Life of Brian - Latin Lesson - Romans Go Home!Play video
1979's "Life of Brian" comedically depicts the titular main character, played by Graham Chapman, defacing, in Latin, a Roman monument. A Roman centurion, played by John Cleese, stops him and punishes him for his "bad" grammar. The scene is largely a parody of the relationship between English schoolchildren and their teachers. Linguistically, it's interesting as a demonstration of prescriptive norms as well as the representation of different dialects. Cleese's dialect is meant to sound more elevated while Graham Chapman's, who is from Melton Mowbray, north of London, is meant to sound less elevated, which is supposed to add to the comedy. Funnily enough, I think some of Brian's usages correlate with changes that would end up occurring in Latin before it changed into the various Romance languages.
Overview of Haitian CreolePlay video
A overview of the history of Haitian Creole from LangFocus
Resistance to Borrowing: Léo Ferré's "La Langue Française"Play video
Léo Ferré's "La Langue Française" (1962) exemplifies standard language ideologies that consider foreign loanwords a threat to a language's 'purity' or even its very existence, the joke of the song centering on the irony of the singer declaring that he loves to speak French as he crams borrowings from English into everything he says.
What Makes a Dialect a Dialect: The Roots of Upper Peninsula EnglishPlay video
History and development of English in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, a regional dialect also known as Yooper.
Die Antwoord's Evil Boy: A Dynamic Crossroad of Language, Culture, and Rap in South AfricaPlay video
Die Antwoord is a controversial rap group from Cape Town, South Africa fronted by Ninja Yolandi Vi$$er. Speaking from a post-apartheid perspective, this group offers an underrepresented view of young, lower-middle class, white Afrikaans - a subculture known as "Zef." Historically, Zef has been considered a derogatory term describing someone who was white, poor, and "trashy." However, Die Antwoord and others have looked to transform this into a self-reflective, somewhat satirical, parody that Ninja described as being "apocalyptic debris that we’ve stuck together." In this music video, they display their unique code-switching between Afrikaans and English, as well as Xhosa - the Bantu language of the Xhosa people. Adding to their mixed-bag controversial nature, is the relationship of the Afrikaans languages’ association with apartheid. Through dynamic language and visual use, this video reflects the complex sociocultural and sociolinguistic interactions that occur in this region. The lyrical narrative told is a statement on the clash between traditional tribal circumcision rituals, and the modern subcultures that seem to offer an alternative path to "manhood." This can be heard in the verse by the guest rapper Wanga, sung in his native tongue: "Mamelapa umnqunduwakho! (listen here, you fucking asshole) Andifuni ukuyaehlatini! (I don't want to go to the bush with you) Sukubammba incanca yam! (don't touch my penis) Andi so stabani! (I’m not a gay) Incanca yam yeyamantobi! (this penis is for the girls) Incanca yam iclean! (my penis is clean) Incanca yam inamandla! (my penis is strong) Ndiyinkwekwe enkulu! (I am a big boy) Angi funi ukuba yeendota! (don't want to be a man) Evil boy 4 life! yebo! (yes) Evil boy 4 life!" Through the use of polyglossic code-switching, performativity, sociocultural and racial integration, and a revamping of contextual meanings, Die Antwoord is doing its part to redefine what it means to be young and Zef in South Africa, and what a socioculturally- and sociolinguistically-complex rebellion sounds like.
"Samurai English"Play video
This is a Japanese commercial of Nissin cup noodles. In this commercial, a CEO of a Japanese company made an announcement that they are going to made ENGLISH as an official language of his company although his employee were not fluent in English. This situation is represented as a historical war, probably in 1850s. Languages and fluency is presented as weapon and their strength: Japanese weapon was too weak same as their English language ability. This commercial represents the centrality of English, globally. It is funny because it is written ironically: the “Japanish” has strong Japanese accents and they can only say typical sentences which Japanese people learn in junior high schools. It also express irony toward globalization which is oriented in English. This commercial is focused on Japanese, but this form of globalization on happens everywhere.
Paw Paw FrenchPlay video
This video is about a French dialect that is spoken in Old Mines, Missouri. It is said to be one of the oldest dialects of French that was formed in the United States called “Paw Paw French”. The dialect takes from Cajun, American Indian and the Canadian French Language that was made by early French settlers in the 1700’s. It is an endangered dialect that some of the residents of the town are trying to keep alive.
Expanding Past English May Lead to Great Discoveries in Other Languages
Patricia Ryan stresses the importance of language globalization and how we must expand our linguistic abilities and knowledge past English in order to advance our society as a whole. She discusses how the limitation of acquiring only one language may be causing us to miss out on discovering incredible ideas that are stuck in a different language, which enforces the necessity of multilingualism and shines a light on the rapidly increasing rate of dying languages. [Published on 12-01-2010]
Myrtle Woodcock speaks Chinook language 1952Play video
A recording from 1952 of a woman speaking Chinook language.
Words that sound dirty in other languages
The article details how a word that is innocuous in one Language is very offensive in another. [Published on 01-02-2015]
Language Could Diagnose Parkinson's, ALS and Schizophrenia before Lab Tests
A recent study shows the use, or lack of, certain words by patients could be diagnostic indicators of a future disease or ailment. [Published on 02-01-2016]
Hawaiian PidginPlay video
We are learning about Pidgin and Creoles. Here is a wonderful example of Pidgin.
encyclopedia britannica's definition/history of creole language
Bon Cop, Bad CopPlay video
A clip from Bon Cop, Bad Cop, a 2006 Canadian movie that bases much of its humor on the use of Canadian French and English in Canada.
NPR: A quick guide to Liberian English
A short piece on lexicon used in Liberian English, with some history on the variety from John Singler. [Published on 11-10-2014]
Rock Me AmadeusPlay video
This is the song I chose for my music project--it shows a number of English borrowings and code-switches between German and English.
Hawaiian Creole English and cultural content in "Mr. Sun Cho Lee" (Contact Languages in Music)Play video
This song, first released in 1975 by Keola and Kapono Beamer, reveals stereotypes of the diverse ethnic backgrounds of Hawai'i residents, and contains several features of Hawaiian Creole English (often called "Pidgin" but is really a creole).
NPR Article on Russia and Nearby Countries/Languages
"Ethnic Russians" in Ukraine and Estonia are defined/described by their language ], especially in relation/contrast to the language spoken by the relevant nation. [Published on 09-04-2014]
Linguist finds a language in its infancy
A 2013 podcast about Light Warlpiri, a new language created by children living in Northern Australia.
A episode from the WNYC program Radiolab about language, covering topics like the emergence of Nicaraguan Sign Language, the critical period, and issues of language and cognition.
American Tongues: Cajun EnglishPlay video
A clip from the documentary American Tongues featuring two speakers of Cajun English who code-switch between Cajun English and French