (3) Boorroo alaboor yaawardon. (4) Iila alaboor ooranygoon. (5) Iila baybirrony aambon. (6) Minyaw baybirrony baawon. (7) Oorany joorroonggony baawon. (8) Yaawarda bornkony aambon.

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23 Crocodile Bardi – the answers! (H)(D)KIMFBLGECAJ That is… 1bird = Hgarrabal 2child= Dbaawa 3cat= Kminyaw 4dog= Iiila 5horse= Myaawarda 6kangaroo= Fboorroo 7man= Baamba 8woman= Loorany 9next to = Gbornkony 10behind = Ebaybirrony 11in front of = Calaboor 12to the left of = Aaarlgoodony 13to the right of = Jjoorroonggony

24 Real & imaginary languages The Molistic problem… … uses imaginary adjectives, showing how arbitrary words are… The Crocodile Bardi problem… … is one of several which introduce students to real languages that they would probably never come across otherwise… The Drehu problem… … goes further, introducing students to the idea that the way things are thought of and named varies in other cultures… Again, the strategy = patterns & exceptions’: This one shows that identifying patterns often begins by just counting … ✓

25 An “Advanced” problem which of the lexemes in Drehu correspond with which of the lexemes in English? drai-hmitrötr gaa-hmitrötr i-drai i-jun i-wahnawa jun ngöne-gejë ngöne-uma nyine-thin uma-hmitrötr sanctuary [holy place] bunch of bananas calendar bone church coast awl [a tool for making holes] Sunday skeleton wall

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27 Strategies - patterns, exceptions & systems Patterns among the Drehu words = morphological? 3 words ending in “hmitrötr” (drai-hmitrötr, gaa-hmitrötr, uma-hmitrötr) 2 words with “ngöne” (ngöne-uma, ngöne-gej ë ) 2 words with “jun” (jun, i-jun) 3 words with “i” (i-jun, i-wahnawa, i-drai) - one of which is also a ‘“jun”’ (i-jun) Exceptions among the Drehu words? nyine-thin Patterns among the English words = semantic? 3 ‘holy’ words (Sanctuary, church, Sunday) 2 ‘edge’ words (wall, coast) 2 ‘bony’ words (bone, skeleton) 3 ‘many’ words (skeleton=‘many bones’, bunch of bananas, calendar=collection of days) - one of which is also a ‘bony’ word…! Exceptions among the English words? Awl

28 The solution (The PATTERN = the modifying morpheme, follows its semantic morpheme or head. ) drai-hmitrötr = Sunday (day + holy) gaa-hmitrötr = sanctuary (place + holy) uma-hmitrötr = church (house + holy) ngöne-uma = wall (border - house) ngöne-gej ë = coast (border - water) jun = bone i-jun = skeleton (multitude - bones) i-wahnawa = bunch of bananas (multitude - bananas) i-drai = calendar (multitude - days) nyine-thin = awl (tool to poke)

29 From words to sentences Problems like ‘Molistic’ & ‘Crocodile Bardi’… … are lovely for talking about word class analysis… The Drehu problem… … goes further, introducing morphology… The ‘Esperanto’ & ‘Greek’ problems… … go further still, introducing whole clauses & sentences…  Try either one, but be warned…  ‘Esperanto’ was a ’15 point’ problem,  ‘Greek’ was a ’30 point’ problem…! ✓

30 1. La kapro manĝintas.The goat has eaten. 2. La hundo ĉasis la katon.The dog chased the cat. 3. La kapro manĝis.The goat ate. 4. La kapro manĝitos.The goat will have been eaten. 5. La kapron ĉasintis la hundo.The dog had chased the goat. 6. La kapro manĝas.The goat eats. 7. La kapro manĝotas.The goat is going to be eaten. 8. La kato manĝantas.The cat is eating. 9. La kapro manĝontis.The goat was going to eat. 10. La kapro manĝintos.The goat will have eaten. 11. La kato ĉasas la hundon.The cat chases the dog. Esperanto (15 marks) Here are some Esperanto sentences translated into English (The letters ‘ĝ’ and ‘ĉ’ are pronounced like ‘g’ and ‘ch’ in the words ‘gem’ and ‘chase’). Translate the following sentences into English: 1. La kapro manĝontos. 2. La kapro manĝitas. 3. La kato ĉasitis. Translate the following sentences into Esperanto: 4. The goat was eating. 5. The dog is being eaten. 6. The dog will chase the goat.

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32 1. The goat will be going to eat. 2. The goat has been eaten. 3. The cat had been chased. 4. La kapro manĝantis. 5. La hundo manĝatas. 6. La hundo ĉasos la kapron. Esperanto – the answers…

33 Ancient Greek – but in Roman letters The Greek phrases A-H have been translated into English, but the translations 1-8 have been jumbled up. 1.un-jumble them. 2.Translate into English The houses of the merchants The donkeys of the slave

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35 Ancient Greek – the answers!

36 Ancient Greek – the answers!

37 About the olympiad

38 About the olympiad Problem and solution in the round 2 materials here:

39 Why offer LO? Supports delivery of “Linguistic Methods”  Free database of “problems” based on familiar features/issues (word order, morphology, semantics, language change, acquisition…);  ‘knowledge about language’ for GCSE; OfSTED friendly!

40 How to offer LO? Whole class – readymade occasional/Friday afternoon lessons… Enrichment / Extension groups – cross-curricular & self-supporting Term 1 & ½ of term 2 – Olympiad is in February (no exam clashing), papers have been provided and marked free of charge…

41 Supporting the Supporters We support you to support your students We know that: –Your subject area may not be language (many of our teachers work in maths or IT) –You may not have been trained in the structure of language –You might not feel confident approaching the challenges yourself initially –You don’t have a lot of time to invest, but you want to give your students additional opportunities A shared experience: you can learn along with the students.

42 The Aim We want students to: –Develop their analytical skills and apply them to language –Gain a better understanding of how language works –Enjoy studying language –Realise that studying language/linguistics is an option they could pursue. Knowing about language is not a pre-requisite But, some basic terminology/concepts can be helpful, particularly for the advanced level of the competition.

43 Support we currently offer Online materials at Introductory/training PowerPoint shows: –Help students to understand how to tackle problems –Examples from each level of the competition (F, I, H) Problem sets and solutions, rated by difficulty UKLO test papers from previous years Posters to help you recruit students.

44 We’d like to do more We would like to offer more support We’re still developing material for this ( is only our fifth year) We need to better understand: –What support you and your students would find helpful –What type/format of support would be useful –When this support should be provided Building up support provision over time.

45 For more information (or talk to us today!)


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