Invented Languages: From Wilkins' Real Character to Avatar's Na'vi

Over the centuries, invented, or artificial, languages have been devised for many reasons, including a desire to improve existing languages, an effort to unite the world, or a need to explore how languages are learned. The vast majority have failed, but why? Is there a place for invented language? What do invented languages teach us about natural language? We will look at invented languages from a variety of points of view: linguistic, historical, philosophical, psychological, and sociological. We will explore the linguistic underpinnings of various languages, from seventeenth century Real Character to Na'vi, with a look at a successful "reinvented" language, Modern Hebrew. Students will design their own miniature artificial language.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: Open to juniors and seniors who have taken LING 114 or CLSC/PSYC 216 and a related 200-level course in linguistics, psychology, anthropology, or philosophy, or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Y. Kim

Distribution Requirements: EC - Epistemology and Cognition; SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes: Ann E. Maurer '51 Speaking Intensive Course.