BSP*: Come hear my talk on linguistics at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, February 1, at the Weston Public Library! Here’s a description:
Making order out of chaos:
A conversation about linguistics
Here are six sentences in Kurdish, along with their English translations in the wrong order. Try to match them correctly.
1. Ez h’irç’ê dibînim.
2. Tu dir’evî.
3. Tu min dibînî.
4. H’irç’ di’eve.
5. Ez dir’evim.
6. Tu h’ireç’ê dibînî.
A. You see the bear.
B. You see me.
C. The bear runs.
D. You run.
E. I see the bear.
F. I run.
At Weston High School we care about global awareness. Linguistics reinforces that awareness. How does it happen that the Irish and the Pakistanis speak related languages, even though their countries are so far apart? Why do the Austrians and the Hungarians speak unrelated languages, even though their countries are next to each other? How do linguistic connections relate to other sorts of connections?
We can also learn a lot right at home. English too is a world language. You’re probably fluent in English, but you may be surprised to hear that it isn’t true that the vowels of English are a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y. Why not? Doesn’t every language have the same vowels? The answer is “no.” We’ll talk about why the question itself is misleading.
Is there anything that all languages share? This time the answer is “yes.” We’ll look at some examples and their significance.
Finally, you may be wondering how and why a linguist became a math teacher. Does linguistics really have anything to do with math? Come to this talk, and you’ll learn a lot about linguistics, a little about math, and at least one Big Idea about the strange connection between the two.