Presentation on theme: "Language: more than a line on your CV? Richard Hudson Mander Portman Woodward Nov 2013."— Presentation transcript:
Language: more than a line on your CV? Richard Hudson Mander Portman Woodward Nov 2013
What language? Your own language –e.g. English Familiar school languages –e.g. French, Russian Unfamiliar languages –Big: e.g. Japanese –Little: e.g. Manam
Language or languages? Languages –studied one at a time Language –all languages studied together –'How do humans learn language?' –'How do languages change?' –etc.
My message Language is interesting in its own right. Full of links which are –surprising (like astronomy) –humanly interesting (like literature) –matters of fact (like chemistry) –complex (like physics)
Etymology glamour –derived from grammar surprising humanly interesting –grammar was associated with learning magic
So what? Language is full of surprises. Language has its experts and facts. Language is all about connections. –words connected to each other –words connected to meanings and forms –languages connected to each other. And that's why linguistics is fun –including etymology
Word meaning Our words reflect our culture –e.g. glamour, cricket, party, fun,cool So language is connected to culture. Sometimes this connection is very weak but at other times it's very strong.
Different languages - different messages Translate into French (or Spanish): He walked into the room Not: Il a marché dans la chambre. But: Il est entré dans la chambre (en marchant). manner of movement direction of movement manner of movement
What about German? Er ist in die Kammer hinein/herein gelaufen. He is into the room hither/thither in run/walked. manner in verb –but basic contrast = with/without vehicle direction in obligatory particle hin/her –but basic contrast = from/to here
Languages are different English puts manner into the verb –direction is optional French puts direction into the verb –manner is optional German forces a choice: 'hither' or 'thither'? –direction and manner are obligatory
So what? The language doesn't just code the message –Different languages allow different messages. –So perfect translation is impossible. So do French, German and English speakers think differently? –certainly when they're speaking –they have to make different choices –but probably not otherwise.
How to discover language structure Grammars and dictionaries are reports –on research into how the language works –so someone has to do the research –that's linguistics: the study of language But you can do the research yourself –thanks to the Linguistics Olympiad! –e.g. Manam
Manam Island, Papua New Guinea The sentences below tell us where Onkau, Kulu, Mombwa, Tola, Sulung, Sala, Pita and Butokang live. Can you work out who lives where? uklo.org auta = North ilau = South ata = West awa = East 5. 3. 4. DEAD END! THINK AGAIN! Sala Tola 1. 2. Sulung
What's up in Manam?
Where's North in Manam? Is the sun always in the North? Until recently, there were no maps no compasses
What are they like in Manam? They're like us. They enjoy a day at the seaside. And they don't know where North is.
What's where in Manam Island? The sentences below tell us where Onkau, Kulu, Mombwa, Tola, Sulung, Sala, Pita and Butokang live. Can you work out who lives where? uklo.org auta = up ilau = down 5. 3. Sala Tola New idea: When relating two places, imagine standing between them facing uphill! 4. 6. Sulung Pita 8. Butokang 7. 1. ata = left awa = right 2. Sulung 4.
So what? A language expresses and teaches a culture –including 'folk geography' –relevant parameters for directions Is English 'normal' in contrast with Manam? –Where is 'up' in English? Birmingham: up or down? Brighton? Bristol? Leicester Square? 'Downtown'
A puzzle for Indiana Jones uklo.org
Where is Cleopatra? uklo.org Cleopatra t rp aa p t c l e o ol e Ptolemy Spot the pattern!
Clitics Clitic = word realized like an affix –you are => you're –*de le => du –*de el => del –*von dem => vom –*dar te lo => dartelo Clitics may change normal word order –*je connais le => je le connais
Ulwa in context Ordinary clitics … –*gaad ni => gaadni –*bilam kana => bilamkana … but some behave like infixes –*diimuih kana => diikanamuih Infixes? –e.g. Beja, my PhD language …
Meet the Beja 'Red' Sea
… and their clitics and infixes uu-kaam 'the camel' kaam-uuk 'a camel of yours' i-kaam-uuk 'your camel' kitba 'write!' iktib 'he wrote' kantiib 'he writes' clitic infix clitic
So what? Language is all about links –within one language, e.g. grammar – glamour –between languages, e.g. verbs of movement: surprisingly different clitics: surprisingly similar Education is all about links So language is much more than a line on your CV.