May 02, 2019
A Guided Tour of Language and Culture
In current language documentation practices, there are three main pillars or genres of documentation: the dictionary, the grammar and the corpus. In this paper I will be presenting the idea of a new type of corpus that can utilize the modern technology and techniques that we have at our disposal today. The current working name for this modified corpus is a “cultural corpus” due to its strong focus on language in cultural contexts. The idea was born after reading Erin Debenports Fixing the Books: Secrecy, Literacy, and Perfectability in Indigenous New Mexico (2015), where she works with a native community to create a dictionary for their language. It occurred to me that these traditional three pillars may be, if not lacking, then at least not used to their full potential.
May 02, 2019
Iconicity in Spoken and Signed Language: Origins, Acquisition and Development
Traditional schools of thought in linguistics have stated that arbitrariness is a fundamental property of language. Arbitrariness is the principle that linguistic forms have no inherent correspondence with their meanings. Opposing this concept is iconicity, the idea that semantics and the forms used to denote them are related in some way. Many studies have shown that not only does iconicity exist across languages, but that it may be an essential part of language acquisition and development in children. This paper explores current research on iconic mappings in both auditory-oral and visual-manual modalities and suggestions for future explorations on the topic.