Many people do not realize the variety of languages structures and strange language phenomena that exist in the worlds languages. This class will introduce a number of features that can be found across the globe. These include object agreement, verbs that necessarily encode the shape of items, ergativity, discourse particles, languages with 20 grammatical gender classes, pronoun hierarchies, circumfixes and infixes, and the complex systems of taboo words that arise in some languages. We will look a number of these, at what is rare, common, surprising, but all of which are real. Language families from Africa, the Caucasus, Siberia, Australia, and the Americas.
Handouts from various sources will be supplied.
See the overall page for the Weird Languages module.
See other modules (potentially) offerred in February 2023.
See other modules in the General Humanities sector.
Days and Times
Meeting Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on February 2, 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28