Talk Feb 5: Ann Bradlow

Global language systems and phonetics

I will present two approaches to language typology and classification that I believe are relevant for our understanding of speech production and perception in the context of extensive multilingualism and language/dialect contact.  Specifically, I will briefly outline (1) the distinction between “Esoteric Languages” and “Exoteric Languages” as discussed in Lupyan and Dale (2010, Language Structure Is Partly Determined by Social Structure, PLoS ONE 5(1): e8559), and (2) the “Global Language System” as developed in de Swaan (2002, Words of the World: The Global Language System). Together, these two views raise a number of issues and questions that are potentially instructive for the evolving field of experimental and corpus phonetics.

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