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Lecture - First Words, Last Words: A Journey to the Edge of Language

Michael Erard (Public Award by the Linguistic Society of America, Maine Literary Award for Non-Fiction)
When Jul 13, 2018
from 10:15 AM to 11:45 AM
Where FRIAS, Albertstr. 19, Seminar Room
Contact Name
Contact Phone +49 (0)761 203-97362
Attendees Universitätsoffen / Open to university members
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We have a rich picture of the beginnings of language, thanks to decades of scientific research with children, infants, and even babies in the womb, yet we know next to nothing about how dying people communicate or even what a linguistics of the end of life would look like. In this presentation I discuss the asymmetries in cultural and scientific attention paid to first words and child language acquisition and to last words and language at the end of life. I will also present some relevant findings on end of life phenomena from the monologic and dyadic perspectives in order to suggest that a relevant developmental perspective for an end-of-life linguistics comes from the "interaction engine" (Levinson, 2006).