Sunday, February 18, 2007

Spring 2007 Brown Bag Lecture Series

The schedule is now in for our brown bag lecture series this semester. Three professors have very kindly agreed to come speak to us, and I think the topics (about which more soon) will prove to be both fascinating and quite wide-ranging, as befits a capacious field like ours. Here it is:

Dr. Michal Brody
Thursday, March 1
1-2:30 in HUM 213

The Alphabet as Political Artifact: The Case of Maaya
Maaya (Maya Yucateco) has been a written language for more than a millennium. It was written with glyphs until Spanish friars arrived and imposed an alphabetic system. Although suppressed and subverted for 500 years, literacy practice was never completely extinguished. The presentation will begin with a brief history of Maaya writing and go on to examine the linguistic ideologies of contemporary Maaya writing, focusing specifically on the graphetic (alphabetic) variation that currently exists. We'll be looking at the ideologies of scientism, traditionalism, and cultural authenticity as they play out in the culturally emblematic atomic particles of writing -- graphs (letters).

Dr. Masahiko Minami
Thursday, March 29th
1-2:30 in HUM 213

How to Tell a Good Story: Bilingual Children’s Styles of Story Construction and Their Linguistic and Educational Implications
This study examines characteristics of effective stories. Analysis of narratives given high ratings by evaluators shows that most stories considered good in Japanese or English are in the past tense. However, the study also demonstrates that literacy has different social and psychological implications in different social and cultural contexts.

Dr. Tom Scovel
Wednesday, April 18th
1-2 in HUM 213

Thai as a Window to Linguistic Analysis
Because of the impact of Global English since World War II, the vast majority of research in both theoretical and applied linguistics has been both in and on the English language, thus skewing, in many ways, our general perceptions about the nature of human language. Using examples from Thai, I will try to redress this situation by reviewing linguistic insights and analyses which are not (or are rarely) illustrated by the structure and use of English. Areas covered will include phonology, orthography, syntax, the lexicon, and sociolinguistic usage.

Many thanks to Drs. Brody, Minami and Scovel for agreeing to come speak to us!

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