Author Topic: A new-ish YouTube series about the science of language!  (Read 1725 times)

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Offline Gravity Allen

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A new-ish YouTube series about the science of language!
« on: March 04, 2016, 10:09:57 PM »
Hi, everyone! :)

I was wandering around in that thread about language, over in General Discussion, and user Anders graciously pointed out Member Creations! Since I write for a YouTube channel devoted to linguistics, and it isn't something that many people get the chance to explore outside of a college classroom, maybe you all would be interested!

We're called The Ling Space, and we aim to bring the findings of linguistics over the last several decades to a wider audience. No sense it keeping all this neat stuff locked up in an ivory tower, I say! There aren't many others I know of that cover the topic of language in quite the way we do (or at all); we're basically going for a CrashCourse vibe.

While we cover a wide range of subjects -- experimental stuff, theoretical stuff, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, et cetera -- our latest video is something I'm especially proud of, as it'd been marinating in my head for, like, a year:



If there's something we haven't covered yet that you guys think might suit our channel, feel free to let me know! I primarily pen the scripts about syntax/semantics/pragmatics, but if your idea lands outside of these fields, it'll probably be something either our director or host knows something about! And don't be shy about commenting on more than just our content -- whether it's camera work, sound, editing, presentation style; I only have so much control, myself, but I can always pass along your suggestions!

Enjoy! ^_^

Stephan

Offline Gerbig

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Re: A new-ish YouTube series about the science of language!
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2016, 10:17:42 PM »
So, what episode would you recommend as a good introduction to your channel?

Offline Gravity Allen

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Re: A new-ish YouTube series about the science of language!
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2016, 10:37:53 PM »
So, what episode would you recommend as a good introduction to your channel?

Hmmm. If there's a particular topic you're really keen on knowing more about, I'd say you could check out our playlists, and then choose the earliest video from one of them. :)

One of the earlier episodes that I count among my favourites is this one:



It lays out one of the most important and fundamental distinctions in linguistics. You could certainly check out our very first episode, too, if you want a general sense of our overall philosophy. But, our production quality was much lower back then. :(

Offline Anders

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Re: A new-ish YouTube series about the science of language!
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2016, 11:22:02 AM »
I've recently learned about the grammatical category Animacy. That seems interesting and I would love to hear more about it. Is that the grammatical reason why (some) trans people are so offended by being called by the pronoun "it"?

Would a rule to avoid garden-path sentences like "the fat people eat accumulates" be descriptive or descriptive?
« Last Edit: March 05, 2016, 03:31:57 PM by Anders »
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.” Charles Darwin

Offline Gravity Allen

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Re: A new-ish YouTube series about the science of language!
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2016, 05:17:51 PM »
I've recently learned about the grammatical category Animacy. That seems interesting and I would love to hear more about it. Is that the grammatical reason why (some) trans people are so offended by being called by the pronoun "it"?

Would a rule to avoid garden-path sentences like "the fat people eat accumulates" be descriptive or descriptive?

That's a good question! I'm not sure we've touched upon the animate/inanimate distinction before; I'll be sure to pass that along.

As for garden path sentences, I'd say that prescriptively speaking, it's a good idea to avoid them (unless you're deliberately exploiting the effect, like for a joke). But they happen regardless, so descriptively speaking, I'm not sure any such rule exists. That being said, my hunch is that they're more likely to happen in written -- as opposed to spoken -- form, since there are cues (like intonation) which do a lot of disambiguating for us. For example, this line:

"As a linguist, I enjoy ambiguity more than most people."

It only really works on the page; spoken aloud, each of the two interpretations (i.e., either I enjoy ambiguity more than I enjoy most people, or I enjoy ambiguity more than most people do) links up to a specific intonational pattern, so hearers aren't likely to be confused in the same way that readers are. So, in that sense, you could describe garden path sentences as being somewhat infrequent in our speech -- though, not totally absent.

Offline Anders

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Re: A new-ish YouTube series about the science of language!
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2016, 06:22:59 AM »
I'm thinking about constructing a language for a fantasy world. Do you have any good resources for ConLangs?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.” Charles Darwin

Offline Gravity Allen

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Re: A new-ish YouTube series about the science of language!
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2016, 03:49:45 AM »
Oh! I'm not a conlanger, myself, so my input on this will be fairly naive. There are a couple of good YouTube channels about it: Artifexian and David Peterson. That second one belongs to the guy who designed Dothraki (as it's spoken on Game of Thrones), along with a number of other TV languages. He's on a bit of break right now, having just had a kid, but he wrote a book all about this stuff -- The Art of Language Invention -- which I understand also serves as a nice introductory linguistics textbook.

 

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