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Talk about Language: Parseltongue and Estonian Swedish

Event information

START DATE 31 March 2014
START TIME 12:00am

Room C209 College Building, Hendon campus

END DATE 31 March 2014
END TIME 12:00am

Two talks by Professor Francis Nolan (University of Cambridge) in the 'Talk About Language' series.

The next talk in the 'Talk About Language' series, organised by members of the Media department and the Language and Communication Society, will be a double presentation by Professor Francis Nolan (University of Cambridge).

Professor Nolan will give the following two presentations:

Lateral developments in Estonian Swedish

This talk reports on the unusual liquid system (the laterals and rhotics) of the variety of Swedish historically spoken in the west of Estonia. Retroflex flaps and voiceless lateral fricatives (like the Welsh ‘Ll-‘) both occur as realisations of /l/. Time is running out for study of the dialect as the speakers are mostly over 80.

Parseltongue: an application of linguistics

In some of the Harry Potter films the language used to communicate with snakes is heard. The books give no clue as to the nature of Parseltongue, and it fell to Francis Nolan to define and create the language – or at least a fragment of it. The talk shows how the resultant speech is based on ‘sound’ principles, and indeed principles applying at other levels of linguistic analysis too.

The programme for the rest of the semester is available here: 

All welcome.

Further information from Billy Clark,

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