Languages Across Time

Are your students interested in computing languages? They may be interested in the history of language.

InTEACT posts this information for our members from the organisers of the event.

We would like to invite your school to participate in Language Across Time, an event that aims to introduce high-school students to the field of historical linguistics. The event will be held at the ANU on Thursday 4th July in conjunction with the 24th International Conference on Historical Linguistics, and will give students the opportunity to talk to national and international experts in linguistics.

Language Across Time will be hosted by Daniel Midgley from the Talk the Talk radio show and podcast series about the science of language. Daniel and a panel linguists will guide students through some of the ways in which historical linguistics can be a window onto the human past – both recent and remote – and respond to students’ questions.

Historical linguistics is a broad field that connects the study of language and languages with other disciplines such as, archaeology and anthropology, biology, computer science, history, geography, and psychology and cognitive science. Major questions investigated by historical linguists include:

· why are there so many languages spoken today, and why do some countries have many more languages than others?

· what can we learn from today’s languages about human history and prehistory?

· how and why do languages change over time?

· why do some languages change faster than others?

Language Across Time will be of interest to students studying languages, as well as those who are interested in any of the other fields of study mentioned above.

We’d like introduce students to some of the breadth of questions that historical linguists explore through some short videos and classroom resources that are available from the event’s website. Students are also able to use the website to submit questions for the panel ahead of the event.

The event is followed by afternoon tea, where students are welcome to continue talking with the panel members, other linguists from the conference, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students, giving them a taste of university life.

Further details about Language Across Time can be found on the event’s website, and teachers can also register for the event on the website. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the event, or if you would like the instructor copies of the classroom resources.

For further information contact:

Luisa Miceli Bethwyn Evans

Lecturer in Linguistics Lecturer in Linguistics

University of Western Australia The Australian National University

email: email:

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